Guatemala, Human Rights, and the Environment

posted Jun 20, 2012, 12:51 PM by Teal Forest   [ updated Jun 25, 2012, 3:23 PM ]

On June 13, 2012 Mark Sullivan gave a presentation at De Anza College about his recent trip to Guatemala, Human Rights, and the Environment. Upon his recent visit to Guatemala he joined a delegation that investigated human rights and environmental abuses. This presentation included corrupt mining companies and the injustices they are enforcing on their citizens.

Here's a video to give you a visual of whats going on.

Here is a timeline of what's happening:

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

posted Feb 15, 2011, 2:49 PM by Jana Clark-Sanders

Address to the Congress of Deputies of Spain on climate change and security

Madrid, Spain
15 February 2011
In an address to the Congress of Deputies of Spain at the Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres warned that more frequent and more severe natural disasters and water shortages had the potential to cause large-scale destabilizing population movements and highlighted the role of defense chiefs in convincing governments to shift to low-carbon societies.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

posted Feb 15, 2011, 2:33 PM by Jana Clark-Sanders

The Organizing committee approved Key documents at the 31st Session of the IPCC.  These are provided in one compiled AR5 reference document (PDF).

On 23 June 2010, the IPCC announced that 831 highly qualified experts had been selected from among 3000 nominations. See combined list of AR5 Authors and Review Editors (PDF)

The AR5 Synthesis Report Scoping Document (PDF) as agreed by Panel at the 32nd Session is now available. This outline was first developed by experts at a Scoping Meeting held in Liege (Belgium) in August 2010; and was revised and approved by governments in Busan (Republic of Korea) in October 2010.

Earth Summit 2012

posted Feb 15, 2011, 2:24 PM by Jana Clark-Sanders   [ updated Feb 15, 2011, 2:54 PM ]

Earth Summit 2012 will be the fourth Summit of its kind and represents another milestone in ongoing international efforts to accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable development globally.

On 14th - 16th May 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) or 'Rio+20' will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Also referred to as the Rio+20 Earth Summit, due to the initial conference held in Rio in 1992, the objectives of the Summit are: to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges.

The Summit will also focus on two specific themes: a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and an institutional framework for sustainable development.

Al Gore Warns on Latest Climate Trends

posted Feb 26, 2010, 1:28 AM by Eric Wong   [ updated Feb 26, 2010, 11:59 PM ]

At TED2009, Al Gore presents updated slides from around the globe to make the case that worrying climate trends are even worse than scientists predicted, and to make clear his stance on "clean coal."

Obama & The U.N.: Agenda 21

posted Feb 25, 2010, 10:29 PM by Eric Wong   [ updated Mar 24, 2010, 8:59 PM ]

Co-author of Darwin’s Racists – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Despite the devastating financial impact it will have on all American households and businesses, President Obama declares Cap and Trade must be passed this year. As with suggestions for better-structured health care reform, there is a way to clean the planet without imposing dire hardships on its habitants, including those living in the United States. Yet, President Obama yields to the strident call of radical environmentalists such as Al Gore, reportedly desirous to become the first global-warming billionaire, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In a Washington Post opinion column, Ban blamed the slaughter in Darfur on global warming instead of the Muslim genocide being perpetrated against blacks. With that, one would have to extrapolate that Osama bin Laden’s call for jihad in Darfur is also the result of global warming. With extreme hyperbole, Ban warns of war and pestilence to come if the United States does not throw billions of Americans’ tax dollars into an increasingly deceptive environmental abyss.

President Obama should put a lock on the U.S. treasury in the face of the environmental embarrassment known as climate-gate with revelations of fraud and erupting scandals among pro-global warming scientists. Yet, once again, the President is rushing to bow to a far-left agenda of international wants instead of looking out for America’s needs. With record setting snowfall and planet-cooling temperatures being documented worldwide and with the latest science and nature stacking against him, why is President Obama adamant in forcing through disastrous Cap and Trade legislation? All the while, he dispassionately declares that Americans’ energy bills will necessarily “skyrocket.”

Enter:  AGENDA 21.  Agenda 21 is a United Nation’s game plan for a radical transformation of the global society. At the Rio Earth Summit, Al Gore stated that “Americans are going to have to face a wrenching transformation of Society.” President Obama’s stated goal is a “transformation of America” as we know it. The innocuous term used by the United Nations to accomplish this transformation is “Sustainable Development.” Broken down, that means the dismantling of America as a sovereign nation and the globalization of our economy and our laws.  Our rate of development, according to globalists, is “un-sustainable” based on underdeveloped countries. In effect, it restricts population and economic growth in America through government-controlled health care and through decreased and redistributed resources such as energy and wealth. Americans should no longer “sustain life” of the very young or elderly or remain sovereign and prosperous. The globalists’ creed is — the planet cannot endure it.

Progressive politicians on both sides of the aisle have signed on to Agenda 21’s “Sustainable Development.”  Obama’s health-scare will have a vice-like grip on who gets medical care – who lives or dies, whereas Cap and Trade, that Obama so desperately wants, will allow the government to have a vice-like grip on how Americans live. With Cap and Trade, the Environmental Protection Agency will have power to force many homeowners to virtually rebuild their homes to meet stringent environmental requirements before they can sell them. Living in a house that does not meet the EPA’s “green” regulations for roofing, windows, doors, insulation or heating and cooling systems will be slapped with fines. Electrical companies are now installing “smart monitoring systems” to track usage of energy by residents. Hence, President Obama’s warning that your energy bills will “skyrocket.” This represents only one area of control.

America’s health, wealth, and way of life are to be sacrificed to global need based on bogus science by those who believe you can be duped into believing it is all in your best interest and the interest of the planet. Cap and Trade is a global agenda with pockets to be lined at America’s expense. President Obama says there is a “deficit of trust” in America. What he did not say is that it is directed at the White House.

Sharon Sebastian is co-author of Darwin’s Racists – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, among her other works. Website:

Bill Gates on Energy: Innovating to Zero!

posted Feb 25, 2010, 5:43 PM by Eric Wong   [ updated Feb 25, 2010, 10:34 PM ]

At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for "miracles" to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050


Movie: Home

posted Feb 24, 2010, 2:47 PM by Eric Wong   [ updated Feb 25, 2010, 5:54 PM ]

A magnificent newly released movie called HOME by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. It addresses the environment of our planet earth and embraces the major ecological issues that confront us, and shows how everything on our planet is interconnected. It is a great documentary movie with a message and make an impact on how we think and view the environmental issue we are facing for our future generations.

The entire length of this movie (1.33 hours) in high definition.

The movie is free to view because the producers want as many people as possible to see this movie to create awareness of our fragile planet earth and what we all can do about this, which is a view from the global perspective.

Multiple languages available. 


Ambitious Actions by the States Push U.S. Toward Climate Goals

posted Feb 20, 2010, 11:24 AM by Eric Wong   [ updated Feb 26, 2010, 12:45 AM ]

Hampered by a slow-moving Congress, the Obama administration is offering only modest greenhouse gas reduction targets at the Copenhagen conference. But limited federal action does not mean the U.S. is standing still: More than half of the 50 states are already taking steps to reduce emissions on their own

by michael northrop and david sassoon

As the Copenhagen climate summit gets underway, the United States is being widely criticized for failing to commit to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But with little fanfare, many U.S. states — the largest of which have economies bigger than most nations, and carbon footprints to match — have been quietly making serious commitments to slash emissions. These robust state climate policies have created an odd circumstance in which the United States as a whole comes to the negotiating table offering less than the sum of its individual parts.

“Taken together the actions initiated by the states, coupled with the clean energy policies and programs implemented thus far by the Obama administration, rival the scope and ambition of the actions taken to address global warming anywhere in the world,” 
says a report released last week by Environment America, a coalition of state environmental advocacy organizations.

Since more than half of the U.S.’s 50 states are actively on the path to reducing emissions on their own, state climate action is no small thing on a global scale. California, America’s bellwether environmental state, has the world’s eighth-largest economy, just behind that of Italy. California’s energy use is among the most efficient in the nation; its leadership on improving automobile fuel efficiency forced Detroit to significantly boost gasoline mileage of U.S. vehicles; and its comprehensive climate law – AB32 – is as aggressive as any in the world.

Texas is another huge state economy, and though hardly as progressive as California, it has installed wind energy capacity that ranks sixth among all
State action sheds a more hopeful light on what the U.S. can achieve.
nations in the world, behind Germany, the rest of the U.S., Spain, China, and India. Ten northeastern and mid-Atlantic states have formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative(RGGI) and together comprise the seventh-largest economy in the world. RGGI now operates a cap-and-trade system in the U.S. that is committed to reducing emissions from its power sector 10 percent by 2018.

These and other signs of progress are easy to overlook as the U.S. negotiating delegation begins work in Copenhagen, able to offer only a weak near-term emissions reduction target: 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Though the double-digit target seems impressive, it translates into a mere four percent reduction below 1990 levels. The European Union has committed to a 20 percent reduction below the more difficult 1990 benchmark, and it has offered to commit to a 30 percent reduction if the U.S. and other developed nations agree to make the same commitment.

President Obama, however, is in a tough spot. He cannot outpace a reluctant U.S. Congress. Still, when he speaks in Copenhagen at the end of the negotiating session, highlighting the many climate efforts now underway on the state and regional level in the U.S. would provide evidence that the country is beginning to make good progress on emissions reductions. International impatience with the U.S. will not suddenly evaporate, but evidence of state action sheds a more hopeful light on what the U.S. can still achieve.

Environment America’s report, 
America on the Move, analyzed state climate action and found that, taken as a whole, it will reduce CO2 emissions by 536 million metric tons per year by 2020. That’s equivalent to about 7 percent of total U.S. emissions in 2007 — almost half the distance to the 2020 reduction of 17 percent below 2005 levels Congress is contemplating.

In other words, the states have already moved the ball nearly halfway downfield while the federal government has largely remained a spectator until this year. Perhaps this will help spur Congress to support the more ambitious goals that the rest of world is demanding from the planet’s leading historical polluter.

Half of the reductions the report quantifies will come from caps on emissions that states are imposing on themselves. Leading the pack are six states — which together are responsible for a quarter of the nation’s economic output — that have adopted legally enforceable caps on greenhouse gas pollution: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey.

The rest of the reductions will come from renewable energy standards already adopted by 29 states, energy efficiency mandates adopted in 22 states, state and federal standards for appliances and cleaner cars, updated building energy efficiency codes, as well as other measures that are part of two dozen comprehensive state climate plans adopted since 2003.

None of the state governments could have taken action without making a strong case for the link between green energy initiatives and economic
States have adopted hundreds of climate action policies in their search for innovative solutions
growth. Indeed, the best evidence indicates that governments are creating jobs and growing their economies by harnessing the engine of climate action. States have adopted hundreds of policies and measures in their search for innovative solutions. APolicy Tracker available on the New America Foundation’s Web site provides state-by-state detail.

Twenty-four policies and measures account for 85 percent of the states’ emissions reduction potential, touching every sector of the economy. The majority of the policies save money or expand the economy; the remainder either cost money or require investment, but overall they create new economic opportunity.

“Every macroeconomic analysis of state climate action that we have done has shown an expansionary effect,” Tom Peterson, the CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), told us. “It should not be a big leap to figure out how to nationalize it.”

Peterson’s group has worked with governors and elected officials on both sides of the aisle in dozens of states and is completing an economic analysis of state climate action for presentation at a series of events at the Copenhagen meetings. CCS used a model known as REMI — a peer-reviewed software package commonly used by states to forecast the impacts of changes in tax rates, the exit or entry of major businesses, and the impacts of energy and environmental policy actions.

What if the 24 leading policies were adopted by all 50 U.S. states? CCS projects that the measures would create two million new jobs by 2020 and lead to a $250 billion expansion of national GDP. States that have taken early action would fare much better.

For example, 
Michigan completed a climate plan last year under the leadership of Gov. Jennifer Granholm. If the plan is implemented, Michigan could see its beleaguered economy gain 110,000 new jobs by 2025 and see its GDP grow by $20 billion. Similarly, Florida under Republican Gov. Crist, also completed a comprehensive climate plan last year, which, if implemented, would bring 148,000 new jobs to the state and create a $38 billion expansion of GDP.

“These two dozen policies are proven and straightforward,” Peterson said. “Each is in progress to some degree already, and they could be fully implemented with state and federal cooperation.”

If adopted nationally, the 24 state measures would have a significant impact. Though he is still working on final numbers, Peterson says it looks as if the trajectory of carbon cuts would be even more positive than what
A national policy that capitalizes on years of state climate work is still needed.
the Environment America report projected — a potential reduction of 16 percent to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

The CCS analysis identifies the policies and measures that provide the biggest bang for the buck. These include mandating that a certain percentage of a state’s electricity come from renewable sources, launching programs to reduce electricity demand, increasing transportation efficiency, and restoring and protecting agricultural lands and forests.

Meanwhile, state action continues to accelerate. Maryland is working to develop seven gigawatts of offshore wind power. Sparsely-populated Maine is working to develop five gigawatts, with plans to use the surplus wind-generated power to run electric vehicles. A newly energized U.S. Department of Energy is backing a plan to develop 50 gigawatts of offshore wind power in 10 states.

Michigan made headlines this year by staking a claim to becoming a center for battery manufacturing. Pennsylvania and the 10 states that belong to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are developing a low-carbon fuel standard that — together with California’s — could provide a model for the nation. Even the southeastern states, historically slow on clean energy and climate action, are taking a serious look at climate policy options under the leadership of the Southern Governors Association. Five of these states — Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina — have already developed comprehensive climate action plans.

“States have been leading the way for the last nine or 10 years in the U.S., and they intend to continue playing that role,” Vicki Arroyo, executive


Its Economy in Shambles,
the Midwest Goes Green

It took awhile, but the U.S. Midwest finally has recognized that the industries that once powered its economy will never return. Now leaders in the region are looking to renewable energy manufacturing and technologies as key to the heartland’s renaissance.

Regional Climate Pact Lesson: Avoid Giveaways to Industry
As Congress struggles over a bill to limit carbon emissions, a cap-and-trade program is already operating in 10 Northeastern states. But the regional project's mixed success offers a cautionary warning to U.S. lawmakers on how to proceed.
director of the Georgetown Climate Center, told us. “They’re looking for a federal partner.”

State governments are also prepared to work alone, according to Arroyo, since they believe the international competitiveness of their state economies is at stake. RGGI officials are meeting with officials from two other regional carbon trading efforts, making plans to link their systems if Congress fails to adopt a national cap-and-trade program. Arroyo is headed to Copenhagen, where her center is co-sponsoring an event that will feature Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, and Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington. The event’s title is telling: “Beyond Cap & Trade: Sub-National Leadership — Sooner. Stronger.”

Yet the U.S. states, disunited, can only do so much. A national policy that places a price on carbon and also capitalizes on — rather than ignores or preempts — years of state work is still needed. President Obama has an opportunity in Copenhagen to point out to the rest of the world something that has been overlooked: that the states, at least, have not been standing still for the last decade, but have been quietly showing leadership. He can also take the opportunity to goad Congress to do more by building on the strong track record of state climate action.


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