Today’s Sustainability Spotlight features Dr. Eric Kandel, a Novel Laureate. His work entails the Physiology of memory. Earlier today President of NGO Sustainability met up with Dr. Kandel to speak about the effects climate change and pollution have on the brain.
On Wednesday, May 31st, 2017, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) elected Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia’s Foreign Minister, as president of its 72nd session (2017-2018). Lajcak served as a three-term Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia.
Here is an important takeaway point from his acceptance speech:
- SDGs & Climate Action– Prioritize addressing inequalities and helping the least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).
The Economist (November 28, 2015)
“Clear thinking needed”
The climate is changing because of previous inventions like the steam turbine and the internal combustion engine. However, global warming cannot be dealt with using today’s tools and mindsets. The new research agenda needs to tackle the deficiencies of renewables as well as needs radical innovation as a key to reducing emissions over the medium and long term. That is why the best way to cope with climate change is to keep inventing, even though the effects on climate change will not be immediate.
The Wall Street Journal (November 30, 2015)
“Carbon-Tax Debate Brings Together Unusual Allies” by Sarah Kent & Justin Scheck
Several big oil companies have fallen into unlikely alignment with environmental groups calling for new taxes on air polluters like coal-burning power plants. One key reason is that these taxes are probably good for their natural-gas businesses. As a result, a so-called carbon tax, which would force companies to pay for their emissions and likely increase oil producers’ costs, also would increase demand for natural gas, an increasingly significant part of their output. The companies are part of a collection of business interests, environmental activists and economists that have urged negotiators meeting at the climate talks in Paris to consider potential carbon pricing policies as a tool to curb emissions.
The New York Times (December 2, 2015)
“What You Can Do About Climate Change” by Josh Katz & Jennifer Daniel
Global climate change is a complicated topic and any long-term solution will require profound changes in how we generate energy. Nevertheless, at the same time, there are everyday things that people can do to reduce their personal contribution to a warming planet. Seven simple guidelines on how people’s choices today affect the climate tomorrow are presented in this article.
The New York Times (December 2, 2015)
“With Coal Industry Under Pressure, Some See Long-Term Decline” by John Schwartz
According to the International Energy Agency, coal use peaked eight years ago among the group of industrialized nations and the phasing out of inefficient coal-fired power plants is one of the biggest, most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Especially the rise of cheap alternatives like natural gas, as well as wind and solar power, has had a great effect on coal’s fortunes.Plummeting coal prices and business decisions by the companies to take on debt have also weighed down the industry. In addition, campaigns by activistshave helped to reduce the number of coal-burning plants in the United States. That is why coal is in trouble, and that could be good news for a warming world.
The Financial Times (December 2, 2015)
“COP21 Paris climate talks: India offers to cut coal use” by Pilita Clark & James Wilson
India, one of the world’s largest coal users, offered to cut its coal use. It will cut back on its investments in the fuel if the new climate deal due to be struck in Paris delivers more money to help. According to officials, solar power, hydro, nuclear, and other non-carbon sources are what India will develop to the largest extent they can, on condition that it is affordable.