Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Germany’s Green Energy Plan: “Laboratory of ‘Green Growth’”

In an article published on May 9th, Christian Schwägerl brings attention to the new Energy Plan being put forward by Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Merkel said the Fukushima disaster “has forever changed the way we define risk in Germany” and has now committed that country to a path that, if successful, would mean that by 2030 green electricity would be the dominant source of power for German factories and households.

Given that Ms. Merkel is from the “conservative” side of Germany’s political spectrum, this is especially astounding and heartening news!

Below are a couple of quotes from the article, which is well worth reading in its entirety. (Thank you to Paul ray for bringing this to my attention.)


“In mid-March, Merkel stunned the German public and other governments by announcing an accelerated phasing out of all 17 German nuclear reactors as an immediate reaction to the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The chancellor now says she wants to slash the use of coal, speed up approvals for renewable energy investments, and reduce CO2 emissions drastically. That means that the 81 million Germans living between the North Sea and the Alps are supposed to cover their huge energy needs from wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass within a few decades.


… That makes Germany the world’s most important laboratory of “green growth.” No other country belonging to the G20 club of economic powers has a comparable agenda.”

What will it take to get every country’s leader to take a stand like this one? Yep. It will take the united vast collective will of humanity standing up and saying, “We aren’t going along with business as usual! We refuse to be manipulated into continuing on the path to collapse. We choose to live for the future of all life, not just for a selfish moment of wealth for a few.”

What a time to be alive! Together we are exploring what it means to self-generate the turning toward a Just, Thriving and Sustainable Future!

Million-Kid March to Highlight Climate Change, Telling the World: “I Matter”

iMatter March intro from iMatter March on Vimeo.

Climate change is about our survival! From May 7-14, young people from all over the world will march to send this message. By taking to the streets, the youth of this world are declaring that we need our whole society to reduce emissions and live as if our future matters – because it does!

Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time. Our societyʼs addiction to fossil fuels is messing with the perfect balance of nature and threatening the survival of our generation. It needs to stop, and we will not sit idly by as our leaders make decisions that affect our future.

This march is for young people, along with the older people who love them. Stand up and be heard!

iMatter marches will officially begin on Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2011. Some marches occur the day before, and some take place the following weekend.

Where is the march happening?

EVERYWHERE! On the city blocks of San Francisco and the suburban parks of Philadelphia. From Beijing to Boston and Ghana to Greece. From coal plants to wind farms, from schools to malls, through main streets to capitol steps. Every march is independently organized by youth leaders and those who love them.

Click here to find out if there is a march near you. If not, start one of your own!

Creating the future we want to inhabit

Since we will inherit this world, iMatter March is reaching across regional, ideological, and ethnic borders, to empower youth to organize and be heard on the issue of global climate change. We are not only the generation who will suffer most from its consequences. We are also the generation who will bring about the change needed to create a sustainable and just society, one that values nature and future generations as much as short-term interests.

So on May 8, we will march. The youth will rise up in our communities and let the world know that climate change is not about money, itʼs not about power, itʼs not about convenience, it is about our survival. Itʼs about the future of this and every generation to come. And we are ready to do whatever it takes to change it.

We are looking for march organizers in cities all across the world. You donʼt need to have any experience in organizing anything at all. All you need is passion, commitment, and desire to change the world.

Sign up at to lead a march in your community.

We matter.

This is our time.


Contributor: Alec Loorz
The iMatter March

A note to our readers about comments to this post

We appreciate all feedback. However, we can see this conversation is going in an unproductive direction, so we have disabled comments. We’re not deleting any comments, we’re simply disabling additional comments. These kids are passionate about the environment and climate change and we feel that they deserve to be applauded for what they stand for.

Ugandan Group Launches FOUR YEARS. GO. Clubs in 16 Schools

CCPI_Uganda_377Community Care and Protection Initiatives (CCPI) is walking hand in hand with the youth of Uganda to build a better country and a better planet.

Our vision is of a life free of threats of environmental calamities and violence against women and children in the Kitgum districts of Northern Uganda.

CCPI is an indigenous non-governmental organization and an ally of the FOUR YEARS. GO. movement. CCPI is working with schools and institutions, civil society and the community to revitalize the physical, moral and spiritual strength of the country.

The team of volunteers includes philosophers, lawyers, agronomists, social scientists, teachers, drivers, photographers and development workers with a broad range of experience on gender, human rights, and women’s empowerment. Inclusive participation, a holistic approach, and collaboration with other agencies are emphasized.

This family of volunteers envisions a community that is conscious of climate change and its effects, with youth empowered to reach their potential through addressing environmental injustices such as deforestation, bush burning, improper waste disposal, and more.

Uganda’s History

Northern Uganda was engulfed by conflict during the last 23 years, which led to the displacement of an estimated 1.6 million people. However, in 2006 the Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels agreed to cease hostilities under the auspices of the Juba Peace Talk.

A study commissioned by CARE International in 2009 revealed that the 23-year conflict has devastated peoples’ lives and asset base, particularly livestock. 68% of the population lived below the poverty line in 2005, compared to 62% in 1992/3.

Because there is virtually no environmental awareness activity in the region and very little access to social medias like the newspapers and television, local knowledge is limited about the impacts of deforestation for charcoal production or bush-burning for hunting.

FOUR YEARS. GO. Clubs Now in 16 Ugandan Schools

4YG clubs have been adopted by 16 schools in the Kitgum district in northern Uganda. Among the activities adopted by 4YG clubs, aimed at addressing climate change, are:

• Weekly conferences animated by our volunteers
• Music dance and drama productions and festivals
• Radio talk shows

• Student interaction
• Rallies
• Tree planting

We kindly appeal to the whole world to join our family. For as little as $1 you can make our work so beautiful. We are still limited by resources; however we try to do our best with the little we have. Visit us at


Contributor: William Akena
Organization: Community Care and Protection Initiatives (CCPI Uganda)
Email Address:

Ask The Science Guru: A voice to the stories of science that inspire, inform & educate


Organization: Ask The Science Guru

Ask The Science Guru is a platform that offers you the opportunity to inform the world about your research, publications or projects that have an impact on improving the quality of life for all that share this world. You can also contribute by giving your input on the topics featured by us and that interest you the most!

Ask The Science Guru comes to you from the pristine but threatened coastal community of North East Arnhem land in the NT Australia. Many Authors and researchers have already showcased their work through us, and we want to invite all to join them by submitting your expressions of interest related to science and the environment.

A revolution for a new generation: One 16-year-old speaks out

“My generation has failed,” Peter Goldmark of the Environmental Defense Fund said this October in a blog interview with Dominique Browning. “We are handing over the problem to our children. They—and their children—will live with the worst consequences of climate change. Make no mistake, global warming is happening right now. It is only going to get worse.”

Around the same time, Bill McKibben and the team asked for the public’s ideas. They sent out a call for direct actions people could take in the fight against climate change.

Alec Loorz provides an answer from the younger generation. He tells adults: “We get it.” The founder of Kids Versus Global Warming, he is asking 1 million kids (and the adults who care about them) to march this Mother’s Day, globally, in the iMatter march. Only 16, Loorz wants to remind kids all over the world that they, who will be most affected by climate change, matter and have power.

Check out his incredible and spirited speech from 2010′s Bioneers conference.

Alec Loorz: iMatter from Bioneers on Vimeo.

Cool Planet Labs develops EcoNavigator–Online climate change collaboration tool

Organization: Cool Planet Labs
Carolyn M. Scott

Cool Planet Labs is devoted to the application of massive scale online collaboration to address climate change, including the discovery of new climate change solutions and the distribution and dissemination of existing solutions. We are committed to helping environmental organizations and scientific/engineering organizations reach, educate and motivate large audiences and to foment a sea change through environmental action. Our approach includes cutting-edge social networking solutions and proven means of building online communities.

The Cool Planet Labs Emmy Award winning team is well recognized by industry specialists as thought leaders in the field of interactive media, its creative solutions and technological achievements.

We are developing an immersive, web based environment called EcoNavigator, a geo-global visual/collaborative environment, to creatively engage participants in finding and implementing solutions to the climate crisis.

This multi-media platform will be the next generation in social media, using a rich, green Wikipedia-like interactive framework, allowing participants the ability to explore, discover and implement climate solutions.

The Imagination Film Festival screens films to support climate change campaigns and renewable energy programs

Organization: The Imagination Film Festival

The Imagination Film Festival (IFF) is structured to help youth connect with local communities to develop local networks and the leadership skills needed to sustain their efforts and to make and share their vision.

Individuals, communities and corporations all have a responsibility to take on this challenge for the planet’s and our own survival. Education about climate change is critical to raising awareness about the enormous challenge we are facing, and to mobilizing citizens and governments toward a renewable energy future.

The IFF is structured to help youth connect with local communities, develop local networks and the leadership skills needed to create and sustain climate change action efforts.

Becoming a sponsor or partner of IFF is a powerful and tangible way to support youth becoming actively involved in climate change action efforts.

Contact us at: for our overview and sponsorship package.

Why we’re hardwired to solve climate change

“We’re not talking about utopia, we’re talking about the ability of human beings to show solidarity, not only with each other, but with our fellow creatures who have one life on this one and only little planet.”

The Empathic Civilisation, a short ten minute film narrated by Jeremy Rifkin, describes how human beings are hardwired for empathy. Harnessing this empathy, he argues, we can expand our loyalty (as we have throughout history) outside of nation-states to include the entire world. Only by increasing our natural feelings of empathy for the plight of others can we successfully save the biosphere.

A special thank you to Films For Action for featuring this movie.

What can I do to slow down climate change today? Three answers.

“How can I slow down climate change?”

This is a question that those of us who care about our planet’s well-being frequently ask ourselves. Almost any activities we do will release greenhouse gases. Driving to work, heating the house, throwing out our trash each week…the list seems endless. And, of course there are our countless choices which indirectly accelerate climate change.  Here are three actions you can take today to reduce your personal emissions.

1. Visit the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website to use their free tools. Their personal greenhouse gas emissions calculator gives you a way to estimate your total greenhouse gas emission and then helps you figure out the right ways to decrease it.  After that, the EPA tells you simple ways to reduce your impact on climate change, at home, at work or at school.

2. Go Meatless on Mondays. If you want to slow down climate change, a great place to start is looking at what you eat.  While the US only comprises 5% of the world’s population, we consume more than 15% of the world’s meat. Check out non-vegetarian Mark Bittman’s comprehensive look at America’s meat consumption.  Then, go to the Meatless Monday website to learn how and why you should go meatless on Mondays.

A clarification: this meatless move is advisable for those of us city and suburb dwellers, who buy meat after it goes through a long chain of production.  For those of us who live on a property with livestock that we later eat, or who live nearby a responsible rancher, raising meat can be a boon to agricultural production, providing free fertilizer for the ground and turning sun-grown grass into calories for us.  Like almost everything important in life, it is impossible to break this issue down into black and white, good and evil, vegetarians and meat-eaters.  However, if you want to start lessening your impact on climate change today, taking a serious look at your diet is a great place to start.

3.  Sign up to participate in 10.10.10, a global day of positive action towards climate change. From changing a lightbulb to planting a tree to transitioning to solar power, anyone can join in the world-wide party on October 10, 2010.  Learn more on the FOUR YEARS. GO. Guide to 10.10.10.

What actions are you taking to slow down climate change, today?

Climate Change is Elementary empowers students to take the lead in greening their world

Organization: Climate Change is Elementary
Author: Dave Finnigan

Elementary student energy will lead the way in the vital transformation to green. Climate Change is Elementary spends a day exciting and informing students and teachers about ways to take meaningful action toward understanding and solving the climate crisis. The activity filled day ends with an informative all-school assembly. That same evening, parents come to school to create a Family Sustainability Checklist with all the things they promise to do to save the planet.

Students learn so they can teach their families to conserve energy, water

Using our exciting activity program, which has been thoroughly tested in CT, NJ, NY and FL, students learn about energy- and water-saving activities. Then they teach their parents in a structured evening of interaction and heartfelt family communication. Different behavior changes are appropriate for different communities, so we offer a menu of possible changes from which families select the ones important to them.

Families go home with a Sustainability Checklist to mark their progress

The result is a Sustainability Checklist for each family in the school. These lists will be posted online at closed classroom-based social networks where kids get to demonstrate their changes graphically with a digital house and yard that transforms as they go down their family’s list. Change their light bulbs, and the house brightens; re-insulate and the house glows; plant vegetables, and a garden appears mysteriously in the yard. Kids can help one another to make changes.

School PTAs and Title I Fund most programs

School PTA or Title 1 eagerly pays for this program which is currently $1,500 per school.

Online carbon calculator coming soon

The online portion of the program will eventually use a carbon calculator to help kids discover their carbon reduction “score.”

How you can help

There are three ways you can help.

The Switch: Educating and Inspiring Individuals to Make the Switch to Sustainable Living and Whole-Earth Consciousness

Organization: The Switch
Author: Paula Orozco

The Switch is an environmental initiative which will join’s campaign on 10/10/10 with screenings of environmental documentaries to educate and inspire individuals to make the switch to sustainable living and whole-Earth consciousness.

The Switch’s mission is to increase awareness and inspire action through screening events of today’s most powerful environmental documentaries, followed by notable guest speakers and group discussions. By featuring these moving films from around the world, we weave threads of hope and collaboration. Through our yearly initiative we aim to create a venue through which the public can gain awareness and engage in dialogue intended to facilitate social action.

Three environmental documentaries will be screened simultaneously at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 10, 2010:

Themes explored in the documentaries include global warming, over-reliance on oil, over-consumption, clean energy, indigenous rights, personal responsibility and global society.

All proceeds from the screenings on 10/10/10 benefit the following three organizations:

This year’s events are a launch for The Switch’s yearly initiatives including NYC’s own environmental film festival on 11/11/11. Fundraisers will also be held throughout the year. Yearly initiatives will continue to expand through development of partnerships for educational environmental film programs in NY and NJ schools and via community organizations.’s Global Work Party day: 10/10/10 is a global day of action in response to the climate crisis with over 1,400 groups from over 100 countries taking action to raise awareness and to send a pointed political message to leaders: if we can get to work, you can get to work too-on the legislation and the treaties that will make all our work easier in the long run.

Climate Crisis Fact: 350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide—measured in “Parts Per Million” in our atmosphere. 350 PPM—it’s the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.

Building Bridges: A Global Shift One Bamboo Tree At A Time

Bamboo Bridge and Anthony Nguyen

By Anthony Nguyen

It was only a couple decades ago when I was born into the world and my parents gave me a middle name who’s Vietnamese to English translation meant “little bamboo.” I had been puzzled with why they chose such a name, but I eventually grew into it as my interest in bamboo was sparked a year and a half ago. It was then I ran across a video on CNN featuring a lady from Bali, named Linda Garland. She was convinced bamboo will play a big role in saving the planet. Since, I have discovered many of the applications for perhaps the most versatile and resilient plant in the world and how it fits into my life and the legacy I’d like to leave behind.

Why Bamboo?

Bamboo is used for food, medicine, construction, textiles, musical instruments, arts & crafts, water processing, irrigation, transportation (bamboo bicycles & trailers). It can replace wood in any application including paper & charcoal. It prevents soil erosion, has higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel, rapidly regenerates after being cut in a matter of 3-5 years (unlike trees which can take more than 30), and has a higher CO2 intake/oxygen output per unit of mass than trees’ per unit of equal mass.

The Person and The Action Plan

As an Economics major, environmentalist, and a business minded person, I immediately started to think of how to apply these uses/benefits to a Western world facing a plethora of challenges. My primary goal has been to implement bamboo propagation into my real estate business. Then for the future, my aspirations are to create other businesses that promote further bulk growth and sale of bamboo for construction purposes as a substitute for the wood harvested from our precious rain forests. These businesses would address the challenges we face with our depleting resources and the global climate crisis.

These ideas, of course, are a picture slowly being pieced together by an idealist. The realization of my dream is contingent upon many things working out favorably for a number of years. However, part of the philosophy behind 4YG is to take action NOW. Even though I don’t currently own acres upon acres of land, I know what little steps I can take in the present so that together we can head in the right direction. Some of which include: germinating/planting seedlings of timber bamboo in pots and gifting them to family & friends to increase their level of consciousness on environmental sustainability, propagating more mature bamboo and planting on my company’s investment properties, and happily sharing my story with the great people at 4YG. Small things really do all add up, more than you could ever imagine.

Anthony Nguyen

To Make Change Happen

Our society throughout history has proven to advance itself leaps and bounds when we inspire dreamers bold enough to formulate a seemingly out of reach vision to solve massive problems. Each leader had enough patience to approach the journey ahead: left foot…right foot…left foot…right foot. The momentum was then fueled with the immense passion and motivation put forth in his or her convictions to make the vision a reality. Finally, support was rallied and the faith that doing the right thing would ultimately pay good dividends for their fellow man was never lost. I am affirmed every day that it’s my destiny to fulfill my mission to better this world to the best of my ability. Each person ultimately creates his or her own path. But it takes us collectively walking in the same direction to be able to live in harmony with the world and one another.

Anthony can be reached at or you can visit his blog at

Transition US – People and Communities Taking Action

Organization: Transition US: Engaging People and Communities
Author: Carolyne Stayton

The Transition movement represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people and communities to take the far-reaching actions that are required to mitigate the effects of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. These re-localization efforts are designed to result in a life that is more fulfilling, more socially connected and more equitable than the one we have today.

The Transition model is based on a loose set of real world principles and practices that have been built up over time through experimentation and observation of communities as they drive forward to reduce carbon emissions and build community resilience.

Underpinning the model is a recognition of the following.

The Transition Movement believes that is up to us in our local communities to step into a leadership position on this situation. We need to start working now to mitigate the interrelated effects of peak oil, climate change, and the economic crisis, before it is too late. Together we can make a difference.

You can get involved today by joining your local Transition Initiative or starting a new initiative by hosting a Training for Transition event in your own community.

10:10 Global – Cutting Carbon 10% At A Time

Organization: 10:10 Global
Author: Stephen Barnes

10:10 UK

10:10’s big dream is to get every sector of society cutting their carbon emissions by 10% in a year, starting in 2010. And it’s working.

Any person, family, business, school or other organisation can cut 10% – and by working together we can make sure our actions count.

Since our launch in September 2009, more than 90,000 individuals and 3,000 businesses have joined the 10:10 movement, each cutting their emissions by 10%.
Massive UK organisations like the Science Museum, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, The Women’s Institute and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, plus 1,800 schools, colleges and universities are also on board.

10:10 Global

10:10 was initially launched as a UK campaign, but on our first day we received an email from Malaysia: “Hi! I’d love to start a 10:10 campaign here. What do I do?”. Hundreds of similar requests followed, and 10:10 has now taken off in over 40 countries around the world. 10:10 Global works to co-ordinate the activities of these country hubs – providing them with resources, tools, information and strategy from the UK campaign.

We operate on an open-source model and allow 10:10 hubs in other countries to adapt the UK model to best fit their country’s political and social landscape. Carefully selecting the right partners in each country, we encourage our country hubs to operate with independence, ensuring that all campaigns are best suited to fit the needs of each particular country.

For more information about 10:10 Global please visit our homepage:


10:10 has joined forces with international campaigning heavyweights to co-ordinate 10:10:10 – a global day of doing. On 10th October 2010, thousands of individuals, families, schools, businesses and other organisations worldwide will take simple steps to save energy and reduce their emissions.

These ordinary actions, combined with iconic events, will make an extraordinary difference. Not only will they cut carbon directly; they will also send a powerful message to world leaders that people and organisations everywhere are ready to tackle climate change.

Thousands of events are being planned around the world: in Croatia and Russia there are 10,000 schools planting trees; in the Netherlands there’s a carbon-cutting TV telethon; in Japan there are sumo wrestlers cycling to training in Japan; in India and The Maldives there are solar installations going up on the homes of world leaders. To find out what’s going on in your area or to organise an action yourself, please visit

The 10:10 Message

10:10 uses positive messaging to empower people to start taking action against climate change now. We seek to move away from the all-too-common doom and gloom narratives of climate change and turn it into an accessible concept.

For the large majority of the population, climate change remains a distant, abstract concern: a problem they are unable to do anything about, and one that is for others to solve, at some other time and in some other place. 10:10 shows climate change in a way that ordinary people can relate to and will actively want to get involved with; a way that brings both personal agency and a fresh perspective on the power of collective action to effect meaningful change.

We seek to create an encounter with climate change that for once is exciting and desirable instead of disempowering and depressing. It may call for a relatively shallow and short-term level of engagement with this issue right now, but many people need to start this journey from where they find themselves. Nobody learns to swim at the deep end of the pool.

We believe 10:10 has the potential to engender a society-wide engagement with the challenge of making emissions reductions; one that just might have a chance of nudging us into taking the first genuine steps towards a post-carbon future – regardless of any agreements that may or may not be reached between nation states in the UN negotiations.
10:10 is also an attempt to intervene in this deadlock between states and their citizens by reaching a new accommodation that recognises each party’s respective role in bringing about change – and acknowledges that neither one can move very far forwards without the other.

Please visit our website ( for more information about what we do or if you like what you’ve heard already, sign-up now to cut your emissions by 10% here:

HOME: a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

This movie should be required viewing for everybody! From the photographer that introduced the world to stunning photographs in his collection, “Earth from Above”, comes a truly inspiring and eye-opening movie.  You can watch the movie on YouTube – in its entirety, in high definition and for free!


“In 200,000 years on Earth, humanity has upset the balance of the planet, established by nearly four billion years of evolution. The price to pay is high, but it’s too late to be a pessimist: humanity has barely ten years to reverse the trend, become aware of the full extent of its spoliation of the Earth’s riches and change its patterns of consumption.”

Comment below to engage in the discussion.

Home (Trailer)