Environment and Ecology

environment - ecology - nature - habitat - gaia - permaculture - systems - sustainability ...

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There Is No Energy Crisis, There is a Crisis of Ignorance

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There Is No Energy Crisis, There is a Crisis of Ignorance

 

FRITJOF CAPRA

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Fritjof Capra Fritjof Capra (born February 1, 1939) is an Austrian-born American physicist. He is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California, and is on the faculty of Schumacher College.

Born in Vienna, Austria, Capra attended the University of Vienna, where he earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1966. He conducted research in particle physics and systems theory at the University of Paris (1966–1968), the University of California, Santa Cruz (1968–1970), the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (1970), Imperial College, London (1971–1974), and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (1975–1988). He also taught at U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Berkeley, and San Francisco State University.

He has written popular books on the implications of science, notably The Tao of Physics, subtitled An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism. The Tao of Physics makes an assertion that physics and metaphysics are both inexorably leading to the same knowledge. He is fluent in German, English, French, and Italian.

After touring Germany in the early 1980s, Capra co-wrote a book on Green Politics with ecofeminist author Charlene Spretnak called Green Politics, in 1984.

Capra contributed to the screenplay for the 1990 movie Mindwalk, starring Liv Ullman, Sam Waterston, and John Heard, which was loosely based on his book, The Turning Point.

 

In 1991 Capra coauthored Belonging to the Universe with David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk. Using Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as a stepping stone, their book explores the parallels between new paradigm thinking in science and religion that together offer what the authors consider remarkably compatible view of the universe.

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Beijer Institute

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About the Beijer Institute

The Beijer Institute of Ecological EconomicsThe Beijer Institute is an international research institute under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Institute was established in 1977 and was reorganized in 1991 with a focus on ecological economics. Core funding is provided by the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation.

The Beijer Institute's major objective is to carry out research and stimulate cooperation between scientists, university departments, research centers and institutes to promote a deeper understanding of the interplay between ecological systems and social and economic development.

Cooperation efforts include collaborative research between economists and ecologists and related disciplines on fundamental and applied problems in relation to sustainability, as well as teaching and training on those issues nationally and internationally.

The Beijer Institute's major activities are international research programmes, synthesis workshops, a broad set of research projects, teaching and training programs, dissemination of results, the science-policy interface and collaborative communication.

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WORLDWIDE HELPERS

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MISSION STATEMENT

WORLDWIDE HELPERSWorldwide Helpers is a non profit search engine created to foster partnerships between volunteers and charitable organisations worldwide. It commits itself to removing the financial barriers of volunteering by providing only low/no cost projects. It raises awareness of organisations and communities worldwide and provides them with the manpower they need to survive. By helping people help the world WWH will develop into a community of volunteers and organisations working together to change lives and transform landscapes.

OBJECTIVES 

  • To develop into an interactive online community for volunteers and organisations by 2010
  • To initiate and maintain a WWH Grant scheme for specialist volunteers in line with the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set out by the United Nations. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mdg/Host.aspx?Content=Indicators/OfficialList.htm.
  • To increase registered volunteers by 100 percent year on year.
  • To become the No.1 online volunteering resource by 2015.
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Climate Injustice

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Stop Australian & US GHG pollution

Climate InjusticeWorld Environment Day, 5 June, has been marked around the World by millions of decent folk participating in events demanding action on the worsening climate emergency. Unaddressed, man-made climate change is predicted to kill about 10 billion mostly non-European people or about 100 million people per year this century in what is described as a Climate Genocide. Already about 18 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation in the Developing World (minus China) and this is increasingly being impacted by global warming.

Both Dr James Lovelock FRS (Gaia hypothesis) and Professor Kevin Anderson (Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, UK) have recently estimated that fewer than 1 billion people will survive this century due to unaddressed, man-made global warming – noting that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis (for details Google “Climate Genocide” ).

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Eco-Socialism & Green Socialism

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Science & Equality demand Climate Socialism for Climate Crisis

Green socialismScience and equality in the face of a worsening Climate Emergency dictate Eco-Socialism, Climate Socialism and Green Socialism to save Humanity and the Biosphere. Unaddressed man-made climate change is set to kill 10 billion people this century. Already the species extinction rate is 100-1000 times greater than normal. Sloppy, non-scientist arguments about the asserted greater economic efficiency of capitalism fall flat in the face of capitalism’s failure to address the acute problem of man-made climate change that is increasingly impacting a global avoidable mortality holocaust in which 18 million people die avoidably each year in the Developing World (excluding China).

The purpose of a "society" is surely the common good, but capitalists justify the increasing proportion of the cake taken by the wealthy since the 1960s by the claim that capitalism is superior to socialism in wealth creation (for a discussion of the increasing proportion of the cake taken by the rich see Gavin Kelly, “Wanted: a new purpose for British capitalism” (New Statesman, 16 February 2011).

Green earthHowever man-made climate change has radically changed the equation even if the politicians, media, voters and Capitalist Establishment of the Western Murdochracies and Lobbyocracies haven't yet got the message due to Mainstream lying by omission, lying by commission and remorseless obfuscation (for details see “Mainstream media censorship” and “Mainstream media lying” websites).

Thus top climate scientists argue for drastic economic decarburization if the world is to avoid a disastrous 2C temperature rise (EU policy). According to Professor Schellnhuber (Potsdam Institute, Germany) the World must achieve zero (0) carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 and (all men being equal with equal shares in atmospheric pollution) that means that high per capita polluters such as the US and Australia must reach zero by 2020 with India able to increase pollution before finally ceasing by 2050.

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World Environment Day (WED)

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World Environment Day (WED) is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. WED activities take place all year round but climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.

World-Environment-Day-2011WED celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.

Through WED, the UN Environment Programme is able to personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.

WED is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations.

Everyone counts in this initiative and WED relies on you to make this happen! We call for action – organize a neighborhood clean-up, stop using plastic bags and get your community to do the same, plant a tree or better yet organize a collective tree planting effort, walk to work, start a recycling drive . . . the possibilities are endless. Check out the WED pack for interesting suggestions on what you could do

Whatever you do, tell us about it! We will post your activities on this website and make it part of the Wide World of WED map.

So what are you going to do for WED?

 

The European Earth Observation Programme (GMES)

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gmesManaging natural resources and biodiversity, adapting to sea level rise, monitoring the chemical composition of our atmosphere: all depend on accurate information delivered in time to make a difference. 

The European Earth Observation Programme (GMES) provides data useful in a range of issues including climate change and citizen's security. Land, sea and atmosphere – each Earth component is observed through GMES, helping to make our lives safer. 

The purpose of GMES is to deliver information which corresponds to user needs. The processing and dissemination of this information is carried out within the "GMES service component". 

The thematic areas within the GMES service component comprise: 

land, marine and atmosphere information – ensuring systematic monitoring and forecasting the state of the Earth's subsystems at regional and global levels;
climate change information – helping to monitor the effects of climate change, assessing mitigation measures and contributing to the knowledge base for adaptation policies and investments;
emergency and security information – providing support in the event of emergencies and humanitarian aid needs, in particular to civil protection authorities, also to produce accurate information on security related aspects (e.g. maritime surveillance, border control, global stability, etc.)
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AN ECOSOCIALIST MANIFESTO

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Joel Kovel
The idea
for this ecosocialist manifesto was jointly launched by Joel Kovel and Michael Lowy, at a September, 2001, workshop on ecology and socialism held at Vincennes, near Paris. We all suffer from a chronic case of Gramsci's paradox, of living in a time whose old order is dying (and taking civilization with it) while the new one does not seem able to be born. But at least it can be announced. The deepest shadow that hangs over us is neither terror, environmental collapse, nor global recession. It is the internalized fatalism that holds there is no possible alternative to capital’s world order. And so we wished to set an example of a kind of speech that deliberately negates the current mood of anxious compromise and passive acquiescence.

This manifesto nevertheless lacks the audacity of that of 1848, for ecosocialism is not yet a spectre, nor is it grounded in any concrete party or movement. It is only a line of reasoning, based on a reading of the present crisis and the necessary conditions for overcoming it. We make no claims of omniscience. Far from it, our goal is to invite dialogue, debate, emendation, above all, a sense of how this notion can be further realized. Innumerable points of resistance arise spontaneously across the chaotic ecumene of global capital. Many are immanently ecosocialist in content. How can these be gathered? Can we envision an "ecosocialist international?" Can the spectre be brought into being?
 

 Manifesto 

Michael LowyThe twenty-first century opens on a catastrophic note, with an unprecedented degree of ecological breakdown and a chaotic world order beset with terror and clusters of low-grade, disintegrative warfare that spread like gangrene across great swathes of the planet--viz., central Africa, the Middle East, Northwestern South America--and reverberate throughout the nations.

In our view, the crises of ecology and those of societal breakdown are profoundly interrelated and should be seen as different manifestations of the same structural forces. The former broadly stems from rampant industrialization that overwhelms the earth's capacity to buffer and contain ecological destabilization. The latter stems from the form of imperialism known as globalization, with its disintegrative effects on societies that stand in its path. Moreover, these underlying forces are essentially different aspects of the same drive, which must be identified as the central dynamic that moves the whole: the expansion of the world capitalist system. 

We reject all euphemisms or propagandistic softening of the brutality of this regime: all greenwashing of its ecological costs, all mystification of the human costs under the names of democracy and human rights. We insist instead upon looking at capital from the standpoint of what it has really done.

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The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the Planet

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John Bellamy Foster: `The transition to socialism and the transition to an ecological society are one’

 
John Bellamy Foster's keynote address to the Climate Change, Social Change conference (organised by Green Left Weekly), Sydney, Australia, April 12, 2008. This talk is the basis of the last chapter of The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the Planet.

Read an exclusive excerpt from Foster's The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the Planet at

http://links.org.au/node/1066.

 

Ecological Revolution for Our Time

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Ecological Revolution for Our Time
by Simon Butler

John Bellamy Foster. The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the Planet. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2009. 328 pp.

The-Ecological-RevolutionKarl Marx and Frederick Engels famously urged the world's workers to unite because they had a world to win, and nothing to lose but their chains. Today, the reality of climate change and worsening environmental breakdowns globally adds a further vital dimension to this vision of human liberation. We still have a world to win -- but we also have a world to lose.

The ecological crisis is not simply the result of poor planning or bad decisions. Nor is it an unforeseeable accident. It's the inevitable outcome of an unjust economic and social system that puts business profits before all else -- even as it undermines the natural basis of life itself.

With his previous books, such as Marx's Ecology and The Vulnerable Planet, and as the editor of the US-based Marxist journal Monthly Review, John Bellamy Foster has established a well-earned reputation as one of the world's most persuasive voices arguing for fundamental social change to tackle the looming ecological catastrophe.

His new book, The Ecological Revolution, could not have been published at a more timely moment. It argues a solution to the ecological crisis "is now either revolutionary or it is false."

The Vulnerable PlanetFoster draws on the warnings from leading environmentalists such as Bill McKibben, James Hansen, and Lester Brown among others.

McKibben has said we have now entered the "Oh Shit" era of global warming -- it's already too late to stop the harsh impacts of climate change entirely. NASA scientist Hansen has said the rapid pace of climate change amounts to a "planetary emergency."

In his 2008 book Plan B 3.0, Brown said: "We are crossing natural thresholds that we cannot see and violating deadlines that we do not recognize. Nature is the time keeper, but we cannot see the clock. . . . We are in a race between tipping points in the earth's natural systems and those in the world's political systems. Which will tip first?" 

The Ecological Revolution is a call for urgent action and an intervention into the debates about the kind of action needed to win this "race."

The dwindling band of climate change deniers aside, general awareness of the extent of environmental decay is more widespread than ever -- even among the world's elites. The upshot is that two distinct visions of ecological revolution have emerged.

The first tries to paint business as usual economics green. The second, following Che Guevara's maxim, holds it must be a genuine eco-social revolution or it's a make-believe revolution.

"The conflict between these two opposing approaches to ecological revolution," writes Foster, "can now be considered the central problem facing environmental social science today."

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The Federation of Egalitarian Communities

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What is the FEC?

The Federation of Egalitarian Communities is a network of communal
groups spread across North America. We range in size and emphasis from
small agricultural homesteads to village-like communities to urban
group houses.

The Federation of Egalitarian Communities

Principles of the FEC

Each of the FEC communities:

  1. Holds its land, labor, income
    and other resources in common.
  2. Assumes responsibility for the needs of its members, receiving
    the products of their labor and distributing these and all other
    goods equally, or according to need.
  3. Practices non-violence.
  4. Uses a form of decision making in which members have an equal
    opportunity to participate, either through consensus, direct vote,
    or right of appeal or overrule.
  5. Actively works to establish the equality of all people and
    does not permit discrimination on the basis of race, class, creed,
    ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
  6. Acts to conserve natural resources for present and future
    generations while striving to continually improve ecological
    awareness and practice.
  7. Creates processes for group communication and participation
    and provides an environment which supports people's development.
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National Geographic Magazine - "Emerging Explorers" of 2011

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Turkish ornithologist and conservation ecologist was included in the list of "emerging explorers" of 2011 by National Geographic magazine.

Çağan ŞekercioğluOrnithologist Cagan Hakki Sekercioglu, assistant professor at the University of Utah Department of Biology, was included among 14 newest explorers of 2011 by NG.

NG said, "by the end of this century, 25 percent of all bird species may be extinct. 'That is 2,500 unique species,' Sekercioglu warns. Many pressures that will ultimately affect other animals, and even people, are happening to birds first. They are, quite literally, the canaries in the coal mine."

The magazine said, "Sekercioglu not only documents the trend, but also works to reverse it by integrating his work as a highly cited scientist, director of an award-winning grassroots conservation organization, and accomplished wildlife photographer."

It said, "he charts and analyzes the causes and consequences of vanishing bird populations via projects in biodiversity hot spots such as Costa Rica, Turkey, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Tanzania."

"Sekercioglu's rare ability to combine world-class science with local conservation efforts gives communities new reasons to protect threatened bird habitats," NG said.

AA

 


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