Environment/Sustainability

Is Empathy For Nature Missing from the UN Climate Talks?

Dec 9th, 2014 | By
[photo credit: Suzanne York]

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org From the outside, it seems like the UN climate negotiations are all about wordsmithing, rehashing decades-old arguments on responsibility, finance and a little bit about impacts on people. It is more difficult to hear about the planet, i.e., nature, in the talks. When it does come up, nature is often reduced
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Population Pressures: No Quick Fixes, But There are Solutions

Nov 5th, 2014 | By
Lemurs from Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot facing enormous human population pressures [photo credit: Treehgr at English Wikipedia]

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org There has been some hoopla over a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) about how decreasing human population numbers is not a quick fix for environmental problems. Well, of course it’s not a quick fix.  Nothing really is, short of a catastrophe.  The two authors
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The Earth is Big, Humans are Small

Oct 22nd, 2014 | By
[image credit: www.bioneers.org]

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org The theme of this past weekend’s Bioneers Summit Conference was “revolution from the heart of nature,” but more than that, it was also that land and life are sacred. If you aren’t familiar with Bioneers, it is an annual conference that just celebrated its 25th year. Attendees are referred to as
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Earth Overshoot: Are We Willing to Pay Such a High Price for the “Good Life”?

Aug 19th, 2014 | By
[image credit: www.footprintnetwork.org]

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org Global overshoot.  You’d have to be in serious denial, or living under a rock, to not realize that humanity today is living beyond planetary means.  We take so much from Earth to live our lives today. August 19th is designated as Earth Overshoot Day, the date humanity exceeds the carrying capacity
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Is a World of 29 Billion People Sustainable?

Jul 23rd, 2014 | By
[photo credit: www.treehugger.com]

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org “Can Earth Handle 29 Billion People? Easy.” Where to begin with this statement?  Actually, it’s the title of an editorial in the Financial Post of Canada by one Lawrence Solomon, described as “one of Canada’s leading environmentalists.”  This editorial was preceded by another on the same theme and is based on
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Time to Shed Our Fear: Words of Wisdom From an Inspiring Woman

Jun 5th, 2014 | By
mathaai-slider

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org World Environment Day – a day “for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment” – is another officially recognized day by the United Nations for doing something (anything) positive for the environment. Given the fragility of the climate, environment and communities around the world, it is a good time to
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Endangered Species Day: Changing the Way People View Wildlife

May 16th, 2014 | By
[image credit: Jennifer Hennessey, http://www.fws.gov]

Wildfires are already raging in southern California, as the state drought worsens.  The impact on residents will be great, but what about the ecosystem itself?  With May 16th designated as Endangered Species Day, what will be the fate of wildlife trying to cope in a world of climate extremes? According to a 2012 California Department
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Creating a Livable Planet: The Rights of Nature Movement

Feb 2nd, 2014 | By
GARN logo

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org Corporations, law, and governments often operate as if nature is something only to be exploited for its abundant resources.  Little thought is given to what this might mean for the global ecosystem, let alone for future generations. In mid-January, the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature hosted a thought-provoking conference in
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Do Rivers Have Rights?

Dec 4th, 2013 | By
Ganges River at Rishikesh, Uttarkhand

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org For a river that is as venerated as the Ganges River (known as Ganga to Indians), it comes as a shock when people hear how polluted and imperiled the waterway is today. Roughly 3 billion liters of sewage is dumped into the river every day, and there is further contamination of
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Drilling to the End of the Earth: The Rights of Future Generations

Oct 15th, 2013 | By
[photo credit: AmazonWatch

By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org The government of Ecuador, after failing to convince wealthy, industrialized countries to pay to leave oil in the ground, has now reversed course and approved drilling in Yasuní National Park, located in the Amazon rainforest. The revolutionary plan was originally hailed in 2007 as a potential model for a more sustainable/less
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