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International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Not only is this Friday, 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women but it is just the first of 16 days of activism under the theme UNiTE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls which culminates with the very appropriate International Human Rights Day on 10th December. Violence against women and girls is found in a range of forms including: intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide); sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment); human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation); female genital mutilation; and child marriage. While awareness has risen tremendously in recent years, and many previously immune offenders brought to justice, VAWG remains one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. Sadly, the rise of . . .

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

Hope for the Amazon?

The surprise return to power in Brazil of previous president Lula da Silva has also seen a surprise reprieve for rainforest areas whose future looked doomed under the previous regime. At COP27, Lula said: “I would like to say to you all that Brazil is back. Brazil is back to resume its ties with the world and to once again fight hunger in the world. To cooperate once again with the poorest countries – above all Africa – to cooperate with technology transfers to build a better future for our peoples. “We are back. We are back to help build a peaceful world order based on dialogue and multilateralism. The world of today is not the same as the world in 1945.” As part of this, one of his first announcements was that Germany and Norway will reopen the Amazon fund. He called for COP30 to be held in the Amazon rainforest, and announced that he would be setting up a ministry for Indigenous people. . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Experts Issue Guide to Prevent Net-zero Greenwashing by Non-State Actors (IISD) 4 signs of progress at the UN climate change summit (The Conversation) 'There is greenwashing at COP': ClientEarth CEO slams sponsor Coca-Cola's plastic footprint (Eco-business) Solar power saves US$34 billion in fossil fuel costs for Asian countries (Eco-business) Global heating to drive stronger La Niña and El Niño events by 2030, researchers say (The Guardian) 'First digital nation': Tuvalu turns to metaverse as rising seas threaten existence – video (The Guardian) Opinion - There Is No Such Thing As Sustainable Dairy (green queen) Why Climate Grief is the Next Mental Health Crisis (green queen) Impacked packs up $2.5M to give the packaging industry a greener tint (techcrunch) . . .

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

Day of 8 billion

While we can never know the exact population of any large scale entity (even a city is unknown, let alone the whole world) we can make a reasonable approximation, and a year here or there does not make any difference to the global scale impacts over the coming decades and (hopefully!!) centuries of the human species. The UN will mark 15 November as the day on which humanity reached 8 billion people. This will draw attention to the patterns we see in fertility and population growth and how they impact on the quality of life and standards of living of people around the globe. In my school days we thought the world population might reach 20 billion!! Now it has reached 8 billion 12 years after hitting 7 billion and is expected to take 15 years to get to 9 billion and stabilize at 9.7 or so. This is good news as with a slowing rate of growth and a ceiling not too much more, planning for resource distribution and sustainability can become much more accurate. . . .

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

Hiding behind AI

There’s a very good article by John Naughton, professor of the public understanding of technology at the Open University, in The Guardian (for whom he writes regularly). He highlights the way that tech has followed other examples in history of using one label – for something perceived as ‘good’ – to describe a different thing, which may be perceived to be, or actually be, ‘bad’ or at least not ideal or not what we think it is. He highlights how machine learning is now almost always referred to as AI. Now machine learning is definitely not artificial intelligence but whether by laziness or something more pernicious that is the label now used and the tech companies do not object and in fact amplify it. Our feeling that AI may generally work for good, allows all the social and environmental damage of machine learning to go unchallenged and allows the continued economic exploitation of tech users through the data usage that machine learning manip . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Day of Eight Billion (UN) Accelerating Net-zero Pledges with Public-led Climate Financing (IISD) COP27: three reasons rich countries can no longer ignore calls to pay developing world for climate havoc (The Conversation) Climate change: carbon offsetting isn’t working – here’s how to fix it (The Conversation) ‘Toxic cover-up’: UN blasts oil majors’ fake net zero pledges (CHN) In numbers: The state of the climate ahead of Cop27 (CHN) The 7 Best Vegan Books To Ease Into Eating Less Meat (green queen) Corporate Sustainability Is In High Demand. So Are Qualified Workers, Finds Report (green queen) The cost to Africa (CA) France to require all large car parks to be covered by solar panels (The Guardian) . . .

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

How to Minimize Waste On Amazon Orders

I really enjoyed this listicle in green queen not least because it combines common sense with some less well known ideas. I had never realized you could contact Amazon customer service and get them to mark your account for minimal packaging. Also first time I’ve come across Treeclicks. Of course if we can be mindful about online shopping we can consolidate a few things into one order to reduce packaging and of course we should know to retain and reuse packaging. What the article doesn’t mention is the other problem of transport emissions. The more you order the more times a van drives out to you. And if you deliberately over order and then return items, you are going to hell my friend. . . .

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

Systems Change Lab report

SCL has just published a report called State of Climate Action 22 which assess the progress on climate action across the sectors which collectively make up about 85% of all GHG emissions – agriculture, transport, industry, buildings, power and forestry. They used 40 indicators to measure progress and found NONE on course for 2030 targets. 27 were going in the right direction and the rest were getting worse. Published under Systems Change Lab on 26 October 2022, the report is a joint effort between Bezos Earth Fund, Climate Action Tracker, Climate Analytics, ClimateWorks Foundation, NewClimate Institute, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, and WRI. Read: https://www.wri.org/research/state-climate-action-2022#:~:text=limit%20within%20reach.-,The%20State%20of%20Climate%20Action%202022%20provides%20a%20comprehensive%20assessment,technological%20carbon%20removal%2C%20and%20finance. . . .

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