4th February 2015 – Special Edition: Climate Change

256px-Sky_cracking4th February 2015 – Special Edition: Climate Change
1. We start this Special Edition in pictures, with two photo essays. The photographer James Whitlow Delano’s Instagram feed – Everydayclimatechange. In this feed, photographers from five continents share their photos of climate change. The Guardian features a selection in this article.
Secondly, photojournalist Veejay Villafranca has been documenting life in the Philippines since 2009 with an aim to bring special attention to issues of climate change. The photos are truly amazing.


2. There have been a number of stories over the past couple of weeks about the current state of the environment and climate change.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on an article in the journal Science which states that the earth has already crossed four planetary boundaries – the extinction rate, deforestation, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorus into the ocean.
The ABC has reported that one of the world’s biggest glaciers is melting from below, which may lead to a rise in sea levels. This research provides the first evidence that warmer water does reach the glacier and impacts on it from below.
And New Matilda reports on a CSIRO report released last week that looks at the impact of rising temperatures Australia. It provides an overview of the extensive (and disturbing) findings of this report.
And the last bit of really depressing content for this post – the Doomsday clock has been moved closer to midnight as a result of climate change and nuclear proliferation. It’s now at 3 minutes to midnight and signifies the darkest hour for humanity since 1984!


3. Let’s pause for a little bit of good news from Greenpeace. Last week they announced that there has been global agreement for the protection of marine life. This is a legally binding treaty and it could also result in mandatory environmental impact assessments prior to human activity in the oceans.


4. So here is a little quiz about what you might think the leading cause of death is in low and middle income countries – a) malnutrition; b) TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS; or c) pollution. Pollution is the answer killing 8.4 million people in the developing world in 2012.


5. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has a series of meetings scheduled for 2015 culminating in the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol Paris in December.
Ban Ki-moon has written an article in The Guardian about importance of climate change for our global future and stresses its importance given that “we are the last generation that can fight climate change.”


6. National Geographic has a ‘Greendex’ that measures ‘consumer progress toward environmentally sustainable consumption’. The 2015 Greendex Report rates Australia 13th out of 18 countries reviewed. The top scorers were India and China followed by South Korea, Brazil and Argentina. Consumers in America are ranked the least sustainable of all countries surveyed – and this has been the case since the survey commenced in 2008. You can read the summary report or full report here.


7. Helen Clark, Administrator of the UNDP has written an article on saving the world’s forests for her presentation at the World Economic Forum last week.


8. This is a beautiful story by Lucy Purdy from New Internationalist Magazine, about our relationship with the earth and how we might reinvigorate it. She talks about the power and beauty of language to help craft a new story about our relationship to the earth.


9. OK so what does that mean for you and me and what we can do in our individual lives but also in our communities. Firstly, congratulations to New York City who has banned plastic foam containers from 1 July 2015.
Secondly, 350.org is an Australian climate change organisation operating globally.  They are running a series of campaigns that you might want to check out and become involved in.
Thirdly, Greenpeace Australia has begun a Green Living Blog that has great ideas for a more informed and sustainable lifestyle.
And finally, the UN has a Take Action page on their climate change web site, with some excellent ideas about things that we can do at home and at work, with some links to other interesting sites.


10. It might be a bit quirky – no, actually it really is very quirky. Jae Rhim Lee is an artist concerned with the environment. She is advocating for a new approach to our burial practices given that our bodies are storehouses for environmental toxins which are then either released into the atmosphere or buried in our earth. Her Infinity Burial Project  uses mushrooms to decompose bodies and cleanse toxins from our dead bodies. It’s a very interesting and at times amusing (given how ‘out there’ it is) TED talk.
And just sneaking in – Segun Oyeyiola form Nigeria, has turned his VW Beetle into a solar car – and no one is quite sure how he did it!


We hope you have found our Special Edition on Climate Change interesting and informative. Here’s to a more sustainable and respectful relationship with the earth.


See you next week for another edition of WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place!