<![CDATA[COP21 MEMO - Blog]]>Thu, 10 Dec 2015 13:04:32 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Urban Life, Human Rights, and Climate Change]]>Thu, 10 Dec 2015 18:49:00 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/urban-life-human-rights-and-climate-changeToday was a study in opposites. The first presentation I attended (Kelsey, our musicologist, was with me) was in rapid fire French without a translator. So we left. While the topic was human rights and climate change, in honor of International Human Rights Day, it was difficult to follow. So we sat in one of the common areas, and I looked over my notes from the past several days. Then at 1:00 pm, Kelsey and I went to another human rights and climate change presentation, this time focusing on urban life, human rights, and adaptation.

This was a presentation worth waiting for. One of the most critical and difficult challenges of climate change is urban life. While cities are centers of economic growth, they pose particular problems for resource sharing. Urban areas account for about 75% of GDP and GreenHouse Gas emissions. It should come as no surprise that cities attract people - 50% of the global population, as I learned today. Some 40 million move annually to urban areas. This puts a great deal of stress on resources such as housing and jobs, but also on public utilities. This mass congregation of people leads to water problems in the form of access to water - clean drinking water and adequate sanitation (think toilets). And it is the poor and the vulnerable who suffer the most. In Paris, for example, there are 150,000 homes with no direct water access and 250,000 with no indoor toilet. The numbers may seem low when a city has a population of more than 2 million. But if you include all the residents of each home, the average number of people living within these homes (say, at least 4) without access to an indoor toilet easily rises to over 1 million. That's half the population of Paris.

"On 28 July 2010, through Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. The Resolution calls upon States and international organisations to provide financial resources, help capacity-building and technology transfer to help countries, in particular developing countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all."

Henri Smets, a lawyer and member of the Academy of Water, proposed a number of principles to support the right to water including: everyone has the right to water and sanitation supported by collective financing; everyone has the right to good quality and adequate quantity of water; everyone has the right to sanitation, especially toilets, which protects people from contact with the "hazards of wastes as well as the treatment and proper disposal of sewage or wastewater;" free water points must be available for the homeless and transients; and, in order to make water an affordable utility, increase (or institute) taxes on bottled water and establish a solidarity fund to the tune of 50 million euros per year. In order to fight inequalities, there must be collective action and effective participation of all parties. He concluded that cutting off water is violation of human rights. I agree. Water is a basic necessity of life; humans are, like the planet, primarily made up of water. You hold people hostage by using it as a bargaining chip.

Dave Coleman is Director of Cooler Projects and developer of The Carbon Literacy Project. The idea is very simple: all citizens need to be carbon literate. Why? While most carbon is stored in rocks, in this form it plays a minor role. However, "the rest of the carbon is stored as CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere (2%), as biomass in land plants and soils (5%), as fossil fuels in a variety of geologic reservoirs (8%) and as a collection of ions in the ocean (85%). These are the "active" reservoirs of carbon." Oceans and plants are increasingly unable to absorb all the carbon that the burning of fossil fuels releases into the air. Every bit we can do to reduce the amount of carbon that reaches the air the better it is for all of us.

Carbon Literacy is defined as: "An awareness of the Carbon Dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis." The project originated in Manchester, UK, and targets the community as a whole: all the people who live, work, and study there. Each module is factual, customized for each target group, and meets people where they are so that the training is meaningful and relevant. The project is based on peer-to-peer delivery and focuses on something more important than technical and scientific knowledge of carbon dioxide; namely a change in attitude and lifestyle, known in the climate change world as 'adaptation.' Participants learn skills to lower their own carbon footprint, engaging in action as an individual but also as part of a group (citizen, student, employee/employer). In the end, it generates genuine community resiliance by and for the community members themselves.


I spoke with Dave after the presentations and said this is a project that needs to come to Iowa City. It is a project that I think provides the Iowa United Nations Association a worthy follow-up to the Climate Forums help around the state this past year.


]]>
<![CDATA[December 08th, 2015]]>Tue, 08 Dec 2015 22:04:21 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/december-08th-2015
Greetings from Paris! I have had major connectivity issues. Now that I have the opportunity to write, I am taking full advantage of it!

The picture above is the entrance to the Green Zone where the public is welcome. The diplomats, credentialed journalists, and observers have access to the Blue Zone where the negotiations take place. Not only are there formal, plenary sessions in the Blue Zone, but guest speakers such as Richard Branson, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Leonardo di Caprio, and Al Gore have the opportunity to present to and talk with negotiators and 'lobbyists.' The Green Zone sees a lot of these people in the afternoons when, I suppose, they are getting a bite to eat and mingle with the public. Everyone needs a breather sometimes.

We arrived yesterday. 'We' are four University of Iowa students: two graduate journalism students, one graduate musicology student who also works for the Center for Human Rights, and me. We visited the venue yesterday to orient ourselves. 

Today I spent time walking around. The exhibit halls, of which there are 3, were expected to host 100+ stands. However, I suspect the November 13 attacks left their mark here as well. there are many empty spaces. I also noticed that most of the groups attending are French. Many represent localities advertising their work for climate change such as electric buses and the use of water, wind, and sun for energy.

I picked up some Fact Sheets from the Rights and Resources Initiative, "a global coalition of 13 partners and over 150 international, regional, and community organizations advancing forest tenure, policy, and market reforms. RRI leverages the strategic collaboration and investments of its partners and collaborators around the world by working together on research, advocacy, and convening strategic actors to catalyze change on the ground." Right. The fact sheets cover land ownership in Asia and Latin America. I learned that 74% of land in Asia is owned by government and private individuals; 23% by indigenous peoples and communities; and 3% is designated for indigenous peoples and communities. Owning land means owning resources and the access and availibility of resources.  Some time ago, I learned about a case in Peru where the government sold water rights to a San Francisco company (Bechtel) resulting in people having to pay a tax for the right to gather rainwater from their roofs. Restricting access like this affects economic development, human rights, and, in the end, the indignity of having one's very survival severely tested.

The ClimateNeutralNow sheet, a UNFCCC initiative, presents a 3-step program to "encourage people, companies and governments to meet the challenge of climate change and contribute to a climate-neutral future." Step 1 invites people to measure their climate footprint - although this requires you to go to their site, www.ClimateNeutralNow.org to understand how to do that. Step 2 encourages efforts to reduce emissions as much as possible. Finally, step 3 allows you to "offset some or all of the remaining unavoidable emissions with United Nations-certified climate credits." Fortunately, the next paragraph explains what offsetting is: "the process by which an individual or organization compensates for their greenhouse gas emissions by buying climate credits. Once all of our emissions have been offset, we can say we are climate neutral." To find out what purchasing climate credits means and how much they cost you must, again, go to the website. I did learn from the flyer that "when you purchase climate credits, you fund projects that reduce emissions in developing countries."

Perhaps you are like me and this kind of language, especially the assumptions it makes about my/our knowledge, is off-putting. I do know that companies can, and do, buy credits of some sort related to emissions so that a polluter looks environmentally friendly. How this works in the details I do not know. Like much of the information I picked up today, the language is for insiders; people more experienced than me. Yet the vast majority of people who are affected by climate change and who need to take action (or deserve the action taken by their governments) are not insiders. We are the most important stakeholders and it puzzles me that so little attention is paid to educating us properly. Which brings me to my last observation of the day: of the 50 or so stands that are here, only 2 use the term 'education.'
]]>
<![CDATA[Focus on youth; focus on the future]]>Fri, 04 Dec 2015 19:27:01 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/focus-on-youth-focus-on-the-futureFrom the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) twitter feed: A series of posters highlighting youth, education, and the future. Today was Education Day. Tomorrow is Action Day. For more information, see the links below. I wanted to share both the pictures and the quotes. The first illustrate the international nature of climate change and action on the part of youth, and the latter stress the importance of education and learning, and investing in both. As Irina Bukova, Director-General of UNESCO, said:
Lasting sustainability begins in the minds of men and women.
]]>
<![CDATA[What's it all about, Alfie?]]>Fri, 04 Dec 2015 02:29:08 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/whats-it-all-about-alfie
 Why ​2ᵒ​In the 1970s, an economist and professor of Yale, named William Nordhaus, was the first to theorize that warming of global temperatures more than 2°C, as compared to the pre-industrial era could cause the climate to dangerously move into limits that humans were completely unfamiliar with, essentially changing the world as we know it. However, this theory was not seen to be important at the time. Rising temperatures will destroy plant and animal habitats, and reduce yields of important food crops. More people will be exposed to the ravages of flooding and drought.
The graphic above gives a good idea of the impact of a global temperature increase. These impacts vary by country, by region, and by locality. One thing is certain: certain peoples are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change . For example, people living on islands, such as Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands, are experiencing erosion that have slowly been eating away at the island as a whole. The Pacific island of Kirbati has a worst-case evacuation plan due to climate change. Beijing, where cars produce so much pollution that the air turns a morbid brown, is essentially exposing citizens to a slow-acting poison. Areas affected by severe drought experience food and economic insecurity. According to the Global Drought Information System, in Spain, wine production has dropped to 40.6 hectoliters in the southern part of the country most impacted by the drought;  in Ethiopia, roughly 8.2 million people need food assistance due to the drought; and, water tanks and food are being sent to indigenous people along Guyana’s border with Brazil and Venezuela as the government expects the El Nino to extend the drought into next year. Hunger and undernourishment make people, especially children, more susceptible to disease.
There are natural causes of global warming. As I posted before, the earth is sweating because excess heat cannot escape and we can't open a window to release it. It just hangs around like a bad smell. Literally.
And then there are anthropogenic (man-made) causes of global warming. This is the part we have under our control. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels to power our lives will make a huge contribution to meeting the 2ᵒ goal. That does not just mean enacting laws that industry and agriculture must follow (although that does help). It also means we need to change our attitudes about energy and adapt our skills to living perhaps differently with alternative energy sources. Think of really good public transportation systems to go both short and long distances instead of taking a car.
]]>
<![CDATA[Kickoff]]>Tue, 01 Dec 2015 12:32:02 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/kickoff
Battle lines are being drawn. Today is the first full day of negotiations. According to the NY Times, India is proving to be a tough negotiator. President Obama has been courting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for some time now. India is the 3rd largest greenhouse gas emitter and as such has a large stake in the outcome of the negotiations. Remember, development is (today at least) still dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. Investment in clean energy takes time. It takes money as well; but the power and the will to divest from one energy source in favor of another requires the buy-in of a vast array of stakeholders. Think of the oil industry, manufacturing, food growers and producers, and all of us who have grown dependent on the lifestyle that requires this type of energy. Or so we think.

India, it appears, has staked out an uncompromising position. [The country] embodies a critical tension between developed nations like the United States, which are calling for universal emission cuts, and developing nations like India, which say they deserve to increase fossil fuel use as their economies grow or else receive billions of dollars to make the transition to cleaner energy. India is not alone in wanting a piece of the pie. There’s a group called the Vulnerable 20 (V20). They are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam. V20 is calling for a significant mobilization of public and private finance for climate action at the international, regional and domestic level. [The group] was created to share and scale up innovative approaches to climate finance developed by those countries most affected by climate change.

Funding alternative energy research received a healthy boost yesterday when Bill Gates announced The Breakthrough Energy Coalition for funding renewable energy. Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos are all members. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition will work with countries participating in Mission Innovation [the initiative aims to double public investments in energy research over the next five years] to facilitate "large funding commitments for basic and applied research." According to its site, the coalition will also focus its investments on "early stage companies that have the potential of an energy future that produces near zero carbon emissions and provides everyone with affordable, reliable energy."

While I applaud the investment in research, there needs to be equal investment in implementation and mobilization now. The excuse used most often is that subsidizing solar panels on homes, for example, is too expensive. We were more than willing to make the change when we lived in The Netherlands, but the subsidies were being cut. That sends a clear message that government – and the fossil fuel industry – stood to lose money on the deal and citizens would do well to leave well enough alone.

Australia provided another early blow to the success of the COP21 negotiations by rejecting a fossil fuel pledge. Prime Minister’s Malcolm Turnball’s reasons lay bare the complex interrelationships between the fossil fuel industry, government, taxes, the International Monetary Fund, and language. In the discussions over the statement Australia had expressed some concern about the use of an International Monetary Fund definition of subsidy, which the French had wanted included. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull later said the document contained a "rather gratuitous reference to an IMF report which goes much further than inefficient fuel subsidies". Mr Turnbull said the IMF report effectively argued that not having a carbon tax in place was a fossil fuel subsidy. The IMF argues that if the full economic costs that burning fossil fuels causes is not factored in the use of coal, oil and gas is effectively subsidised

Clearly, the next two weeks will be a tug of war between people making sure any agreement that is announced on December 11 includes provisions that meet the needs of both developed and developing nations but (and?) couched in language that is general (vague?) enough to leave it open to interpretation.
]]>
<![CDATA[Beginnings]]>Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:29:20 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/beginnings
There is no shortage of COP21 coverage in the papers today. The opening ceremony allows some 150 Heads of State to pledge their support for a successful outcome.

UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres: "Never before has a responsibility so great been in the hands of so few, the world is looking to you, the world is counting on you."

Prince Charles: "On an increasingly crowded planet, humanity faces many threats but none is greater than climate change."

French President François Hollande: "Never, I say never, have the stakes of an international meeting been so high, for this is about the future of the planet and the future of life."

President Obama: "Our task here in Paris is to turn these achievements into an enduring framework for human progress. Not a stop gap solution but a long-term strategy that gives the world confidence for a low carbon future.
Let's secure an agreement that builds in ambition. Targets that are not set for each of us but by each of us."
Obama's use of the words 'long-term strategy' and 'agreement' is significant. A few weeks ago, Secretary Kerry made clear that the United States would not sign a legally binding treaty. And yet Obama acknowledges he's "come here personally as the leader of the world's largest economy and second largest emitter [of greenhouse gases] to say the USA not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it."

Russian President Vladimir Putin does call for a legally binding agreement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "This is the first time that we have an opportunity to attain this goal of an agreement. We are more than aware that the small island nations feel this is not sufficient."

Bolivian President Evo Morales echoes calls for stopping actions that threaten our very existence and lays makes an "urgent appeal to the Governments of capitalist powers of the world for them to stop destroying our planet irreversibly" and says "mother earth is getting dangerously close to its end... the capitalist systems responsible for that."

This was just a selection of quotes expressing standpoints. One major divide is between developed and developing countries. The former are most at fault for creating the climate crisis and most in need 0f serious committed action. The latter are the victims of climate change and the most in need of mitigation. (Mitigation is a climate change technical term that means 'actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions at their source or actions that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.') Yet developing countries need energy in order to continue their growth. I suppose COP21 offers an opportunity to look at development in a more energy-clean way. Fossil fuels - think coal - is still the energy source of choice. Like many, I thought our reliance on coal went the way of the steam train - a lovely nostalgic Hogwarts Express. It's a complicated situation, a Gordian Knot if you will, where COP21 cannot just turn the planet's thermostat down 2ᵒ with a flick of a switch. The task at hand is to move beyond rhetoric and put the common good ahead of national interests.
]]>
<![CDATA[A 2030 wish list for the world´╗┐]]>Sun, 22 Nov 2015 01:04:00 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/a-2030-wish-list-for-the-worldPicture
A guest column, written by Caryl Lyons, an Board Secretary of the Iowa United Nations Association, appeared in today's Cedar Rapids Gazette. She has graciously allowed me to reprint it here. See below for a link to the original piece in The Gazette.

Nov 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm

In 2000, the United Nations established an ambitious set of global goals for working internationally to improve our collective life on Earth. Since 2000, the focus has been on the Millennium Development Goals.

Much progress has been made toward fulfilling those goals in the past 15 years. A couple of examples: Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half since 1990, with most progress occurring since 2000; the number of out-of-school children of primary-school age worldwide also has fallen by almost half since 2000.

On Sept. 25, the 193 member nations of the U.N. General Assembly passed a new round of global goals, the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are a 17-item wish list for the world, with the aim of fulfilling them by 2030. These goals are to end poverty in all its forms, end hunger and improve nutrition, ensure equitable and quality education, achieve gender equality, ensure affordable renewable energy, take action to combat climate change and its effects, and promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

With the United States and other developed nations leading the way, these goals are within the realm of the possible. These 17 goals are accompanied by 169 specific targets. For example, the goal of ending poverty has as its first two targets, “By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day,” and “By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.” A complete list of the 17 goals and targets can be found at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org

It is important to consider how many of the goals depend on a stable climate. For example, we can’t reduce homelessness if rising oceans and increasingly strong storms inundate coastal cities; we can’t feed the world if droughts and floods make it impossible to grow crops in the places where they have grown before, or if the fish people depend on live in dying oceans; we can’t ensure healthy lives and promote well-being if more people become refugees from changing environmental conditions; we can’t ensure peace if people are increasingly in competition for diminishing resources and shrinking arable land. These and many other climate-related conditions make it far more difficult to reduce inequality within and among countries or to make cities and human settlements safe and sustainable.

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development makes the following statement about the future of the planet: “We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that [the planet] can support the needs of the present and future generations.” Already, Iowa is experiencing some of the effects of climate change, such as increased precipitation, higher winter temperatures, increased humidity, increased soil erosion and water runoff, and habitat changes resulting in earlier leafing out of plants and animal habitats moving northward, effects that will affect the state’s economy and livability.

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, the U.N. will sponsor the Climate Change Conference in Paris with the aim of achieving an agreement on climate action from all nations of the world. Many individuals, including representatives from Iowa, nongovernmental agencies and almost all nations will take part. With the clock ticking faster on the time remaining for reversing catastrophic climate change, the international community must use this opportunity to effectively address climate change and mitigate the disastrous effects it is having on the world.
]]>
<![CDATA[Paris 13/11/15: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself]]>Sun, 15 Nov 2015 22:31:04 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/paris-131115-the-only-this-we-have-to-fear-is-fear-itselfPicture
John F. left me a voicemail late on Friday. He's an Iowa United Nations Association Board Member also going to COP21. I was in New Orleans for the annual National Council for the Social Studies Conference. He referred to events in Paris that may have consequences for our trip. I had no idea what he was talking about but stopped dead in my tracks in the middle of the street to try and make sense of what he was saying. The news had not made it into the conference center, but it quickly became clear that terrorists had attacked. The next morning, Greg and I modified our presentation on the global citizen and human rights to include a discussion of the events. We engaged with participants in a lively and meaningful debate about human rights and global perspectives as teaching strategies.

Kat sent me an email saying she and Heather feared for my safety and that I should not go. John and I also talked about how the attacks would affect our trip. Several scenarios are possible: the University expresses concern about liability issues; CGRER expresses concern about our safety; each of us individually concludes the risks outweigh any benefits; COP21 is downsized; other attacks occur between now and the start of the conference. What we (each) ultimately decide will become apparent in the next week or so.

That John and I (and most likely many others) turned our thoughts to COP21 pretty quickly after hearing about the events seems, to some, callous. P.J. Gladnick, writing on the mrc NewsBusters website, lambasts Brian Williams for asking the same question of Sam Champion of the Weather Channel who is in Paris. Gladnick ends his short piece with: Gee, Brian. Perhaps people in both Paris as well as most of the rest of the world are a bit more worried about terrorism than climate summit messaging. However, Politico.eu posted a day after the attacks that the climate summit is still on: “The feeling is we should go on with business as usual, because you can’t give in to these terrorists,” a European diplomat said Saturday, adding that his prime minister will attend. “My feeling is heads of state will still go, unless they absolutely cannot.” 

During our presentation, Greg noted that terrorists target everyday places in order to foment fear. A football stadium and a restaurant and a concert hall are neither political nor financial nerve centers. They are social and cultural polestars. People are enjoying themselves and have dropped their guard. Attacking such places arouses fear. People become wary. The attacker wins as we bunker down. But I think of the resilient people who still go out and live their lives despite the constant threat of (car) bombings in World War 2 up until today in Paris, in Beirut, Lebanon, and at Garissa University in Kenya. On my FB page, Eric, a friend who lives in Paris, noted, the bakery was open on Saturday morning, business as usual. Other posts talked about love conquering hate and not letting fear dictate immediate reactions and subsequent actions.

Eric Hoffer (an American moral and social philosopher) said: You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses. Dale Carnegie (an American moral and social philosopher) said: Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. And FDR said: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

The reactions to the Paris and Beirut and Garissa attacks need to go through the phases of fear, hate, disgust, and an overwhelming desire to take revenge. The actions that follow should not ignore the need for an appropriate response, though this may be of a political, financial, and/or military form. For ordinary people like me (and all those during the London Blitz and Nazi occupation), we go about our business and address climate change and meet deadlines at work. Most importantly, we walk resolutely to that restaurant around the corner for a meal, the grocery store for milk, the metro for a quick ride to the theater, and the park to pic nick with friends, weather permitting.

]]>
<![CDATA[Debut]]>Tue, 10 Nov 2015 03:55:21 GMThttp://cop21memo.weebly.com/blog/debutPicture
On December 6, I fly to Paris with Nick, KC, and Kelsey (all of us University of Iowa graduate students) to attend COP21. That's shorthand for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of  Parties. I am attending as a civilian. I have no credentials to enter the Blue Zone where the actual negotiations take place. Nick and KC will have press credentials. Up close and personal with movers and shakers.

I have access to the Civil Society Space where, according to the official COP21 website, "a hall for screenings and debates, a designated area for cultural, scientific and educational exhibitions, and fun-based interactive activities will provide opportunities to show how civil society is dealing with climate issues and how it views tomorrow’s world." Other events will be held in other parts of Paris.

​The University of Iowa Center for Global & Environmental Research has sponsored Nick, KC, and I. I am the eyes and ears of the Iowa United Nations Association, the University of Iowa College of Education & the Center for Human Rights. As a human rights educator, I am particularly interested in climate and human rights. This I do for the national network of human rights educators, HRE USA.

"The goal for Paris in December is pretty clear-cut: to achieve a legally binding agreement, with universal participation among all nations, to keep global warming below what most scientists say is the critical threshold of 2 degrees Celsius of warming. (This refers to the increase in globally averaged temperature since the Industrial Revolution.)" This statement (from cnn.com) appears, in various formulations, in most media outlets. The earth is heating up and the various natural filters in the water and air, and on the land cannot process the excess at a rate that balances the input. Mary Wood, Philip H. Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon School of Law and author of Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, describes global warming like this: if you sit in your car with the windows rolled up in the middle of summer it will get pretty hot in there and the first thing you do is open the window to release the heat. The earth's natural window can no longer be rolled down enough. The heat cannot escape either efficiently nor effectively. The jury has returned its verdict: anthropogenic (human generated) warming is a fact. The ramifications can be seen in the inability to grow certain crops, changes is water run-off from the mountains that feed groundwater, the threat to various animal and insect species, and, the most obvious, melting glaciers. It's a tall order for COP21: get nations to agree to a legally binding agreement, then enact national legislation to implement the agreement and convince business to rethink their motives, and inspire citizens to adapt their lifestyle.

​Alors, on y va!

]]>