The Hummingbird and the Climate Summit

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Wangari Mathaai © Green Belt Movement

Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist and 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate, was fond of recounting a children’s story she’d been told on a visit to Japan. A huge fire breaks out in the forest, runs the tale. The animals are transfixed and overwhelmed by the conflagration. All of them but a hummingbird, who resolves to do something. She flies to the nearest stream, dips her beak into it, and drops a bead of water onto the flames. The elephant, the lion, the giraffe, and the other animals laugh at her, as she flies back and forth over and over again. “You’re just a tiny hummingbird,” they jeer. “What difference do you think you can make?” The hummingbird replies: “I’m doing the best I can.”

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September 25, 2014   No Comments

Oceans and climate change

How a small island state is taking the lead in ocean and island conservation

 OCEANS_

Much attention has been focused on the impacts of climate change on water, forests and society as a whole. But what about our oceans?  For decades, oceans have been fundamentally threatened by the effects of climate change, absorbing carbon dioxide dumped into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Rising sea-levels, acidification and changes in temperatures continue to threaten coastal and marine ecosystems, as they will seriously alter coastal development and marine activities. [Read more →]

September 15, 2014   No Comments

Climate Change and food security: How Belo Horizonte is killing two birds with one stone

Malnutrition

There are 842 million undernourished people in the world today who do not have access to sufficient quantities of healthy food. The impacts of climate change threaten to significantly increase the number of people at risk of hunger and malnutrition over the next decades. The effect of a changing climate on food production is intuitive: Warming temperatures, floods, droughts and pestilence are already devastating harvests in many parts of the world. Volatile and unreliable food production leads to famine, migration and war. Modern agriculture’s impact on the climate is obvious as well: Production and distribution of food within a globalized economy account for high CO2 emissions because of energy intensive farming systems and long transportation routes. [Read more →]

September 13, 2014   No Comments