As I went out today, I noticed our Japanese maple turning a brilliant shade of scarlet, and I know this means winter is fast approaching here on Paumanok. We had such a snowy winter last year, and usually summer fades those memories of shoveling, but not this time. I want a few more weeks of warm!
At least I know all our brothers and sisters in the Southern Hemisphere are going to be enjoying some beautiful summer weather soon. That certainly makes me feel better!
Today we look at international wheeling and dealing on the climate front and then we jump around from there, so get your reading glasses on and let’s begin.
China and US announce historic climate deal.
President Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday in Beijing and they talked about the weather. They actually discussed the fact that the US and China are currently the largest emitters of carbon into the global atmosphere, and they announced the two countries would partner closely to change that fact. Even though US-China relations are sensitive, the environment is one place where both countries are working to bridge the gap.
The agreement may have been spurred by the short amount of time left before the Global Climate Summit in Paris next year, and the fact that both countries seem to be lagging behind in sustainable energy deployment. China announced that its emissions would “peak” by 2030 and then decline, but the US feels this will happen well before that date.
The plan does not curtail the energy industry or give more power to the US Environmental Protection Agency. It will provide greater funds to sustainable energy research at the previously established US-China Clean Energy Research Center. It will decrease the use of hydroflourocarbons, which are a significant threat to the atmosphere. It will also try to boost trade of green products between the two countries, along with other partnering efforts.
Climate focus could create amazing opportunities for the global economy.
Christina Figueres is executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She indicates that $90Trillion dollars will be invested in global infrastructure over the next 15 years. With the Global Climate Summit in Paris only a year away, she wonders whether funding will go to reinforce the old energy economy or move valiantly forward into the new green economy.
Whether one believes in the dire predictions regarding climate change or not, most agree that creating a sustainable world, with no pollution, is a top goal in a world that works for everyone. Figueres details some of the upcoming changes that are possible, as well as the trend of big business to move forward in improving their sustainable brand images. As we all know, image is everything in business, and the more they seek to improve environmental records and sustainability, the better it is for the whole world.
Multiple deaths attributed to mass sterilization program in India.
Eleven women died this past week and 67 more were hospitalized in serious condition, after the women were surgically sterilized in a mobile sterilization unit in a remote region of India. The women were paid about $23US to undergo the procedure, which is part of a national initiative to curb population growth in the country.
Indian women do not have access to birth control and few men will undergo vasectomies, which are much safer than female sterilization. Women are often approached to participate in the sterilization program after they have just had a baby.
Activists for reproductive rights have been alarmed at the number of deaths that are directly connected to the sterilization program. The mobile units generally travel to an area without electricity or basic sanitation, and there is often a lack of emergency medicine or blood, which puts patients at extreme risk for infection and death.
The government has ordered an investigation into this devastating situation and are awaiting autopsy results on the deceased women. Please join me in sending love and light to the families affected.
Cyber Attacks hamper Catalonia’s Independence vote.
We previously shared the Catalonian call for independence from Spain and a referendum was voted on this past Tuesday. The vote went ahead, even though there was a Constitutional ban on the referendum issued by the Spanish government.
Catalonia’s regional emergency websites were hacked before and during the voting process by professional hackers. They flooded the system with 60,000 more requests for information than it receives on a typical day. The situation put emergency services at risk, but the voting went on as planned.
Thirty seven percent of voters turned out for the referendum, with sixty one percent in favor of secession from Spain. The central government reacted, saying that the vote should not have taken place and the parliament will never approve a secession agreement.
European Space Agency’s robot probe makes a bouncy landing on a comet.
The European Space Agency’s robot probe, named Philae, took an historic step in space exploration today when it touched down on a comet. The landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was confirmed at about 1605 GMT, which was met with cheers from the ground crew.
The harpoon anchors for the probe failed to deploy, and it bounced into the atmosphere briefly before gently touching down a second time. The agency will be investigating this technical error and completing a detailed evaluation of the craft. The probe immediately began sending photographs and other data back to the agency for evaluation.
Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, was elated by the initial touch down and said that researchers are now close enough to lick the comet and find out what it is made of.
This baby can’t stop dancing.
Musical birthday cards are so much fun. See how one makes this baby’s day, and brings a smile to our faces!
That’s the news for today. Have a terrific day. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!