Choosing the Pathway to Sustainability

John Liu

John Liu

John D. Liu, Dec. 3, 2011 – Durban –  Studying the Earth’s natural ecosystems helps to explain why we are experiencing financial upheaval, biodiversity loss, desertification, climate change, migration, poverty and disparity.  Far from suggesting the widespread view that carbon disequilibrium alone is the cause of all our problems, the Earth’s systems are exhibiting systemic dysfunction on a planetary scale of which carbon disequilibrium in the atmosphere is a symptom.  The worldwide discussion on climate change and sustainable development has strayed far from natural ecology toward politics and markets.   These attempts often fail to inspire confidence because they are actually a continuation of the business as usual scenario.  Allowing nature to participate in the discussion illuminates a pathway that leads to sustainability.  This vision is far more compelling than recapitalizing those who have created many of the problems we currently face.  Let’s take a moment to look at our problems from an ecological perspective. Continue reading

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Should I trust or should I lead?

Posted by Aurelia Annino, part of IofC Team in Cancun and co-founder of SiKanda, a non-profit organization. http://www.si-kanda.org

My perception of the COP16 conference changed every single day.

I arrived 2 weeks ago at the conference and as my first experience with COP, I didn’t know what to expect from the organization of the conference nor from seeing all of the different governments together.

At the beginning I remember I was impressed with the quantity of youth attending the COP. It looked as if about 70% of the attendees were no older than 35. I was a little concerned, wondering if the COP had sufficient facility space, but at the same time was happy to see how many young people were interested in climate change, society, sustainable development and politics.  This awoke a feeling of hope for this new generation that I had lost some years ago.  It was refreshing seeing youth interested in societal issues, where I had previously observed this generation as more self-absorbed. Continue reading

Questions for the Day

by Marcia

These questions were posed by Huck, a member of the Youth Delegation at Copenhagen.  They challenge us to think more concretely about what kind of world we are living in and what kind of world we want to be living in.  What are your thoughts? Continue reading

Deforestation and UNFCCC REDD – An easy way to replace forests with plantations? Or financial mechanism to save our planet’s forests?

By Tom Duncan

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) – is a new addition to the Kyoto Phase II/ Copenhagen Treaty, that aims to reduce deforestation. The problem is, that large timber companies, illegal loggers, palm oil plantations, aim to replace rainforest and orangutang habitat, with income producing plantations, threatening to undermine the REDD scheme. There is much concern from Indigenous communities that they already have very little control over their forests, and REDD potentially may put control of forests more in Government hands, and corporate plantations, which endanger indigenous communities survival and culture. More information updates after REDD sessions this evening.

Deforestation: The Destruction of Life on Earth.

by Francis

Last night I went to the Danish Film Institute where Al Gore spoke and two new environmental films were screened.  Al Gore started with a question and answer session.  He was OK, if slightly disappointing (luckily I did not go with high expectations).  However, his talk was enormously overshadowed by this film http://www.greenthefilm.com/.  Please find time to sit down and watch it; it is an amazing, depressing and important film.

The negotiations here in Copenhagen are concerning.  They are highly political and focus very heavily on carbon emissions.  While accounting for around 15% of the world’s carbon emissions, what the politicians often fail to recognize is that deforestation creates the permanent loss of fragile and complex habitats; once the forests are gone they are gone.

This film not only reminds us that we can all do more, but also highlights the beauty and fragility of our forests.  I met the filmmaker – he is a hero and has dedicated his life to this.  This film was done on a budget of 10,000Euros – quite an achievement.  Please pass it on to others.

The Human Face of Climate Change

by Jennifer Helgeson

It has been an experience here in Copenhagen, that is for sure.  My day to day work is so focused on theory that seeing how these negotiations work has brought a lot of reflection and realization into my life.

I do reporting for ‘Climatico’ from time to time; the idea is similar to that of ‘Politico’ (American folks might recognize that news platform.) Generally I am responsible for reviewing developments in French climate policy. But at the COP I am keeping track of all things REDD, that is Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.

But yesterday a presentation from the nation of Kiribati truly touched my soul and I had to write a special report on it.  You can see it here: http://www.climaticoanalysis.org/post/a-developing-nation-in-focus-kiribati/

All I can say, is any climate change denier would change their story if they experienced the ‘human face’ that Kiribati brings to the issue.