Category Archives: SIDS

U.S. Police Can’t Stop Killing

The Decolonial Atlas

Map: 1,500 people killed during interactions with police in the 9 months since the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Data from Fatal Encounters. Map by Jordan Engel

Since George Floyd’s murder last May, nearly 1,500 people have been killed during interactions with police according to Fatal Encounters. These deaths are on par with the number of people killed by U.S. police last year, and the year before, and the year before that. The fact that these deaths are routine and predictable is outrageous, even more so now at a time when the whole world is watching and the police still can’t stop killing people.

If ever there was a time for police to stop brutalizing civilians, this was it. Everything changed nine months ago, and yet nothing has changed, indicating that no amount of scrutiny or training or additional resources can fix the institution of policing…

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Accelerating Climate Solutions

In 1834, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of the USA: “I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.” Two centuries later USAnians still persist in erecting barriers to the ideas of other cultures.

Negative CO2 Emissions


While making breakfast in the home of my host, Stephen Peel, the principal civil engineer for Cloughjordan Ecovillage, I happened to peruse one of his journals, the August 2019 issue of New Civil Engineer. My eye was drawn to a news item, “Net Zero rules to hit infrastructure pipeline,” describing how road, rail, and energy projects in the UK will have to ensure compliance with new, stricter carbon emissions rules. Earlier this year, Great Britain’s last P.M., Theresa May, announced that, in light of disastrous floods and fires, heatwaves and deep freezes, the government has thrown out the timetable enacted in its Climate Change Act of 2008 and adopted the recommendations of its scientific committees for net-zero carbon by 2050.


Flooding affected roads in the Inverness area and led to the closure of the railway line at

London, New York, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Montreal, Newburyport, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Stockholm, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver and Washington DC had already made the 2050 pledge before 2019. More have made it since.


Tocqueville also wrote, “General ideas are no proof of the strength, but rather of the insufficiency of the human intellect.”

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Scottish Wind Power Is So Efficient, It Could Power Two Scotlands

 Scotland produced enough power from wind turbines in the first half of 2019, that it could power Scotland twice over. Put another way, it’s enough energy to power all of Scotland and most of Northern England, according to the BBC — an impressive step for the United Kingdom, which pledged to be carbon neutral in 30 years.

Scottish Wind Power


The Scottish wind turbines captured nearly 10 million megawatt-hours of electricity in the first six months of the year. That was enough energy to supply power to 4.47 million homes, which is far more than the 2.6 million homes Scotland has, as Science Alert reported.

“These are amazing figures, Scotland’s wind energy revolution is clearly continuing to power ahead,” said Robin Parker, the Climate & Energy Policy Manager at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Scotland office, in a statement. “Up and down the country, we are all benefiting from cleaner energy and so is the climate.”


March set a new bar for wind energy generation in March with nearly 2.2 million megawatt hours produced in the month, while May was the low-water mark with nearly half that.


“These figures show harnessing Scotland’s plentiful onshore wind potential can provide clean green electricity for millions of homes across not only Scotland, but England as well,” said Parker. “It’s about time the UK Government stepped up and gave Scottish onshore wind a route to market


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Vacancy – REDD+ Consultancy Team for Green Climate Fund Readiness Grant


The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC) has received a readiness grant from the Green Climate Fund to assist Jamaica with the capacity building and planning mechanism to guide the country in becoming REDD+ ready, including the development of a REDD+ strategy. A portion of the grant will be used to engage a Consultancy firm (to include a Team Leader, Technical Lead (REDD+ Expert), REDD+ Communication Specialist and Social Safeguard and Gender Specialist). The Consultancy Firm (“Consultants”) may outsource support specialists as required to support Jamaica in the development of its REDD+ Readiness Strategy.

Peruse the official document below:

Deadline for submission of EoI is Tuesday 23rd July 2019 at 3:00pm (UTC-5).

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Saving Earth

Saving Earth

27 June 2019
James Hansen


      I must finish Sophie’s Planet this year, so I am writing few Communications.  However, I make the draft of Chapters 31-34 available here, because my perspective of and conclusion about events in the 1980s differs from that of Nathaniel Rich in Losing Earth.  I kept careful notes during that era and subsequent years, so I am confident that what I write is accurate, but I would welcome corrections. 

Dr. James Hansen

      Earth was not “lost” ln the 1980s.  Earth is not lost today, but time for action is short.  
      Climate concerns in the late 1980s led quickly to the 1992 Framework Convention: all nations agreed to limit greenhouse gases to avoid ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ with climate.  The problem was that neither the 1997 Kyoto Protocol nor the 2015 Paris Agreement directly addressed global energy policies.  For the sake of young people, we must understand that failure and take appropriate actions.
      It is wonderful that more people are waking up to the fact that we have a climate emergency.  The emergency was clear more than a decade ago when it was realized that the long-term safe level of atmospheric CO2 was less than 350 ppm1.  Already, we were well into the dangerous zone. 

Good policy-making requires an understanding of the time scales of change. The public tends to focus on extreme weather and climate events, because of their great practical importance. However, the ‘existential threat’ of climate change derives from long-term underlying climate change that affects sea level and the habitability of parts of the world, as well as the magnitude of extreme events. In Sophie’s Planet I argue that the climate system’s inertia, i.e., its slow response to human-made changes of atmospheric composition, provides us the possibility to avert the existential threat of climate change. But to achieve that end we need to understand not only the climate system, but the time scales for change of the energy and political systems. Why do I include political systems? My training in physics is relevant to climate and energy systems, but politics? I have witnessed a lot, and I took careful notes. The period includes the Clinton and Obama Administrations, which supposedly tried to address climate change. We need to understand the mistakes. Political polarization makes solution of the climate problem more difficult. I doubt that political extremes represent most people. I make a case in Sophie’s Planet for a third party in the United States, aimed at making America America again. American leadership is needed to address climate change. More


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Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer of the 5Cs, represented AOSIS as lead negotiator in reaffirming commitment to bold and urgent global climate action based on the best available science in the BBC’s ‘Triple Whammy’ threatens UN Action on Climate Change



A “triple whammy” of events threatens to hamper efforts to tackle climate change say UN delegates.

At a meeting in Bonn, Saudi Arabia has continued to object to a key IPCC scientific report that urges drastic cuts in carbon emissions.

Added to that, the EU has so far failed to agree to a long term net zero emissions target.

Thirdly, a draft text from the G20 summit in Japan later this week waters down commitments to tackle warming.

One attendee in Bonn said that, taken together, the moves represented a fierce backlash from countries with strong fossil fuel interests.

There wascontroversy last December at the Katowice COP24 meeting in Poland, when Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia objected to moves to welcome the findings of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C.

That study,regarded as a landmark, had two clear messages.

It showed that there were…

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Climate Migration

By Mary Hospedales

Climate Migration

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Solomon Islands disappearing beneath rising sea at ‘unprecedented’ rate

Solomon Islands disappearing beneath rising sea at ‘unprecedented’ rate
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Water-based Fuel Cell Converts Carbon Emissions to Electricity

Water-based Fuel Cell Converts Carbon Emissions to Electricity 



By Georgina Torbet— Posted onJanuary 20, 2019 

Carbon emissions are one of the big concerns impacting climate change, with projects from the development of carbon dioxide-scrubbing plants to businesses pledging to offset their carbon emissions being suggested as ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Now scientists from South Korea have come up with a breakthrough concept which can turn carbon emissions into usable energy.


Scientists from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) developed a system which can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in an aqueous solution. The inspiration came from the fact that much of the carbon dioxide produced by humans is absorbed by the oceans, where it raises the level of acidity in the water. Researchers used this concept to “melt” carbon dioxide in water in order to induce an electrochemical reaction. When acidity rises, the number of protons increases, and these protons attract electrons at a high rate. This can be used to create a battery system where electricity is produced by removing carbon dioxide. Read More




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Should We Switch The Language of Climate Crisis Away From “Renewables?”

Switch from ‘Renewable’ to ‘Actual Measurable Impacts of each Technology’

Abandoning the term “renewable energy” may help the fight against climate change, say Atte Harjanne and Janne M. Korhonen in an article in the journal Energy Policy. While it might seem somewhat futile to try to dramatically transform discourse that is so deeply ingrained within a field, the authors say that we must acknowledge the collective global failure in mitigating climate change alongside the institutionalized concepts that seem to have played a role in that failure.

The researchers analyzed the history of the concept of renewable energy, and many examples of problematic issues regarding its use emerged. With an institutional theory framework that focuses on problems inherent with the vocabulary of climate change rather than the science itself, the authors discuss how specific energy generation methods commonly described as “renewable” can hide the complexities of alternative policy options. The authors’ argument centers on the great diversity of renewable energy sources, leading to the conclusion that lumping all renewable technologies together can limit the more valuable comparisons of the benefits and disadvantages of different energy generation methods in a variety of situations.

Harjanne, a doctoral researcher at Aalto University School of Business in Finland, acknowledges that climate change is “the most pressing issue of our time. Rather than focusing on renewables, we should be looking at the actual measurable impacts of each technology.” The report suggests that climate change language should be used that describes low carbon content in the energy generating process and the lowest possible levels of combustion as the 2 key favorable factors for any technology. Read More

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