Search Results for Tag: climate
Windy City Preparing for Reality of Climate Change
The New York Times recently featured an interesting article about what one major city is doing to prepare for the inevitable: global warming. The U.S. city of Chicago, known as the “Windy City,” is used to cold winters and pretty warm summers, but those summers could get a lot hotter, and soon.
A team of climate scientists put together a report for city planners about the future of Chicago as the city continues to get warmer. And the city was in for a shock: by the end of the century, Chicago could experience temperatures of 32 degrees (celsius) or more for up to 72 days. The city only got that hot for about 15 days a year during the last century. That added heat could have some serious consequences, like damaged roads and property as well as more heat-related deaths every year.
So city planners are being proactive. They’re using thermal radar to find Chicago’s hottest zones and adding green vegetation there instead of pavement to create a cooler surface. Concrete streets are getting a facelift, too, with a fresh coat of pavement that lets rainwater seep through into the ground below. And the state’s famous white oak trees are being replaced with special trees that keep cool in hot climates–like sweet gum trees.
Chicago wants cope with its warming temperatures now rather than later in the hope that the transition won’t be so tough later on. So what do you think: is this a good model for cities to prepare for the future?
DateMay 31, 2011
Decreasing Chance of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2ºC
Bad news for climate-savers: According to the latest estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions were the highest ever meted in history. After a dip in 2009, that was caused by the global financial crisis, the emissions have climbed to a record of 30.6 Gigatonnes (Gt) in 2010. Thats a jump of 5% from the previous record year in 2008, when levels reached 29.3 Gt, the IEA claims. In addition, the IEA has estimated that 80% of projected emissions from the power sector in 2020 are already locked in, as they will come from power plants that are currently in place or under construction today.
During the latest UN climate change talks in Cancun in 2010 global leaders actually agreed to a target of limiting temperature increase to 2°Ct. To achieve this goal, the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must be strictly limited.
DateMay 30, 2011
Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne, Climate Champion from Sri Lanka
Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne has been an eco-activist for 14 years. She was nominated as a Climate Champion and Global Changemaker by the British Council. Anoka is also an AshokaYouth Venturer for Social Entrepreneurship. For the GLOBAL IDEAS Blog she will be writing about her work as a Climate Champion and her experiences with climate change.
People my age like to have fun. That is why the initiative we set up, is a “fun + action” initiative. Within the Sri Lanka Youth Climate Action Network (SLYCAN), we organize debates at university level, beach parties, replantation or clean-up campaigns, interactive workshops, discussion platforms, art exhibitions and and street theatre plays. All of these activities are popular with children and young people. They are the catalysts of change in the society, in becoming eco-responsible adults.
As a volunteer for the NGO EMACE Sri Lanka, I work with the communities of Bolgoda Lake in Sri Lanka on a grass roots level. This way we are creating a win-win situation. On the one hand we save the mangroves in the region. On the other hand we help the villagers by promoting eco-tourism or solar fishing lamps. We help to develop sustainable fishing techniques and we are looking for customers for the handmade and eco-friendly products of the people. A programme to train eco-tourism guides, handicraft methods and sustainable fishing is ongoing. All of these projects will be expanded at national level, collaborating with branches of EMACE and SLYCAN islandwide.
My work enabled me to be the SAARC Youth Award Recipient 2010, for Outstanding Contribution to the Protection of the Environment and Mitigation of Climate Change.
These may be small steps but the impact is growing and creating a wave of eco-positive change among youth in Sri Lanka.
DateMay 27, 2011
Tagsanoka abeyrathne, BC, british council, change, climate, climate champions, fishing, India, mangroves, sri lanka
welectricity.org, an idea to be appreciated
Welectricity, the innovative social network, that we have mentioned before in GLOBAL IDEAS, has won an award at the prestigious Knowledge@Wharton/Wipro Technologies Innovation Tournament. The competition was held at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania on April 27th 2011. Welectricity has excelled and beat 44 other teams, that also made it to the semifinals. Welectricity’s web-based service was judged to be the “Best New Sustainability Innovation” (full press-release here). Well, congrats for the award! The idea behind Welectricity is absolutly worth it in our opinion. It allows users to track, compare and reduce their electricity consumption at home. Users from 86 countries worldwide are participating already.
We would like to give you the opportunity to watch the report that GLOBAL IDEAS made with the help of Welectricity again. In this post you will also find an interview we did during the filming in Kingstown, St. Vincent.
DateMay 27, 2011
Ban on plastic bags?
“Fifty years ago, the single-use plastic bag was almost unheard of. Now we use them for a few minutes and they pollute our environment for decades,” says Janez Potocnik, Environment Commissioner of the the European Union. Each European uses 500 of these bags each year, most of them are used just once. In 2008 alone a total of 3.4 million tonnes of plastic bags were produced in Europe, that makes the same weight as two million cars.
Starting this week (18. May) the European Commission is seeking a solution. The approach is planed to be made with the help of European people and the bags manufacturers. The Commission calls everyone to a online-poll. Finally a tax or a ban on plastic bags is considered. The Commission called for suggestions on how to deal with the billions of bags used in the European Union each year. The public consultation will close at the end of August.
DateMay 20, 2011