Thursday, November 25, 2010
of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society.
Jeremy Rifkin, economist and founder of The Foundation on Economic Trends, believes it is possible to expand the reach of our empathy to the entire human race, and beyond. He cites new research showing that humans are soft-wired with mirror neurons that cause us to empathize with one another. This emotion has evolved over time: What began as a feeling reserved for those of the same family has expanded to those of the same tribe, to religion, to nation.
Video created by The RSA, with Jeremy Rifkin and Cognitive Media
We Are Hard-Wired to Care and Connect: Recent research has shown that our brains are made to support caring, cooperation, and service.
You can also view a 10-minute RSA Animate of Jeremy Rifkin's lecture, which brings his talk to life through animation.
RSA Animate – Empathic Civilisation
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
“BUILDING THE GREEN ECONOMY”
As we await negotiations on an international agreement, we as subnational leaders can and must take action now. We must work to drive green projects that both stimulate our economies and protect and preserve our most precious resources.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has predicted that most of the implementation for climate-related policies will happen at the subnational level and that our role is crucial in moving climate policy forward. We are where the action is at now.
We must continue this approach and work together as we build this emerging green economy so all can benefit from the global green marketplace. Please join us as we chart the course towards a greener global economy through environmental stewardship.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
RISING TO THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE
R20: RACE TO GREEN ACTION
Economic and Environmental Leadership Awards Ceremony
Governor Participates in Conversation with Prime Minister David Cameron
Governor Announces First-of-its-Kind Climate Action Coalition
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
R20 — Regions of Climate ActionAn innovative subnational public-private alliance that will implement concrete actions to solve climate change and build the global green economy
- What is the R20?
- What will the R20 achieve?
- Why is the formation of the R20 so significant?
- What is the relationship between the R20 and the United Nations?
- Why should we address climate change at the subnational level?
- How will the R20 impact national climate policy and action?
- How will the R20 influence international climate action?
- Who will be R20 members and partners?
- When will the R20 be established and where?
What is the R20?
Last December, at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 15), California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the concept for a new global organization that would break through the negotiations impasse and lead in the climate challenge through concrete actions at the subnational level: the R20 – Regions of Climate Action.
Heeding this call to action, California and other leading states and provinces from around the world will officially launch the R20 in November 2010 at the third Governors’ Global Climate Summit in California. The R20 will include an expanding and globally diverse group of subnational government members from developed and developing countries that are committed to taking real action on climate change. In addition, the R20 will partner with organizations and individuals from the private sector, academia, national governments, international organizations, and civil society to build momentum for climate action at the national and international levels.
What will the R20 achieve?
The mission of the R20 will be to develop and implement low-carbon and climate resilient projects through cooperation among subnational governments from around the world.
During its first year, the R20 will facilitate public-private partnerships, share best practices, accelerate the development of green innovations, and begin implementing clean energy demonstration projects. Within five years, the R20 aims to have at least twenty subnational governments enact comprehensive low-carbon policies and implement projects, using successful models from progressive subnational leaders as a guide.
Through these efforts, the R20 will expand the global green economy, create new green jobs and build commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Demonstration projects will further show that 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed by 2020 to limit the increase in world average temperature to 2°C can be achieved at no net cost and that many projects will generate new economic benefits.*
*Project Catalyst has determined that 75 percent of the 17.4 gigatons of CO2-equivalent that must be reduced from annual business-as-usual emissions by 2020 can be achieved through renewable energy, forest and land use practices, and energy efficiency at a net economic benefit to society. Center for American Progress & United Nations Foundation, Meeting the Climate Challenge: Core Elements of an Effective Response to Climate Change, October 2009.
Why is the formation of the R20 so significant?
COP 15 failed to produce a binding international agreement on climate change, and there is now growing recognition that a new climate treaty is politically unlikely in the short term. The key reason for this setback lies with fundamental disagreements between developed and developing countries over climate finance and emissions reduction targets.
This political situation does not change the climate reality: to avoid dangerous climate change, the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions now. Further, between now and 2050, at least two-thirds of new emissions growth will occur in developing countries, many of which lack the capacity to develop and implement effective climate policies. While political debates continue, real actions must be taken to reduce emissions and build capacity on the ground.
Despite the disappointment of COP 15 and the lingering effects of the global recession, subnational governments such as California are pushing forward to move the world toward a low-carbon future and grow the global green economy. This momentum cannot be lost, and we must work to link these “bottom-up approaches” to national and global “top-down” goals.
The R20 will support, leverage, and extend subnational climate efforts to help build momentum for climate action at the national and international levels. By focusing on achieving concrete action through project activities, the R20 will achieve immediate results and demonstrate ways to move forward on clean technology deployment and accelerate low-carbon investment.
What is the relationship between the R20 and the United Nations?
The R20, while outside the United Nations framework, will maintain a close working relationship with the United Nations and play a complementary role, as it will with other international organizations.
Why should we address climate change at the subnational level?
As progress on climate change has stalled at both national and international levels, there is growing consensus that new actors must help tackle the climate challenge. Subnational governments are key actors for many reasons:
- According to the UNDP, most investments to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change—50 to 80 percent for reductions and up to 100 percent for adaptation—must take place at the subnational level;
- Subnational governments implement national policies, and can also provide solutions to climate change when national-level action stalls;
- Subnational governments, such as California, are global leaders in reducing emissions and creating green jobs and these efforts could be replicated and scaled up in both developed and developing countries;
- Subnational governments are politically close to where projects must be implemented yet remain sufficiently elevated to achieve wider benefits by integrating projects into regional planning; and
- Subnational governments provide a perfect interface for addressing both urban and rural issues and thus cover all key aspects of the fight against climate change.
How will the R20 impact national climate policy and action?
Environmental policies and projects successfully implemented at the subnational level are often adopted by national governments. Subnational action will spur action at national levels.
How will the R20 influence international climate action?
Climate change is an international issue that transcends political boundaries and requires actions at all levels. By fostering partnerships between subnational governments, businesses, NGOs, and academics around the world, and by encouraging national governments to take additional steps on climate change, the R20 can spur global climate action.
Further, the R20’s demonstration projects will serve as models to influence subnational and national governments to accelerate their implementation of international agreements, domestic targets, and nationally appropriate mitigation measures (NAMAs), as pledged under COP 15’s Copenhagen Accord. This cooperation between subnational governments of developed and developing countries will mobilize and leverage technology and private sector finance aimed at promoting robust economic recovery and based on a new green paradigm in partnership with the UNDP and International Energy Agency.
Who will be R20 members and partners?
We are inviting progressive subnational government leaders from around the world to join as the official founding members of R20. In addition, the R20 will invite national governments to become observers to the organization, and will also be recruiting founding partners of the R20 from the private sector, academia, international organizations, and civil society. At the Governors’ Global Climate Summit this November, the founding members and partners will be announced and they will sign the R20 Charter.
When will the R20 be established and where?
The R20 has been incorporated as a non-profit organization in Geneva, under Swiss law. As noted above, the official launch of the R20 will take place at the third Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Davis, California, on November 15 and 16.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Do you think that one person can't make a difference?
If everyone did one thing every day to make a difference in someone's life, imagine the multiplying effect...
millions of people would be doing something daily to make a difference for someone else!
The Starfish Story be inspired
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.
Then, smiling at the man, he said…” I made a difference for that one.”
Think about it. WE can ALL make a difference. It doesn't take a lot, either.
A simple act of kindness through the hustle and bustle of your daily lives can make a difference.
So as you go about your busy day, hold open the door for someone.
When you're sitting in a traffic jam, let a person merge in front of you.
You'd be amazed the effect a small act of kindness can do.
The person that you are nice too, may think about passing it on by being nice to someone else, and so on and on it goes.
You really can make a difference every day in someone else's life!
One Person Can Make A Difference
Follow One person on Twitter http://twitter.com/HansLak
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
An inspiring documentary on the Cradle to Cradle design concept of the chemist Michael Braungart and the architect William McDonough. Winner of the Silver Dragon at the Beijing International Science Film Festival 2006. OUTLINE: Man is the only creature that produces landfills. Natural resources are being depleted on a rapid scale while production and consumption are rising in nations like China and India. The waste production world wide is enormous and if we do not do anything we will soon have turned all our resources into one big messy landfill. But there is hope. The German chemist, Michael Braungart, and the American designer-architect William McDonough are fundamentally changing the way we produce and build. If waste would become food for the biosphere or the technosphere (all the technical products we make), production and consumption could become beneficial for the planet. A design and production concept that they call Cradle to Cradle. A concept that is seen as the next industrial revolution. • Design every product in such a way that at the end of its lifecycle the component materials become a new resource. • Design buildings in such a way that they produce energy and become a friend to the environment. Large companies like Ford and Nike are working with McDonough and Braungart to change their production facilities and their products. They realize that economically seen waste is destruction of capital. You make something with no value. Based on their ideas the Chinese government is working towards a circular economy where Waste = Food. An amazing story that will definitely change your way of thinking about production and consumption.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Gunter Pauli is talking about how we should simply follow Nature!
We can learn everything from the natural Eco Systems!
Biomimicry or Cradle to Cradle all follow NATURE!
Sustainability is about learning from Nature! Nothing else matters!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Climate catastrophe? The end of civilization as we know it?Cool It is based upon the book of the same name and lectures by Bjorn Lomborg, the controversial author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner travels the world with Lomborg exploring the real facts and true science of global warming and its impact. Lomborg is the founder and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a globally respected think tank that brings together the world’s leading economists to prioritize major global problems – among them malaria, the lack of potable water and HIV/AIDS – based upon a cost/benefit analysis of available solutions. Amidst the strong and polarized opinions within the global warming debate, Cool It follows Lomborg on his mission to bring the smartest solutions to climate change, environmental pollution, and other major problems in the world.
For more information about Bjorn Lombog and the Copenhagen Consensus, a think-tank based in Denmark that tells governments and philanthropists about the best ways to spend aid and development money, visit: