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Getting beyond politics

Image by: By United States Department of State   John Kerry, the ex-secretary of state of the US and current US Climate Envoy made the very good point this last week of the need to get beyond politics when it comes to addressing climate change. After a couple of weeks that saw a wide range of extreme weather events around the entire northern hemisphere destroying property, business, infrastructure and taking lives, it may finally be coming home to even the hardest skeptics that climate is changing, that weather will become more extreme and that humans will suffer. That alone may take them beyond the arguments of why it is changing which has driven so much avoidance to date and get them simply solution oriented. In attempting to get the US and China to co-operate more, Kerry is addressing two countries who are responsible for 40% of all emissions globally. They also wield the most influence among many other countries. So if they can overcome their political differences to pro . . .

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

Understanding time in the race against climate change

Image by: günter – from Pixabay   There is a fascinating article in The Conversation (Understanding time may be the key to the race against climate change by Ruth Ogden) which taps into something many of us can acknowledge and see but often feel powerless to address – humans are really bad at long-term, large scale solutions to the problems needing this approach. Some are better than others of course – witness the much longer-term planning of a centralized government like China compared to those on short-term electoral cycles like the US. Ogden takes it further though to add another layer, again which many of us may be aware of but unsure how address it, which is that our perception of time varies both internally and between people. So time is a slippery customer (does it even exist or is it a human construct) which is difficult to attain consensus on regardless of how real or how regular it may be. She highlights some of the reasons for time being so . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by: svklimkin from Pixabay   What El Niño means for the world’s perilous climate tipping points (The Conversation) Monsoon madness: how climate change is normalising extreme events (Eco-business) Scientists propose genetically modified trees to green wood pulp industry (Eco-business) Extreme weather: the climate crisis in four charts (The Guardian) Food Footprint: Is Eating Seafood Better for the Climate Than Meat? (greenqueen) EU to push for fossil fuel phaseout ‘well ahead of 2050’ at Cop28 (CHN) This heatwave is a climate omen. But it’s not too late to change course (The Guardian) Are short term profits damaging ESG spending? (Ascent on LinkedIn) . . .

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

World Youth Skills Day

Image by Suvajit Roy from Pixabay   On 15th July is the UN Observance World Youth Skills Day. For 2023 the theme is Skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future. This is one of the more recent days of observance, being declared in 2014. This reflects the UN reacting to a changing world where we see new issues coming up. For quite a while now, many post-industrial economies have been witnessing a knowledge and skills gap and labour shortages in skilled industry sectors. This is an unforeseen (??) negative by-product of the push to improve population-wide educational outcomes which saw these economies strive to increase the amount of university places available through the 1990s an onwards and which took the percentage of young people going to university from less than 10% to over 50%. As a result, those in the middle who may have looked to apprenticeships in advanced industry sectors, instead took the option for upward mobility by going this new academic . . .

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

Solar airports

Image by PrestoHaun  from Pixabay   A couple of news items this week got me thinking again about flying and climate. In The Guardian the question was raised whether it is possible to both expand flights capacity and achieve net zero. This is on the back of the UK airport Gatwick attempting to get permission for a new runway and all the extra flying that will therefore happen and other UK airports asking for longer operating hours and talking about greater efficiencies to get more passengers through. If mature markets like the UK feel there is more to be done with passenger numbers, what about the emerging economies which have yet to see sizeable numbers of people who can both afford to fly and decide this is how they would like to spend their new discretionary income (though of course, much of the extra capacity in places like the UK will be to receive these new flyers). The article then looks at how net zero is being addressed despite these expansion plans – carbon . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by Ralf Vetterle  from Pixabay   Improving soil could keep world within 1.5C heating target, research suggests (The Guardian) How climate change is causing a communication breakdown in the animal world (The Conversation) Why deforestation has hit a historic low in Indonesia (Eco-Business) Greenwashing Is Everywhere – Here’s What It Is And How to Spot It In Action (greenqueen) Identifying loss and damage is tough – we need a pragmatic but science-based approach (CHN) Potent greenhouse gas produced by industry could be readily abated with existing technologies (ScienceDaily) Mapping the hottest temperatures around the world (Aljazeera) . . .

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

Why we need to share (even more)!

I can’t believe I’ve only just been made aware of Ecosia. This is a search engine founded way back in 2009 which just goes to show how much news and information is out there that I can never have heard of it until now despite working in the sustainability field. It is a collaboration with Microsoft and can be added through an extension to Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and others. It began using Yahoo results but now uses Bing. In 2018, Ecosia committed to becoming  privacy-friendly by encrypting and not storing data permanently. Nor is data sold to third-party advertisers. The company says it does not create personal profiles based on search history or use external tracking tools like Google Analytics. Revenues are split but of the revenue that goes to Ecosia, 80% is used to plant trees. The company has a ticker on its website https://www.ecosia.org/?c=en which as I write is ticking past 177,116,000 trees planted. That is impact! A funky feature is that it tracks how . . .

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

New Youth Advisory Committee formed

On 27th June 2023, the incoming ITS Foundation Youth Advisory Committee held its first meeting. Natalie Cheung and Hana Chow were elected co-Presidents and Quinton Leung was made Secretary. Anna Wei, Jane Poon and Josephine Jaume from the outgoing Committee were kindly in attendance to contribute tips and opinions based on their experiences in 2022-23. The first task of the committee will be to put together an event to mark International Youth Day 2023. No mean feat with just seven weeks to go but a challenge which we are sure they will rise to, and what a great way it will be to kick off the new academic year for Hong Kong schools. . . .

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