The Europaeum Weblog !
Welcome to the new Europaeum Weblog! This column will provide a space for more informal observations and opinions alongside the publications and news of the Europaeum website.
We hope that you will check back often to keep in touch with the latest news of our work, and we look forward to participating in productive discussions.
Founding Director & CEO, International Multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research Center a.s.b.l./v.z.w,
and Principal Coordinator NewPOL Network:
" I sat patiently listening to a lecturer rolling out a catalogue of priorities during a workshop on energy. I became quite exasperated. There is only ONE priority, the Third Millennium’s Top Priority: achieving and sustaining the citizens’ well being and quality of life in world society which requires a holistic coordinated constructive interactive integration of all the “other priorities” together, including energy. It is impossible to succeed in improving the world citizens’ welfare by dealing with just one “priority” after the other in series, or in parallel with no synchronisation. The optimal grid for humanity requires a new global governance infrastructure (cf. our definition of NGG in previous posts). I was able to be squeezed in for another interesting event on “Transition towards Sustainable and Liveable Urban Futures - JPI Urban Europe presents its Agenda”.
Reprinted from Time by Aryn Baker
More than 10,000 migrants and refugees traveled to Western Europe via Hungary over the weekend, fleeing conflict-ravaged and impoverished homelands in the hope of finding a more secure life abroad. Even as Europe wrestles over how to absorb the new arrivals, human rights activists and migration experts warn that the movement is not likely to slow anytime soon. Intractable wars, terror and poverty in the Middle East and beyond will continue to drive the surge. One additional factor, say scientists, is likely to make it even worse: climate change.
Of course, some achievements have been made since 2009. For instance, there is now an operational Technology Mechanism, mandated to support the transfer towards developing countries of clean technologies for climate change adaptation and risk mitigation. There is also a new Green Climate Fund, in charge of financing in developing countries more climate-friendly systems of production and a more climate-smart development. But there are also new challenges.
Reprinted from University World News by Mary Beth MarkleinStudent activists in the United States and worldwide are ramping up pressure on universities to cut fossil fuel holdings from endowments, garnering support from alumni and faculty as they organise sit-ins and other forms of protest.A student-led coalition called Divest Harvard is urging alumni to participate in a week-long series of events in April, including rallies, teach-ins and nonviolent direct action. Hundreds of alumni of Oxford University in the UK, where officials last week deferred a decision on the matter, have pledged to withhold donations until their alma mater agrees to divest.
Reprinted from The Financial Times by Pilita ClarkThe latest round of international climate change talks start on Monday in Lima, Peru.
Thousands of ministers, negotiators, company executives and environmental campaign groups from more than 190 countries will descend on the capital for the two-week meeting, which Peruvian ministers say is the biggest conference their capital has ever hosted.
How important are these talks?
This is the last big meeting before world leaders are due to sign a global agreement in Paris at the end of next year that is supposed to curb the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.
Auditorium Ivan Pictet
Maison de la paix, Geneva
Please register here.
David Hone, Chief Climate Change advisor to Shell and author of Putting the Genie Back: 2°C Will Be Harder than We Think, will kick off the series, taking on the subject of climate change in a frank and open discussion, built on more than 30 years in the energy industry.
Taking place the 21st and 22nd of November, this prestigious long standing forum is the UK's largest student climate change conference.
This year, a fantastic line-up of leading academics, activists and environmentalists will focus on ‘ACTION’ from putting a price on carbon through to how to communicate about climate change effectively.
Speakers include Greenpeace CEO Kumi Naidoo; Chris Llewellyn Smith, Director of Energy Research at Oxford University; and former politician and thinker on climate policy Lord Giddens. There will also be a video message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu!
The press has logically covered this event, reminding us that "time is running out to tackle climate change", "rapid carbon emission cuts are vital to stop severe impact of climate change", and that failing to adopt greenhouse emission reduction policies could lead to "increased extreme weather conditions, food shortages, coastal flooding and destruction of local ecosystems".
Reprinted from Oxford Consilium by Dr Raveem Ismail
Recent reports have rung the bell on the increase in extreme weather events over the past decades (Figure 1), alongside their increasing cost (Figure 2).
Governments, environmental and international bodies and the (re)insurance industry's attention has also been called to the growing gap between total and insured losses due to these extreme weather events (Figure 3).
Whilst insured claims have risen, the growth from total losses have outpaced these. Given the increase in extreme weather events and in overall costs of the damage, primarily due to flood, this gap is set to widen in years and decades to come.
Please continue reading the article, complete with the figures, here
Submitted on 22/08/2014 by Marcin Chrusciel
It is difficult to imagine a world without water. In an interesting article under this title, Pilita Clark argues that if no measures preventing water scarcity are taken, what is difficult to imagine today, may become a reality tomorrow.
Actually, I believe, the growing number of water-related conflicts worldwide suggests that water is already becoming a deficit commodity. The article proposes what steps should be taken to try to reduce this process. It reveals, for example, how many litres it takes to produce a hamburger (some 2,400), in comparison to a potato (30 litres), and why does it make any difference.
And why do such leading global companies as Coca-Cola, Nestle, or Google want to tackle the problem of water scarcity? It seems, as the article shows, that their investments in water-saving is underpinned not only by the will to protect their global reputation, but also by the need to reduce their costs of water usage.