Showing Tag: "global" (Show all posts)

Waterloo launches Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Canada

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, In : Sustainable Development 

Waterloo named home for Sustainable Development Solutions Network Canada, in partnership with WGSI.

By Sam Toman & Natalie Quinlan

​A new organization at the University of Waterloo will focus on bringing together Canadian post-secondary institutions, civil society members and others to mobilize around the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Officially launched Monday, May 7, Sustainable Development Solutions Network Canada joins 24 other SDS...

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Don’t blame God or nature. We’re the culprits (By David Suzuki)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, December 8, 2017, In : Climate change 
Don’t blame God or nature. We’re the culprits. 

By David Suzuki

Traditionally, we’ve labelled events over which we have no influence or control “acts of God” or “natural disasters.” But what’s “natural” about climate-induced disasters today?

Scientists call the interval since the Industrial Revolution the “Anthropocene,” a period when our species has become the major factor altering the biological, physical and chemical properties of the planet on a geological scale. Emp...

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The Paris climate deal won’t save us – our future depends on de-growth

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, In : Global 

By Jason Hickel. From The Guardian. Published on July 3rd, 2017. 

When Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate deal, the world reacted with outrage. And rightly so: the agreement represents a remarkable achievement in international diplomacy – a breakthrough after 20 years of failed climate negotiations. But as we rally to defend the Paris deal against the onslaught of an ill-informed bully, we need to resist the temptation to cast the agreement as some kind of saviour...

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Scientists made a detailed “roadmap” for meeting the Paris climate goals. It’s eye-opening

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, April 7, 2017, In : Climate change 

Article by Brad Plumer 
  Mar 24, 2017  

Back in 2015, the world’s governments met in Paris and agreed to keep global warming below 2°C, to avoid the worst risks of a hotter planet. See here for background on why, but that’s the goal. For context, the planet’s warmed ~1°C since the 19th century.

One problem with framing the goal this way, though, is that it’s maddeningly abstract. What does staying below 2°C entail? Papers on this topic usually drone on about a “carbon budget” ...

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How fragile are our cities? [new research]

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, February 19, 2016, In : Cities and urban issues 

The world is urbanizing at a breakneck pace. But not all regions are moving at the same speed. Most population growth today and tomorrow will occur in the sprawling cities and slums of Africa and Asia. Just three countries — China, India and Nigeria — will account for 40% of global growth over the next decade. Meanwhile, many cities in North America and Western Europe are actually shrinking.

The pace of this urban revolution is mesmerizing. Just 3% of the world’s population lived in citi...

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Fate of Earth’s Ice Comes Further Into Focus

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, January 4, 2015, In : Climate change 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2015 is here and more effort is needed for our planet to survive (with us on it!).

Reproduced from The Climate Central. By Andrea Thompson.

The frigid, ice-covered expanses that make up Earth’s poles are some of the fastest warming parts of the planet as human activity drives up greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, altering the global climate.

What happens to all that ice isn’t just a concern for these remote, frozen wilds: The ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarc...
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Food Wastage Footprint 2 - a video from the UN FAO

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, October 19, 2014, In : Sustainable Development 

Published on Sep 9, 2014

Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations

The full economic, environmental and social costs of food loss and waste.

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What's going on with Antarctic sea ice? Q&As by Science Magazine

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Saturday, October 11, 2014, In : Climate change 
What's going on with Antarctic sea ice?
A Q&As article reproduced from Science Magazine.

By Carolyn Gramling, staff writer for Science and editor of the In Brief section.

NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio/Cindy Starr. Antarctic sea ice extent reached a record high this year on 22 September, topping 20 million square kilometers for the first time since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. (Average maximum extent from 1979 to 2014 is in red.)

Q: What’s happening wit...

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3 key takeaways from the UN Climate Summit (National Geographic)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Saturday, September 27, 2014, In : Climate change 
I found that this article summarizes the key points of the climate discussion in a succinct and comprehensible way.
Reproduced from the National Geographic.

3 Key Takeaways From This Week's UN Climate Summit

A new global strategy on climate change? Not yet, but there was news.

By Elizabeth Shogren

Published September 24, 2014

NEW YORK—This week's United Nations Climate Summit didn't forge a new global strategy to stave off the most alarming effects of climate change, such as dramatic ...

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SD? SCD? SDGs? Post-2015? Focus on communities? YES!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, September 21, 2014, In : Sustainable Development 
I'm back with some excellent resources and initiatives directly related to the ongoing discussions for the UN post-2015 development agenda and particularly the goals that promote sustainable community development.


Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Communitas Coalition for Sustainable Cities and Regions
PANDO | Sustainable Communities (collaboration network for researchers and practitioners)
ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

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Geotagged safari photos could lead poachers right to endangered rhinos

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, June 9, 2014, In : Environment 

(article written by Adam Pasick and reproduced from Quartz)

The battle against poachers is becoming a technological arms race. For every elephant’s GPS tracking collar and drone for protective surveillance, there is also a poaching ring that’s trying to scrutinize a tourist’s safari photo to find the exact coordinates of an endangered species.

The photo below, which made the rounds on Twitter in May, was posted on May 4 by Eleni de Wet, the owner of a Johannesburg, South Africa bra...

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World forest cover is still on decline...

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, April 28, 2014, In : Forests & Land Management 
From The Earth Policy Institute, by Emily E. Adams

Forests provide many important goods, such as timber and paper. They also supply essential services—for example, they filter water, control water runoff, protect soil, regulate climate, cycle and store nutrients, and provide habitat for countless animal species and space for recreation.

Forests cover 31 percent of the world’s land surface, just over 4 billion hectares. (One hectare = 2.47 acres.) This is down from the pre-industrial area of...

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WHO: 7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Thursday, March 27, 2014, In : Global 
25 MARCH 2014 | GENEVA
In new estimates released today, the World Health Organization reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died - one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

New estimates

In particular, the new data reveal a stronger link between both indoor ...

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Water consumption and other real time statistics

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, March 7, 2014, In : Various interesting stuff 
Up to this very moment, the entire world has consumed 892,799 billions of liters of water this year!

This is amazing. And alarming from the planet's point of view. 

In the website worldometers, you can find real time world statistics. Anything, from world population and forest loss to cell phones sold and deaths caused by smoking. All statistics refer to a worldwide dimension, a single time unit (today, this year, etc.), they have valid sources (international institutions mainly) and are update...
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Volcanic eruptions may cause global warming slowdown (new study)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, In : Climate change 

=> article reproduced from Reuters and The Guardian (24 Feb. 2014).

Small volcanic eruptions help explain a hiatus in global warming this century by dimming sunlight and offsetting a rise in emissions of heat-trapping gases to record highs, a study showed on Sunday.

Eruptions of at least 17 volcanoes since 2000, including Nabro in Eritrea, Kasatochi in Alaska and Merapi in Indonesia, ejected sulphur whose sun-blocking effect had been largely ignored until now by climate scientists, it said.

The ...

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Climate Change Knowledge Portal, by the World Bank

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, In : Climate change 
The World Bank
For Development Practitioners and Policy Makers

In an effort to serve as a 'one stop shop' for climate-related information, data, and tools, the World Bank created the Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP), supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and others. The Portal provides an online tool for access to comprehensive global, regional, and country data related to climate change a...

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Google Earth new layer: local temperature data and global warming

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, In : Climate change 

Google Earth: how much has global warming raised temperatures near you?

Reproduced from the Guardian.

If you've ever wondered how much global warming has raised local temperatures in your area or elsewhere on the globe, the 
University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (UEA CRU) has just released a new interactive Google Earth layer that will let you answer this question with ease. UEA CRU is one of the scientific organizations that compile temperature data from around the world. Their tem...

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Six decades of warming earth (a 14'' NASA video)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, February 2, 2014, In : Climate change 
This visualization shows how global temperatures have risen from 1950 through the end of 2013. Global warming is indeed happening. Time to face it and do our part to prevent it from continuing so.

NASA scientists say 2013 tied for the seventh warmest of any year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 133-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the hottest years on record.

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The Venus Project (something to think about...)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, January 13, 2014, In : Activities and Proposals 
The Venus Project is an organization that proposes a feasible plan of action for social change, one that works towards a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. It outlines an alternative to strive toward where human rights are no longer paper proclamations but a way of life.

You can find more information on the project's website and several videos on the project's Youtube channel!

So, what is the Venus Project?

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Happy 2014! Let us "Reimagine Investment for the Whole Human"!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, January 3, 2014, In : Global 

Tim Jackson talks about how the role of investment must be reconceived...

Visit­kson for more from Tim Jackson

"It's not an investment if its destroying the planet." ~ Vandana Shiva
Our ideas about financial investment have been fairly limited thus far. Investment has been all about maximizing financial return at any cost, even if that cost is environmental pollution, human dignity, or our moral compass. Our economy has focused narrowly on creating and s...
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4 News Outlets Ban Climate Change Deniers

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, December 24, 2013, In : Climate change 
4 News Outlets Ban Climate Change Deniers

By Kevin Mathews, on

If a climate change denier has no place to voice his opinion, does he still make a sound?

Earlier this year, Care2 writer Beth Buczynski debated the merits of publications eliminating the opinions of climate skeptics from their pages. On the one hand, it never seems right to stifle discussion, but on the other hand, is there a point where the facts are so overwhelming and the consequences so catastrophic that it’s tim...

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The Climate Change Performance Index - Results 2014 (Reports IV)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Thursday, December 19, 2013, In : Climate change 

A comparison of the 58 top CO2 emitting nations

The Climate Change Performance Index is an instrument supposed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. Its aim is to encourage political and social pressure on those countries which have, up to now, failed to take ambitious actions on climate protection as well as to highlight  countries with best-practice climate policies. On the basis of standardised criteria, the index evaluates and c...

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Turn Down the Heat - World Bank, June 2013 (Reports I)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Thursday, December 12, 2013, In : Climate change 
With the report "Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience", launched by the World Bank in June 2013, I'd like to initiate a series of blog posts presenting reports on environmental and sustainability issues, important for the whole world or a part of it.

In the report Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, launched in June 2013, scientists look at the likely impacts on three vulnerable regions if the world ...

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Overfishing, the EU, me, you, all of us... (short animated film)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, In : Environment 

The issue of overfishing – An animated film that will open your eyes
Despite an increased awareness of overfishing, the majority of people still know very little about the scale of the destruction being wrought on the oceans. This film presents an unquestionable case for why overfishing needs to end and shows that there is still an opportunity for change.
(Thank you,

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Pando | sustainable communities. A world-wide network for sustainable community development!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, In : Environment is an online community with a professional focus, where researchers, academics, and public and private-sector practitioners share knowledge, network, and collaborate on sustainability solutions that can be enacted at the community level - such as green building, reduction and recycling of local waste, water management, participatory democracy, land use, and much more. 

Pando is a collaboration between:

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Success stories from the EU's "The World you Like" Challenge!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, November 10, 2013, In : Environment 

Across Europe, there are many initiatives on the ground contributing to a world we like, with a climate we like. They are truly inspirational and having a real impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is time to reward them. 

The World You Like Challenge wants creative and innovative minds from across the EU to put their low-carbon initiatives to the test and inspire others to follow suit.

The Challenge was launched in February 2013 and the winners have just been announced! Here are tw...

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How Google Earth helped find Mozambique's lost forest of Mount Mabu

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Saturday, November 9, 2013, In : Forests & Land Management 

Deep within the heart of the African nation of Mozambique, there stands a mountain.
Unknown to scientists and mostly undisturbed by humans since, well, since perhaps the dawn of our species, this mysterious mountain, clothed in dense green virgin rainforest, rises up from a golden ocean of savannah.
In addition to the ecological isolation by the surrounding savannah, the mountain is isolated due to political events; the civil war that ravaged parts of Mozambique from 1977 to 1992 also helped ...

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An article on coastal communities and habitat loss

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, In : Climate change 

While this article alerts us on the dangers of coastal erosion due to habitat loss in the USA, just about the same predictions apply for the Mediterranean... Let us read carefully.

Here’s an easy way to protect coastal communities from rising seas and storms

By John Upton, from

Protecting nature is the best way of protecting ourselves from rising tides and storm surges, according to new research.

Sand dunes, wetlands, coral reefs, mangroves, oyster beds, and other shoreline...

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A projection on sea-level rise, in response to global warming (new study)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Saturday, July 20, 2013, In : Climate change 
This article presents a new study, which, as the authors say, is "one of the first efforts at merging different analyses into a single projection" on how much the sea level will rise in the next several thousand years, for every degree C the planet warms.
No, it's not very far in the future, taking into account that most of the world continues "business as usual"!
(study conducted by the Oregon State University)

Scientists outline long-term sea-level rise in response to warming of planet

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Restoring world’s forests proven to boost local economies and reduce poverty

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, December 14, 2012, In : Forests & Land Management 

Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, 8 September 2012 (IUCN). A 5-year programme to restore forest landscapes in 23 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America has demonstrated their crucial role in creating jobs and boosting incomes for local residents.

Implemented between 2007 to 2011 by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) with the support of the Netherlands government, the Livelihoods and Landscapes strategy was designed to strengthen the resilience of forest landscapes...

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