Archive for May 15th, 2012

15/05/2012

Rising Voracious Consumption, Living as If We Had Two Planets

Human Wrongs Watch

Gland, Switzerland — An ever-growing demand for resources by a growing population is putting tremendous pressures on our planet’s biodiversity and is threatening our future security, health and well-being, reveals the 2012 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report – the leading biennial survey of the Earth’s health.

**We have lost 97% of our wild tigers in just over a century; only 3,200 remaining | Source: WWF

Produced in collaboration with the Zoo-logical Society of London and Global Footprint Network, this year’s report was launched on 14 May from the International Space Station – by ESA astronaut André Kuipers, who provided a unique perspective of the state of the planet from his European Space Agency mission.

“We only have one Earth. From up here I can see humanity’s footprint, including forest fires, air pollution and erosion – challenges which are reflected in this edition of the Living Planet Report,” said Kuipers in launching the report during his second mission into space.

“While there are unsustainable pressures on the planet, we have the ability to save our home, not only for our benefit, but, above all, for generations to come,” he said.

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15/05/2012

Global Financial Tax Wanted to Offset Costs of Economic Crisis

Human Wrongs Watch

A group of United Nations (UN) independent experts today called on the European Union (EU) to take the lead in promoting the adoption of a global financial transaction tax that would offset the costs of the current economic crisis and protect basic human rights, the UN reports.

*Youth protesting in New York, as part of Occupy Wall Street movement. Photo: David Shankbone

“Where the world financial crisis has brought about the loss of millions of jobs, socialized private debt burdens and now risks causing significant human rights regressions through wide-ranging austerity packages, a financial transaction tax (FTT) is a pragmatic tool for providing the means for governments to protect and fulfil the human rights of their people,” said the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda.

According to a news release from the UN office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), estimates suggest that at its lowest rate the FTT would yield about $48 billion across the Group of Twenty major economies, with higher rates offering up to $250 billion per year to offset the costs of the enduring economic, financial, fuel, climate and food crises.

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