Archive for May, 2014

27/05/2014

'Time Running Out' to Stop Rising CO2 Levels as Average Hits New high — UN

Human Wrongs Watch

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have crossed a new threshold, the United Nation’s weather agency on 26 May 2014 confirmed*, warning that time is running out to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo: UNEP

Photo: UNEP

In April, monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout the northern hemisphere, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported.

“This threshold is of symbolic and scientific significance and reinforces evidence that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities are responsible for the continuing increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gases warming our planet,” the WMO continued. CO2 levels first reached 400 ppm in April 2012, but this is the first time the monthly average passed the threshold.

The agency predicts the global annual average CO2 concentration will cross this threshold in 2015 or 2016. “Time is running out,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in the statement.

read more »

26/05/2014

Chaos in Libya – How the US-NATO War Destabilized North Africa and Now Threatens Europe

Human Wrongs Watch

By Timothy Alexander Guzman – TRANSCEND Media Service– Libya has been steadily deteriorating politically and economically since the US-NATO invasion of 2011. The South African based News24 reported that a battle had erupted between rebel forces that ousted President Muammar Gaddafi and Islamist militants in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Part of a group of six (italian built) Palmaria heavy howitzers of the Gaddafi forces, destroyed by French airplanes at the west-southern outskirts of Benghazi, Libya, in Opération Harmattan on March 19, 2011. In the background other destroyed vehicles along the street that leads from Benghazi to Ajdabija. Date: 18 April 2011 | Author :Bernd.Brincken | Wikimedia Commons

Part of a group of six (italian built) Palmaria heavy howitzers of the Gaddafi forces, destroyed by French airplanes at the west-southern outskirts of Benghazi, Libya, in Opération Harmattan on March 19, 2011 | Author : Bernd.Brincken | Wikimedia Commons

Khalifa Haftar (who helped the West remove Gaddafi) and his ‘National Army’ were seeking to “Purge” Libya of suspected terrorists. There were witnesses and even a reporter from the Agence-France Presse (AFP) who actually saw what happened at the scene.

“The witnesses said a group led by Khalifa Haftar, a former rebel chief in the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, was backed by warplanes that pounded a barracks occupied by the Islamist “February 17 Brigade” militia” the report said. “Militiamen responded by opening up with anti-aircraft fire.” Both groups also battled in the Sidi Fradj area in the south of Benghazi.

read more »

26/05/2014

Dirty Fossil Fuel, Oil Drilling, Industrial Fishing, Conflicts… The Arctic Dies!

Human Wrongs Watch

By Greenpeace/Save the Arctic

In the last 30 years, we’ve lost as much as three-quarters of the floating sea ice cover at the top of the world. The volume of that sea ice measured by satellites in the summer, when it reaches its smallest, has shrunk so fast that scientists say it’s now in a ‘death spiral’.

.
For over 800,000 years, ice has been a permanent feature of the Arctic ocean. It’s melting because of our use of dirty fossil fuel energy, and in the near future it could be ice free for the first time since humans walked the Earth.
.
This would be not only devastating for the people, polar bears, narwhals, walruses and other species that live there – but for the rest of us too. The ice at the top of the world reflects much of the sun’s heat back into space and keeps our whole planet cool, stabilising the weather systems that we depend on to grow our food. Protecting the ice means protecting us all.
.
OIL DRILLING A new Arctic oil rush is starting. Shell, BP, Exxon, Gazprom, Rosneft and others want to risk a devastating Arctic oil spill for only three years’ worth of oil.
26/05/2014

Africa Day – The World’s Most Food Insecure Continent

Human Wrongs Watch

The world must do more to unleash Africa’s full potential in agriculture, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 25 May 2014 said, while also urging the continent’s leaders and development partners to combat growing social and economic inequalities.

A woman farmer in Ganta, Liberia. Photo: UNMIL/Christophe Herwig

A woman farmer in Ganta, Liberia. Photo: UNMIL/Christophe Herwig

“Greater equity presents a common challenge to the continent as a whole and can help foster peace and stability,” Ban Ki-moon said in his message to mark Africa Day, which commemorates the founding in 1963 of the Organization of African Unity, now known as the African Union (AU).

Highlighting this year’s theme for Africa Day, which focuses on agriculture and food security, Ban noted that two out of three people on the continent are employed by the agricultural sector even as hunger persists in various countries.

With an average annual GDP increase of 4.8 per cent between 2000 and 2010, up from 2.1 per cent in the previous decade, Africa has seven out of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world.

The agriculture sector, in particular, has progressed considerably, with the intensification of staple food production.

read more »

24/05/2014

Norway – Number 1 on Quality of Life, Yet Having High, Increasing Loneliness. How Come?

Human Wrongs Watch

“Two major contradictions: between ranking as No. 1 on Quality of Life indicators, yet having a high and increasing loneliness and not only at old age; and between having a country but increasingly letting others do the work. How come? Because interaction nets dissolve. Extended families disappeared long time ago.”

The village of Reine in Lofoten, Norway.2009 Author: User:Sveter (Please credit as "Petr Šmerkl, Wikipedia" in case you use this outside WMF projects.) Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 | Wikimedia Commons

The village of Reine in Lofoten, Norway.2009 | Author: User:Sveter (Please credit as “Petr Šmerkl, Wikipedia” in case you use this outside WMF projects.) Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 | Wikimedia Commons

By Johan Galtung*, TRANSCENDin Oslo, 200 Years after the 17 May 1814 Independence Constitution. And why did that happen? The Treaty of Kiel 14 January 1814 between UK-Sweden of the anti-French Sixth Coalition and Denmark-Norway allied to Napoléon made Copenhagen cede Norway to Sweden.

And why did that happen?

read more »

23/05/2014

How Much Water Do We Use For … ?

Human Wrongs Watch

Rome, May, 2014 – The world contains an estimated 1 400 million cubic km of water, but only 0.003% of this vast amount -about 45 000 cubic km- are what is called “fresh water resources” – water that theoretically can be used for drinking, hygiene, agriculture and industry. But not all of this water is accessible. For example, seasonal flooding makes water extremely difficult to capture before it flows into remote rivers, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO reports.*

Photo: FAO

Photo: FAO

In fact, only about 9 000-14 000 cubic km are economically available for human use – a mere teaspoon in a full bathtub when compared to the total amount of water on earth. With a fast increasing population , will this be enough water to sustain human life?

Of course, quantity isn’t the only issue. The quality of the water supply is also important.

read more »

23/05/2014

Tiny Though Some May Be, Islands Play a "Huge Role" in Sustaining Life on the Planet

Human Wrongs Watch

Tiny though some may be, islands play a huge role in sustaining life on the planet – making up less than 5 per cent of Earth’s landmass, they are home to 20 per cent of all bird, reptile and plant species – and protecting their fragile ecosystems from ill-considered development, polluted waters and invasive species is the main focus of this year’s International Day for Biodiversity.

Young Timorese fisherman wearing his wooden goggles to catch fish along the shores of Atauro island off Dili. UN Photo/Martine Perret

Young Timorese fisherman wearing his wooden goggles to catch fish along the shores of Atauro island off Dili. UN Photo/Martine Perret

.
While islands and their surrounding near-shore marine areas face immense challenges, especially those triggered by a rapidly warming planet, the head of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is convinced there are “bright spots;” that the innovation, experience and knowledge of islands and the communities that thrive among them can contribute significantly to the conservation and sustainable use of Earth’s biodiversity and natural resources, UN said on 22 May 2014.
23/05/2014

Commercial Sexual Exploitation Generates US$ 99 Billion… a Year!

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva, 20 May 2014, ILO* – Forced labour in the private economy generates US$ 150 billion in illegal profits per year, about three times more than previously estimated, according to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO report, Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour, said two thirds of the estimated total of US$ 150 billion, or US$ 99 billion, came from commercial sexual exploitation, while another US$ 51 billion resulted from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture and other economic activities.
Photo: ILO

Photo: ILO

“This new report takes our understanding of trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery to a new level,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder “Forced labour is bad for business and development and especially for its victims. Our new report adds new urgency to our efforts to eradicate this fundamentally evil, but hugely profitable practice as soon as possible.”
23/05/2014

Laos “Land Grabs” Drive Subsistence Farmers into Deeper Poverty

Human Wrongs Watch

BAN HOUYTHAO, 22 May 2014, (IRIN*) – “Land grabs” in Laos are driving poor farmers, including ethnic minorities, off their land, away from livelihoods they know and into further poverty, activists and experts say.

An ethnic Hmong woman in Ban Houythao, northern Luang Prabang

“When these lands [are given] to companies and converted to industrial agriculture or other uses, it destroys the foundation of rural people’s lives, livelihoods and knowledge systems, as well as their access to food, nutrition, medicines and incomes,” Shalmali Guttal, a senior analyst with Focus on the Global South, a Bangkok-based NGO which campaigns for social justice in Laos, told IRIN.

read more »

20/05/2014

A Third of Our Food Depend on Bees and Other Insects — Don't Kill Them!

Human Wrongs Watch

By Matthias Wüthrich, Greenpeace*May 20, 2014 — A third of our food, including some of our most delicious produce such as apples, tomatoes and coffee, along with most of the flowering plants on earth, depend on honeybees, wild bees and other insects for pollination. The situation, however, doesn’t look good for either bees or our food. Toxic pesticides used on crops and flowers are contaminating pollen and nectar sought by bees, with adverse effects on their health.

Photo: Greenpeace

Photo: Greenpeace

.
The cause? A destructive, chemical-intensive agricultural system promoted by several multinational companies. These corporations not only threaten our bees, but also put our food security and diversity at risk.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: