THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment...

All about conservation, ecology, the environment, climate change, global warming, earth- watch, and new technologies etc.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it...


Looking for solutions? These sites may help us. But lets not procrastinate any more!

This is Blog Action Day:

Mark Twain might as well have been talking about global warming when he famously remarked, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it." For years we have heard so much about the causes of climate change, that we’ve missed the fact that there are simple, practical solutions that can slow this growing problem. Technologies exist today that can cut emissions of heat-trapping gases and make a real difference in the health of our planet. And these solutions will be good for our economy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and enhance our energy security.

It is generally accepted that the Earth has been much warmer than today, for example, in the time of the dinosaurs (the mid-cretaceous period) when the CO2 was 2 to 4 times greater than today (NOAA). More recently, in the prior period between ice ages, just 125,000 years ago, the Earth also was much warmer than today and the sea level much higher - by about 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) (IPCC). The primary driver of the past climate shifts is believed to be orbital mechanics and solar variability, with some contribution from Earth geophysical processes, such as volcanic eruptions. It is also known that mankind's contribution to CO2 is just a small percent (3%) of the total amount and that the total is very small - there is 23.6 times more argon (.09) in the atmosphere than CO2 (.0038). Lastly, we know that the Earth's temperature and the level of CO2 rise and fall roughly together, but it is not clear (not proven) whether this is cause and effect by either variable. In a first attempt (Hadley-chart) to use a CO2 - based model to predict temperatures, the results are not impressive at all and are exactly opposite observations.


A Challenge We Can Meet:

Global warming doesn’t just mean balmy February days in northern climes. It also means increasingly hot days in the summer, and a host of negative impacts that are already under way and are expected to intensify in the coming decades.


More heat waves will likely increase the risk of heat-related illnesses and deaths.
Cities and towns along the nation's major rivers will experience more severe and frequent flooding.

Some areas will likely experience more extensive and prolonged droughts.
Some of our favorite coastal and low-lying vacation areas, such as parts of the Florida Keys and Cape Cod, will be much less appealing as sea levels rise, dunes erode, and the areas become more vulnerable to coastal storms.

Many families and businesses, who have made their living from fishing, farming, and tourism could lose their livelihoods, and others who love hunting, boating, skiing, birdwatching, and just relaxing near lakes, streams, and wetlands will see some of their favorite places irretrievably changed.

The solutions to climate change are here and it's time we put them to use. If we get started today we can tackle this problem and decrease the unpleasant outcomes that await us if we do nothing. The steps we need to take are common sense. And, more often than not, they will save consumers money. The cost of inaction, however, is unacceptably high.

We Must All Act Now:

The scientific consensus is in. Our planet is warming, and we are helping make it happen by adding more heat-trapping gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuel (oil, coal, and natural gas) alone accounts for about 75 percent of annual CO2 emissions from human activities. Deforestation—the cutting and burning of forests that trap and store carbon—accounts for about another 20 percent.

Procrastination is not an option. Scientists agree that if we wait 10, 20, or 50 years, the problem will be much more difficult to address and the consequences for us will be that much more serious.

We're treating our atmosphere like we once did our rivers. We used to dump waste thoughtlessly into our waterways, believing that they were infinite in their capacity to hold rubbish. But when entire fisheries were poisoned and rivers began to catch fire, we realized what a horrible mistake that was.

Our atmosphere has limits too. CO2 remains in the atmosphere for about 100 years. The longer we keep polluting, the longer it will take to recover and the more irreversible damage will be done.

Common Sense Solutions:

Fuel-efficient vehicles. Renewable energy. Protecting threatened forests. These common sense solutions won't only reduce global warming, many will save us money and create new business opportunities.

Best of all, these solutions exist now. We just need to insist that business and government take the necessary steps to make them available and affordable. Then we have to let consumers know what to do and provide incentives to help all of us make better choices.

The following five sensible steps are available today and can have an enormous impact on the problem CO2 remains in the atmosphere for about 100 years.

More facts

http://www.ucusa.org/global_warming/solutions/big_picture_solutions/common-sense-on-climate-5.html


www.signon.org.nz

www.5clicks.org.nz

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Moment in history for "Green Revolution" recorded here...


Moment in History for “Green Revolution” recorded here at The Green Planet...

Alvin Toffler, in his insightful work ‘The Third Wave’, pointed out that the humankind has achieved three revolutionary shifts of civilization through the history. The first was the Agricultural Revolution that enabled the humankind to accumulate the wealth. The second was the Industrial Revolution that made possible mass production of industrial products. The third was the Information Revolution that transformed the ways people think, work, and enjoy life. And now, we are witnessing a new, powerful revolution shaping in front of our own eyes: “Green Revolution.”

Maanee Lee, Minister of Environment of Korea.

Comment:

The evolution of human civilization, with the three revolutions, has given the humankind a power that far exceeded its expectation. What we are seeing now is the humankind putting itself under a fatal threat by the act of its own. The threat is the kind that the humankind has never experienced before, in scale and in magnitude

I found the above when reading green blogsites recently. It was so profound that I decided I just had to post it here as a reference.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spring has sprung in New Zealand...


Forget global warming, climate change and the carbon footprint - it is springtime in New Zealand. Whether its those spring flowers in Hagley Park, Christchurch or the natives in the bush - spring has sprung in New Zealand!

New Zealand gardeners often bemoan the 'greenness' of our native flora. The showy wildflowers of North America, the tropics and elsewhere are not for us. But we have some true gems amongst our natives, valued highly in other countries, even if they are sometimes passed over in their own country.

Flowers abound, though; it's simply a case of knowing when, and where, to look for them. Spring is one of the most spectacular times in the calendar with kowhai, clematis and Chatham Island Forget-Me-Nots all producing dazzling displays.

Flowering Trees
Spring is peak flowering time for native trees and most of our showiest trees, apart from the Christmas blooms of the pohutukawa, flower in spring.

Kowhais are one of the first signs of spring in New Zealand, the bright yellow flowers appearing even from late winter. Loved by nectar seeking native birds and gardeners alike, every New Zealand garden should include at least one kowhai.

There are several species and a number of forms available from the slower growing and slower to flower South Island kowhai (S. microphylla), the faster developing North Island kowhai (S. tetraptera) to the dumpy, delightful hybrids such as 'Dragon's Gold' that flowers even before winter ends. And more:

Spring has sprung

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Monday, September 14, 2009

NZ Emission Trading Scheme passed, but watered down from original...


.New Zealand Emission Trading Scheme Changes Welcomed - former Labour Government legislation passed into law but watered down:

The executive director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, representing the energy intensive sector on climate change issues, says the proposed changes the government has announced for the emissions trading scheme are a welcome move in the right direction.

"While we will still need to work though the detail to establish the impacts on trade exposed industry, we welcome the effort being made to keep New Zealand employers competitive in the period before other countries are imposing the same costs on carbon."

Catherine Beard said the proposals to make the scheme more affordable for households and industry is sensible in the current tough economic environment, where it would be a risk to jobs to push ahead with a high cost scheme.

"We welcome the new proposal to halve the obligation in the first commitment period and introduce a price cap on carbon, and we welcome the slower phase-out of assistance. We think this better reflects the way other countries with emissions trading schemes are operating, since no country has any desire to force its industry to relocate to countries that don't price carbon."

"A slower phase out of assistance to 2050 sends a better signal to industry looking to make new lower carbon investments in New Zealand, which will be good for the economy and good for the global environment."

"We need to remember that in New Zealand our large industry is already close to World's Best Practice in energy intensity and we have one of the highest percentages of renewable electricity of any country in the world, so any policy that encourages industry to stay and invest in New Zealand is good for the global environment and for the economy."

Catherine Beard said the Greenhouse Policy Coalition looked forward to working with government to ensure that the Australian method of allocation would suit New Zealand companies and that any allocation was adequate to cover off trade exposure and increased electricity costs.

"The aim of the policy should be to keep efficient New Zealand industry and jobs in New Zealand, and we will be working through the detail to ensure that will be the outcome."

NZ Climate change legislation

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Go Bananas for Orangutans - WSPA World Animal Week


Go Bananas for Orangutans:

WSPA World Animal Week 4-10 October 2009


This year for WSPA World Animal Week we'd like everyone to join us and GO BANANAS for ORANGUTANS: an event to raise money for the Nyaru Menteng Sanctuary in Indonesia, home to over 650 injured and orphaned orangutans. Help keep them safe - by going a little bananas yourself in any way you choose.


To GO BANANAS is easy, in just minutes you can build your own online fundraising page and approach your friends, family and colleagues to support your fundraising efforts. So click on the 'Build A Hero' page now and get started.






Go Bananas for Orangutans:



Go bananas with your friends.

•Throw a BANANA Trivia Night with animal themed questions
•Hold a BANANA Spa Treatment Day for you girlfriends
•Hold a BANANArama karaoke session
Go bananas in the great outdoors

•Hold a BANANA boat race
•Organise a BANANA throwing competition
•Go totally BANANAS and get your friends to sponsor you do something extreme like bunjee jump
Go bananas at work

•Wear BANANA yellow to work and get your colleagues to sponsor you
•Hold an office sweepstake on how many BANANAS end to end it will take to reach from A to B
•Get people at work to make a donation in return for a BANANA at morning/lunch tea.
So GO BANANAS now and click on the 'Build A Hero' page and get started. If you are in Australia please go to: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/gobananas

For more information on how you can go BANANAS please email Michelle on michellehydes@wspa.org.nz or alternatively call 0800 500 9772

Help Orangutans



WSPA New Zealand

Imagine being a hero for animals in need worldwide. By supporting the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA New Zealand), you'll be helping transform the lives of animals of all walks of life, from bears, orangutans and elephants, to whales, stray dogs and working horses. Be a hero for animals today.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Forest kindergartens come to Britain...


Would you like your children to get back to nature in a kindergarten without a ceiling or walls? I bet you would. Would you like your children spending time playing in the fresh air, being freed from the constrictions of urban life settings? Again I bet you would.

For decades "forest" kindergartens have existed in Scandinavia and Germany, and have now reached the United Kingdom - with the 'Secret Garden' in Scotland being the first outdoor nursery school for two to five year olds spending all day in a woodland, come rain, hail or shine.

They observe animals, plant gardens, collect firewood and climb trees (oh how politically incorrect). When temperatures dip to sub-zero, they reteat to a cosy tent. The founder, Cathy Bache, reportedly said "that being among nature builds resilience, creativity and a sense of place. There are no toys, but plenty of space and opportunity to go where the imagination may take us". How brilliantly refreshing!

In a general sense a wood or forest kindergarten is a type of preschool that was first conceived in Scandinavia in the 1950's and Germany in the late 1960's. There it was a daycare centre for children aged three to six years of age, exclusively outdoors in nature.

It is known as an outdoor preschool in British English and a waldkindergarten in German. It is simply a forest kindergarten or a nature preschool, and is a brilliant concept in my opinion.

Forest kindergarten

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posted by peter petterson @ 6:06 PM 3 Comments Links to this post