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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The UN observance for International Day of Women and Girls in Science was on 11 February. The theme was Innovate. Demonstrate. Elevate. Advance. Sustain. ( I.D.E.A.S.). Incredibly, in 2023, women are typically given smaller research grants than their male colleagues and, while they represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women. Despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women still account for only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics. While there are many nuanced elements to gender equality, the fundamental problem with gender inequality is how it represents a waste of human capital in so many areas. And with tech having an important role to play in a multi-faceted approach to sustainable development, wasting human capital is simply nuts. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

The world’s first environmental clean-up happened 400 million years ago (The Conversation) Auto industry risks missing climate goal by 75% -industry-backed study (Reuters) Startups, here’s how you can make hardware without ruining the planet (TechCrunch) Europe proposes mass exit from energy treaty (CHN) What Is the Blue Economy? (green queen) ‘They get the big picture’: the Swedish tech startup helping cities go green (The Guardian) Recycling still a 'marginal activity' as single-use plastic production ramps up (Eco-business) Loopholes wide enough to ‘drive a diesel truck through’ – how to tell if a business is really net zero (The Conversation) How to build a tear-apart city (Future Planet) Geoengineering to cool earth: Space dust as Earth's sun shield (Science Daily) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Balancing economic growth with the SDGs

An interesting report from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) - the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report - illustrates how a reduction in growth from the various impacts of covid, the Ukraine war etc have damaged gains made towards the SDGs. It’s a dilemma because of course much of the damage that has required the SDGs to even exist has been caused by economic growth. So it’s not just a question of having growth but what the nature of that growth is. this emphasises the dire need to shift systems to truly sustainable economic activity, green economies and so on. It also highlights how the SDGs are designed to incorporate economic, social and environmental measures. A hard balancing act. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

World Wetlands Day

Last week, 2 Feb was a UN Observance for the wetlands of the world. These are often overlooked in the media and by extension the public, perhaps as their destruction is less vivid that for example rainforest destruction. Just as the big cats get lots of attention in the animal world compared to endanger reptiles, so wetlands do not get enough attention. This is dangerous because they provide habitat to an incredible 40% of all species and they store carbon 55% quicker than rainforest. They also provide livelihoods to millions of people and offer important natural barriers to coastal erosion and coastal threats such as storm surges. Yet they are being lost at 3 x the rate of forests. In the few cases where wetlands have been restored the rebound in biodiversity, protection from hazards and improvement in quality of life has been astounding. Hopefully, this can be encouraged to be taken up at even faster rates. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Mitigated disaster (Crooked Timber) Thailand's CP Foods goes coal-free (Nikkei Asia) Indonesia opens its ‘ocean account’ for sustainable marine management (Mongabay) Coral species that withstand ocean warming identified (SciDev) Sorry, GDP. There Are Other Ways to Measure a Nation’s Worth (Wired) Green energy investment tops US$1 trillion, matches fossil fuels (CNA) Activist group accuses Shell of misleading investors on renewables (Reuters) Singapore anti-waste drive raises eyebrows by giving away coffee in disposable cups (Eco-business) Study Suggests Textile Reuse Up to 70x More Sustainable Than Producing New Clothing (green queen) Davos: three ways leaders can use these summits to create a more sustainable world (The Conversation) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Political veganism

An interesting article in The Conversation about making the discussion about veganism political. My main reaction was that I always felt those discussions (as illustrated by the author) were political. And that this has always been one of the sticks with which people have beaten vegans - that they politicise food choice. But surely the argument should be that all food choices in modern industrialised countries are inherently political because of the agro-industrial systems that put the food in the shops in the first place. Unless you truly live self-sufficiently in the industrialised world (so a vanishingly small fraction of a percent of the population), then your food choices are political and have been for at least 50 years. Another massive failure in our education systems that do not give a true understanding of the world. But that is only to be expected as the education system is controlled by the same people who control and benefit from the agro-industrial system. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Marine Protection aiming for 30%

The fifth Marine Protected Area Congress takes place early Feb and William to get agreements in place to protect 30% of the worlds oceans by 2030. Of course this is a hugely important area for work. The oceans are famous for being the last great on planet unknown but what we do know about the unknowns is that they very likely hold keys to biodiversity and climate control that we probably do not want to upset. Today less than 8% of the world’s ocean is covered by MPAs. The problems we need to be aware f though are two fold in my mind: Are the governance and enforcement processes going to be realistic and achievable. an MPA that is ignored is not an MPA. Why 30%? Just so you can say 30 by 30? I am increasingly suspicious of catchy, pithy streamlines like this. This is serious people. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Global seaweed industry could reduce land needed for farming by 110m hectares, study finds (The Guardian) Vertical farming promises a future in which our food is grown in pockets of spaces in our cities and beneath our feet. But how far can it really go? (Future Planet) Which Diet Creates The Least Amount Of Food Waste? (green queen) War and the environment: UN adopts new principles (Eco-business) Portugal agrees to swap Cape Verde’s debt for environmental investment (CHN) Turning abandoned mines into batteries (Science Daily) BSI unveils new standard for establishing corporate 'purpose beyond profit’ (Business Green) EU eyes more help for shrinking bee populations (cna) World’s Renewables Are Set to Grow Enough in 5 Years to Power China (Green Citizen) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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