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COP 15, Dr. Suess Style

23 Dec

A very interesting reflection on what happened in Copenhagen. Check it out! You will laugh and cry…

Dr. Seuss\’s Copenhagen by Marcus Brigstocke

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Are they for real?

14 Dec

After claiming that a 3% emissions reductions from 1990 level was comparable and ambitious, the Canadian delegation issued a press release today claiming that they have been working on a plan, “Agenda 2020”. The new plan rises the original targets to a 40% reductions from 1990 levels by 2020 and at least an 80% reduction by 2050. A significant turn around from Canada’s original position.
In addition, Canada has also committed to a new instrument, known as the “Climate Debt Mechanism” (CDM). Canada has now committed to the much-needed funding to those developing countries facing the most dire consequences of climate change. CDM payments will begin with 1% and rise to the equivalent of 5% of Canada’s GDP annually by 2030.

UNFORTUNATELY…..this was a fake. The Government of Canada released a press release stating a spoof press release targeted Canada in order to generate hurtful rumors and mislead the Conference of Parties on Canada’s positions on climate change, and to damage Canada’s standing with the international business community.

The spoof release, from “press@enviro-canada.ca,” alleges Canada’s acceptance of unrealistic emissions-reduction targets, as well as a so-called “Climate Debt Mechanism,” a bilateral agreement between Canada and Africa to furnish that continent with enormous sums in “reparation” for climate damage and to “offset” adaptation.

When reading through this sequence of press releases, we all though “oh my god! Is Canada for real? I can’t believe they would be setting such high targets after advocating for the tar sands and their “ambitious” 3% reductions targets”. After reading the second press release, actually by Environment Canada, it felt like it was somewhat expected to be a hoax.

Fake Press release:
http://enviro-canada.ca/agenda2020

Real Environment Canada release:
http://www.ec-gc.ca/default.asp_lang=En_n=714D9AAE-1_news=C95709A4-2BD6-4245-B709-B9B2935CEE56

The next best invention since the wheel….the Copenhagen Wheel!

9 Dec

In 2007, MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and the Municipality of Copenhagen began a three-year research partnership to investigate how digital technologies can be harnessed to understand city dynamics in Copenhagen with a view to sustainability and livability.

This new and innovative Copenhagen Wheel totally transforms the ordinary, boring bike into a hybrid e-bike that also functions as a mobile sensing unit. This ingenious wheel allows the user to capture the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need a boost.

The bike can be controlled by your smart phone to lock and unlock the bike, change gears and select how much the motor can assist you. This awesome bike can capture your effort level and information about your surroundings, including the surrounding road conditions, carbon monoxide, NOx, noise, ambient temperatures, and relative humidity. You access the data through your phone to plan a healthier bike route.

http://senseable.mit.edu/copenhagenwheel/

Climate Change the Catalyst for War?

24 Nov

US researchers have found that in countries like Darfur, conflict is 50% more likely. With the strife from food shortage as result of the warming weather, the National Academy of Sciences have connected climate factors to conflict.

With the climate change talks coming around the corner in Copenhagen, issues like population increase and promoting economic development have to be addressed by all to mitigate the deadly effects of climate change. Since small shift in temperatures have monumental impacts on crop yield, time and resources must be put into initiatives to help developing countries adapt to rising temperatures.

Research leader Marshall Burke, from the University of California at Berkeley states that “investments in African adaptation to climate change by such steps as developing crop varieties less sensitive to extreme heat and promoting insurance plans to help protect farmers from adverse effects of the hotter climate”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8375949.stm