Friday, Dec 6, 2019, saw the most important victory to date in the battle against Global Warming. Denmark’s “Climate Act” will entirely revamp Denmark’s climate policy – by law- and thrust it onto the world’s centre stage by showcasing the only effective political solution: Changing the “system itself.”
Eight out of the ten parties in the Danish Parliament agreed on the new national Climate Act that mandates binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent (compared to the 1990 level).
2030, not the belayed 2050, is the target date for tangible reductions. In a world-first, Danish law requires consideration of methane gas, consumption, and imported emissions along with CO2.Denmark has also eliminated the trickery of Carbon credits while a new expert body of climate scientists will be placed with the newly formed Climate Council. They and the Climate Minister must annually submit to a parliamentary progress review. The first of two five year plans of action are now being developed for approval. Also, a new Committee for the Green Transformation will ensure that climate considerations are taken into account in every major political decision and include 13 climate partnerships with Denmark’s leading private sector organizations. The aim of this historic legislation is a path to sustainable solutions of the future.
The Government of Ethiopia Must Stop Killings and Other Brutalities Being Committed against Students in Universities
By HRLHA - Urgent Appeal - December 17, 2019
The Higher Educational Institutions are expected to produce knowledgeable, farsighted and multidimensional citizens. This could only be realized with, among others, a smooth and peaceful teaching-learning process.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly believes that stable and conducive academic environment is a basic prerequisite for higher educational institutions to achieve their inherent purpose of enlightening citizens.
Against this backdrop, we are witnessing horrible situations happening these days at some universities in Ethiopia.
WASHINGTON — As his coal mining company hurtled into bankruptcy, Robert E. Murray, the former chief executive, paid himself $14 million, handed his successor a $4 million bonus and earmarked nearly $1 million for casting doubt on man-made climate change, new court filings show.
On November 14th the Canadian group Wellington Water Watchers organized the “All Eyes on Nestlé” conference in the city of Guelph, Ontario, bringing together indigenous’ peoples and citizens’ movements fighting Nestlé’s water takings from Canada, the US, France and Brazil.
Following this public event, the representatives of the organizations involved met for a workshop to exchange information and discuss possible common strategies of resistance to this giant corporation water grabbing. From the experiences and stories shared by groups as different as the Collectif Eau 88 – from the city of Vittel, France – Save Our Water – from Elora, Canada – or the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation -from the US – it became clear that there is a common pattern in all these places where Nestlé takes water for its bottling facilities, contrary to this companies’ claim that any problem is always just a local issue.
At the London Summit, the 29 member countries of NATO agreed to “guarantee the security of our communications, including 5G”. Why is this fifth generation of mobile data transmission so important for NATO?
While the earlier technologies were perfected to create ever more advanced smartphones, 5G is designed not only to improve their performance, but mainly to link digital systems which need enormous quantities of data in order to work automatically. The most important 5G applications will not be intended for civil use, but for the military domain.
Why Open Hardware on Its Own Doesn’t Solve the Trust Problem
A few years ago, Sean ‘xobs’ Cross and I built an open-source laptop, Novena, from the circuit boards up, and shared our designs with the world. I’m a strong proponent of open hardware, because sharing knowledge is sharing power. One thing we didn’t anticipate was how much the press wanted to frame our open hardware adventure as a more trustable computer. If anything, the process of building Novena made me acutely aware of how little we could trust anything. As we vetted each part for openness and documentation, it became clear that you can’t boot any modern computer without several closed-source firmware blobs running between power-on and the first instruction of your code. Critics on the Internet suggested we should have built our own CPU and SSD if we really wanted to make something we could trust.
Refugees in limbo: Visa uncertainty makes trauma worse
Book lover. Engineer. Democrat. Zoroastrian. For these “crimes” against Iran, Mehdi Hamidpour was persecuted and his children thrown out of school. Mr Hamidpour fled when he was placed on a blacklist that usually preceded people being “disappeared”, he said.
With no visas, the family of four sailed for 14 days on an overcrowded fishing boat from Indonesia to Australia in March 2011. It was “terrible” – so traumatic that Mr Hamidpour, 52, finds it “too much” to discuss. “It is too hard to get mentally settled,” he said.
A world-first study tracking 1100 refugees over three years has found that people who come to Australia seeking asylum – with no certainty refugee status will be granted – are nearly two and a half times more likely to think about killing themselves or to believe “they would be better off dead” than those with more secure visas.
People with insecure visa status are also two to four times more likely than secure visa holders to have been tortured and imprisoned, and to have witnessed friends, family and strangers being raped, assaulted and killed, says the long-term study on refugee adjustment, which will be published on Monday.
- see below: Julian Assange left out of journalists-in-prison list of CPJ
By Independent Australia -
Independent Australia together with QCCL hosted an event to raise awareness for the plight of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, featuring his father John Shipton.
DESPITE THE oppressive humidity in a Brisbane hall packed to twice its capacity, the attention of the crowd did not falter. All eyes were on John Shipton as he spoke quietly and eloquently, detailing his son’s torture and labelling his incarceration in the UK "judicial kidnapping". John’s son is Julian Assange, currently rotting in Belmarsh Prison in the UK, awaiting potential extradition to the U.S. and facing 175 years in prison.
The conditions under which Assange is being held are worse than those of mass murderers and child sex offenders. Essentially in solitary confinement, he is not permitted internet usage. His visiting rights are limited to two half-hour visits per week. He cannot contact family or friends and his ability to prepare his own defence has been severely thwarted.
UPDATE 15. December 2019: COP25 WAS A TOTAL FLOP - The entire purpose of COP25 was for nations to scale up their own ambitions and raise the decarbonization targets established under Paris. After an extra day of contentious negotiation, all language referring to that goal has been stripped from the resolution.
"Never have I seen the almost total disconnection we've seen here (...) between what the science requires and the people of the world demand, and what the climate negotiators are delivering,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
... and Greta Thunberg had to sit on the floor in an overcrowed German train from Basel in the very South of Germany on her way back home. Embarrassed Deutsche Bahn (DB) tried to do some damage-control by finally and after many hours giving the TIMES person of the year a firstclass-seat from Hannover in the North of Germany. DB got a twitterstorm, but Greta cooled the mood of her fans:
"Our train from Basel was taken out of traffic. So we sat on the floor on 2 different trains. After Göttingen I got a seat.This is no problem of course and I never said it was. Overcrowded trains is a great sign because it means the demand for train travel is high!"
Ms Thunberg also stated she needs now a break, but the climate strike will continue unabated and will be scaled up.
Anger erupts at U.N. climate summit as major economies resist bold action
Campaigners and many nations slam Chile, presiding over the talks, for drafting a summit text that they say risks throwing the 2015 Paris Agreement into reverse
By Matthew Green and Valerie Volcovici - 14. December 2019
MADRID, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Major economies resisted calls for bolder climate commitments as a U.N. summit in Madrid limped towards a delayed conclusion on Saturday, dimming hopes that nations will act in time to stop rising temperatures devastating people and the natural world.
With the two-week gathering spilling into the weekend, campaigners and many delegates slammed Chile, presiding over the talks, for drafting a summit text that they said risked throwing the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle global warming into reverse.
"At a time when scientists are queuing up to warn about terrifying consequences if emissions keep rising, and school children are taking to the streets in their millions, what we have here in Madrid is a betrayal of people across the world," said Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, a climate and energy think-tank in Nairobi.
Measuring the success of climate change adaptation and mitigation in terrestrial ecosystems
By Michael D. Morecroft, Simon Duffield, Mike Harley, James W. Pearce-Higgins, Nicola Stevens, Olly Watts, Jeanette Whitaker - Science - 13. December 2019
Measuring mitigation and adaptation
As more and more carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, humans and the natural world are beset by the damaging consequences of a rapidly changing climate.
Natural and seminatural ecosystems are likely to be the best starting place for immediate adaptation and mitigation solutions. First, though, many natural environments need restoration to maximize their own resilience to climate change. In reviewing our options, Morecroft et al. point out that we can directly observe the success of mitigation strategies by quantifying atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Human rights as well as democratic values and institutions are under attack in many countries around the world. This makes it more important than ever that international funders and allies effectively back frontline human rights defenders. How can we do this better?
We at The Fund for Global Human Rights have spent more than fifteen years of helping activists to protect and expand civic space for activism, and to promote the participation of communities in decisions that affect them. Here’s what we have learned.
Indigenous groups rally to protect Latin America's threatened forests
From Guatemala to Peru, forest communities are coming together to find ways to more effectively prevent deforestation
By Megan Rowling - 13. December 2019
MADRID, Dec 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Central American countries are teaming up to conserve the region's five great forests as part of a regional climate action plan released at U.N. climate talks in Madrid this week, the alliance behind the effort said.
The coalition of governments, indigenous people, green groups and others announced a plan to protect 10 million hectares of forests and degraded land inside those forests - an area roughly the size of Guatemala - by 2030.
In the last 15 years, three of the forests have been reduced by almost one-quarter in size, with illegal cattle ranching responsible for more than 90% of recent deforestation, it said.
No. The Sun can influence the Earth’s climate, but it isn’t responsible for the warming trend we’ve seen over the past few decades. The Sun is a giver of life; it helps keep the planet warm enough for us to survive. We know subtle changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun are responsible for the comings and goings of the ice ages. But the warming we’ve seen over the last few decades is too rapid to be linked to changes in Earth’s orbit, and too large to be caused by solar activity.
Australia's bushfires have emitted 250m tonnes of CO2, almost half of country's average annual emissions
Exclusive: forest regrowth can reabsorb emissions from fires but scientists fear natural carbon ‘sinks’ have been compromised
By TG -
The NSW fires emitted about 195m tonnes of CO2 since 1 August, with Queensland’s bushfires adding 55m tonnes, almost half of Australia’s annual emissions.
Bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland have emitted a massive pulse of CO2 into the atmosphere since August that is equivalent to almost half of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, Guardian Australia can reveal.
A new report has for the first time named 20 global companies profiting from China’s illegal transplant trade, where innocent people are murdered in a state-sponsored campaign of forced organ harvesting.
The report, entitled the “Economics Of Organ Harvesting In China” finds:
20 western companies are “taking part” in China’s murderous organ transplant industry including Pfizer (US), OrganOx (UK) and Roche (Switzerland)
Report finds that some western pharmaceutical companies used Chinese prisoners for testing transplant products.
Smuggled pangolin scales seized in joint operation
By Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou - 12. December 2019
The anti-smuggling bureau of Hangzhou Customs and the public security department in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, jointly seized over 23 metric tons of smuggled pangolin scales and detained 18 suspects in late October after one year of investigation and anti-smuggling efforts, Hangzhou Customs announced on Wednesday.
Given that only 400 to 600 grams of scales can be extracted from each pangolin, a nationally protected species, the plate-like scales seized in Wenzhou and smuggled from Busan, South Korea, in batches since November last year were estimated to be extracted from around 50,000 pangolins.
It is believed to be the largest haul of smuggled wildlife products in recent years, China Central Television reported.