Turn down the heat : why a 4°C warmer world must be avoided (English) | The World Bank

This report provides a snapshot of recent scientific literature and new analyses of likely impacts and risks that would be associated with a 4° Celsius warming within this century. It is a rigorous attempt to outline a range of risks, focusing on developing countries and especially the poor. A 4°C world would be one of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods in many regions, with serious impacts on ecosystems and associated services. But with action, a 4°C world can be avoided and we can likely hold warming below 2°C. This report is not a comprehensive scientific assessment, as will be forthcoming from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013-14 in its fifth assessment report. It is focused on developing countries, while recognizing that developed countries are also vulnerable and at serious risk of major damages from climate change. A series of recent extreme events worldwide continue to highlight the vulnerability of not only the developing world but even wealthy industrialized countries. No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change. However, the distribution of impacts is likely to be inherently unequal and tilted against many of the world’s poorest regions, which have the least economic, institutional, scientific, and technical capacity to cope and adapt.  S

via Turn down the heat : why a 4°C warmer world must be avoided (English) | The World Bank.

Earth System Governance – Navigating Water in the Anthropocene – IHDP

Earth System Governance – Navigating Water in the Anthropocene – IHDP.

The Earth System Governance Project will convene a special session “Earth system governance – navigating water in the anthropocene” at the Water in the Anthropocene: Challenges for Science and Governance Conference. The session will be held Thursday 23 may 2013, 13:30-15:00.

The focus of the conference is to address the global dimensions of water system changes due to anthropogenic as well as natural influences.

The conference will provide the platform to present global and regional perspectives of world wide experiences on the responses of water management to global change in order to address issues such as variability in supply, increasing demands for water, environmental flows, and land use change. It will help to build links between science and policy and practice in the area of water resources management and governance, related institutional and technological innovations and identify in which ways research can assist policy and practice in the field of sustainable freshwater management.

The Cleanest Line: The Final Countdown – Kiwis Organizing Against Seabed Mining in New Zealand

The Final Countdown

There’s a sharp crack as another four-foot wave hits the shallow boulder/sand reef and rifles off down the line, little explosions of whitewater glistening in the morning sun every few meters as some lucky local tears the smooth wall to pieces. Standing over the action, its deep valleys and high ridges cloaked in a thick dark green forest, lies Mount Karioi.

This is the area known as Raglan, on the North Island of New Zealand’s west coast. The skies are clear and blue, the air so fresh it lifts me up with each breath. The sun, the waves, the bush-clad mountain behind me, the scent of the forest gently drifting down on the offshore breeze, at this moment I feel like there is nowhere else in the world I’d rather be.

Looking out to sea, waiting for the next set, a deep sense of calm settles over the lineup. As we watch the horizon, we notice some dark figures heading around the point in a lazy manner, appearing and disappearing, in rhythm with the long ocean swells marching towards the coast in perfect unison.

These are the popoto, or Maui’s dolphin, that call this area home. Known for their inquisitive nature and playful disposition, they bring a smile to all who see them glide by. I feel a touch of jealousy as I imagine what it would be like to ride a swell with even half the grace or fluid motion that these beautiful creatures of the sea possess.

via The Cleanest Line: The Final Countdown – Kiwis Organizing Against Seabed Mining in New Zealand.

Noam Chomsky: Drones Are Murder Without Trial + We Live In A Plutocracy | Dandelion Salad

My interview with Noam Chomsky. We talk about ethical compromises, and government actions without vision or wisdom which is creating terrible consequences and feedback loops. We also talk about the Drone killings, the US terrorist manufacturing campaigns, the dangerous indoctrination and conditioning of soldiers and the public, Navy Seals killing Bin Laden who was only a suspect and the Polio vaccine horror in Pakistan, Sadistic Guantanamo torture, fear, and the great danger of our government and collective psychosis…and more.

via Noam Chomsky: Drones Are Murder Without Trial + We Live In A Plutocracy | Dandelion Salad.

“How Our Universities Can Compete” (University Affairs) in which the Provost Says Several Necessary Things | Arts Squared

“I think it is an important and worrisome reality today that Canada is backing away to a certain extent from investing in higher education at the very moment other powerful systems are investing heavily.”

via “How Our Universities Can Compete” (University Affairs) in which the Provost Says Several Necessary Things | Arts Squared.

Oped: Schooling minister Lukaszuk

To Thomas Lukaszuk:

Hello minister Lukaszuk. We’ve never met. I’m president of the Alberta College of Art and Design faculty association. I hope you don’t mind, but I thought I might help out with this whole post-secondary budget problem.

You seem a little confused, what with the constantly changing information coming out of your office, and let me tell you I am too. So let’s figure this thing out together.

You might not be aware that your request for an across-the-board salary freeze, including faculty salaries, in a letter of April 18 to the college’s board of governors, undermines the principle of collective bargaining as supported by provincial legislation.

My faculty association’s job is to negotiate a settlement with the board of governors you appointed, not to listen to your requests and just agree. Then again, you didn’t make the request to me.

In fact, to my knowledge, while you seem content to make decisions about my livelihood, you’ve never met with faculty representatives in this province.

Your reported suggestion that “teaching loads could also be on the table” — which I assume is code for indirect layoffs — is also puzzling, since I don’t recall you being invited to the bargaining table to begin with. You might be surprised to learn how much teaching loads vary among schools and programs.

via Oped: Schooling minister Lukaszuk.

The Happiness Initiative: The Serious Business of Well-Being | Solutions

The Happiness Initiative: The Serious Business of Well-Being | Solutions.

Another good article from Solutions, an online journal well worth adding to your reading list.

Bhutan figures prominently here, of course, as it did in a recent series of high-level meetings attended by Edmonton economist and advisor to governments, Mark Anielski, author of ‘The Economics of Happiness.Discovering Genuine Wealth’. More to come.

Indigenous people a step closer to the constitution

THERE will be echoes of 1967 in Parliament House on Wednesday when both sides of politics pass legislation that will give momentum to the push to recognise the first Australians in the nation’s founding document.

Shirley Peisley was 26 when she pinned badges on the lapels of politicians in support of modest but hugely symbolic constitutional change. On Wednesday she will watch as a new indigenous generation does the same in support of something more ambitious.

Back then, Ms Peisley was a woman in awe, inspired by the leadership and example of Lowitja O’Donoghue, who organised her trip from Adelaide to a planning meeting for the 1967 referendum campaign. Like most of the activists, they stayed at Brassey Hotel, then called Brassey Hostel. ”Anyone who had a room – and some of us did – would have swags all over the floor,” Professor O’Donoghue recalls. ”The dining room was full of people who weren’t guests. It was amazing how they put up with us.”

Lowitja O’Donoghue and Shirley Peisley on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

When they weren’t talking about the struggle or singing We Shall Overcome and other anthems of the American civil rights movement, Professor O’Donoghue recalls some of the activists throwing boomerangs on the vacant land opposite.

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This week, the two women are back in the same digs, and hoping that the unity, energy and optimism that abounded almost half a century ago will be replicated – and help transform the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The 1967 referendum resulted in indigenous Australians being counted in the census and gave the national government the power to make laws for their benefit, but only conferred what Noel Pearson described as a ”neutral kind of citizenship”.

via Indigenous people a step closer to the constitution.