Th!nk 4: Back to Climate Change

The European Journalism Centre is back with the next Th!nk About It Competition. This time it will be focusing again on the Climate Change issue in the run up to COP16 in Cancun, Mexico. Here are the details,

The EJC’s long-running TH!NK ABOUT IT blogging competition series gears up for its next evolution. As TH!NK3: Developing World’s final reporting trip prepares to take place in Kenya, a new phase of TH!NK is about to unfold.

TH!NK team invites YOU to participate in our new short-form competition which is now open. We’ll think of Climate Change and will focus on the COP16 climate negotiations in Cancun (Mexico). The TH!NK4: Climate Change competition closes 15 December, at 12 noon (GMT +1).

The new, improved, and even more transparent than before TH!NK4: Climate Change, does not require you to write a specific number of articles – but of course activity on the site improves your chances of being selected. The competition is open for everyone who signs up and provides a decent-quality text as his/her first post.

The Prizes include:
1x Macbook
2x FLIP HD camera
15x Special reporting trips to COP16 in Cancun (with support of EU)

Note: You need to blog in the first half of contest period in order to be eligible for reporting trips to Cancun.

You can sign up HERE to participate in this competition.

I have applied so hopefully I will be blogging alot about COP16.

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Euroblog round-up #2

Sweden 2009
Image via Wikipedia

Heres another round up of issues making the rounds in the eurobloggerosphere at the moment, with thanks to BloggingPortal.eu

Swedish Presidency

The Swedish Presidency of the European Council is coming an end, and Spain gets ready to share the reins. A number of blogs look back at the 6 months of the Swedish Presidency.

Mats Engström calls the Presidency “Effective” but it wasn’t exciting. (then again name one that was!)

The Swedish Europe Minister (and Commissioner Designate), Cecilia Malmström, updates us on the last few weeks of work that are still ahead.

Grahnlaw thinks it was an effective and professional presidency.

EU Institutions

Grahnlaw highlights the issue of the 18 “ghost MEPs”

Brussels Sunshine highlights the issue of the preception of corruption in the EU.

Climate Change

Lots and lots of climate change blog posts appearing as the Copenhagen conference continues.

Graham Watson MEP (ALDE) is updating us on the goings on in Copenhagen.

Dr. Sean tells us of the (confusing) stance taken by the Czech ODS.

The German Marshall Fund Blog highlights why some countires like Kyoto and are clinging to it.

The Open Europe tells us a bit more about who is gaining from the EU’s ETS scheme.

The German Marshall Fund Blog tells us about the confusion at the talks.

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Taoiseach to Attend COP15

Edited version of Brian Cowen.jpg, an image in...
Image via Wikipedia

During the week I got confirmation that the Brian Cowen will be attending the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in December.

Does this mean that Ireland is placing a large amount of importance on the conference or is Brian just playing along and supporting his Danish colleagues?

I wonder could it be down to Green Party pressure that is attending or does not want John Gormley to get all the media attention, well Irish Media attention.

I know Simon Coveney  of Fine Gael is planning on attending also, but I must reconfirm this. I must also see if Labour’s Dominic Hannigan or Liz McManus will be attending. Watch this space!

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Cabinet Meetings: Under Water and on top of Mountains

A post from the Thinkaboutit.eu Blog!

Last month the Maldives Government held a Cabinet meeting under waterto highlight the threat of global warming to the island nation. This month Nepal’s Government will hold a Cabinet meeting at the Mount Everest base-camp to highlight the threat to glaciers. While both of these events are being reported around the world, will they do anything in the lead up to the talks in Copenhagen?

While both events can be used to place moral pressure on other states to do something at the COP15 summit, I don’t very much if it will be a clincher to a deal. These events have great media potential and both Governments have created a brilliant media event around these meetings and have gotten headlines. But whats the point if they don’t produce a deal in December?

The Maldives will still be at risk of flooding and Nepal’s glaciers will still be in danger of melting even faster.

There is a lot of razzmatazz and drama being built up around the COP15 conference, for the benefit of the World’s media. Some of it is by poor countries, and more of it is by NGO’s in various countries. While in some cases this media around the conference us good as it raises the awareness around the conference and things we can do to lessen our impact on the environment. Will it have any effect on the Governments that represent us?

Will Merkel, Obama, Brown and Cowen become converted to the cause of what is actually needed due to the actions of the Maldives and Nepal Governments? I frankly don’t think so.

Something more needs to be done to convince them of the right path. But I fear it will take an environmental catastrophe for them to be convinced. I fear it will be too late then.

Climate Change: A letter to EU Leaders

Taoiseach Brian COWEN, Fredrik REINFELDT, President of the European Council, and José Manuel BARROSO, European Commission President and others

I am writing to urge you to do all that you can to ensure the crucial EU Council meetings at the end of October deliver clear EU commitments to deal with climate change. These must put the needs of the world’s poorest people – who are being hit first and worst by climate change, but who are least responsible for causing it – at their core.

The Council meetings at the end of October provide the opportunity to finally agree an EU position: this may be your last chance to agree firm commitments ahead of the crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen this December. The right EU offer in October can set the global talks ahead of Copenhagen alight, and give us all the best possible chance of tackling the climate crisis.

To do this the EU must commit in October to:

* providing an additional €35bn per year by 2020, to help poor countries to adapt to the effects of climate change and to develop in a low-carbon way. Not only does the EU have a historical obligation to do this, but it has the money to finance it.

* guaranteeing that the money generated from the laws you and your fellow European leaders agreed last year, requiring heavy industries in Europe to pay for their carbon pollution, will be directed straight to the people that need it most in tackling climate change. This money is a drop in the ocean compared to the billions raised to bail out banks since last year.

* crucially, this €35bn must be new public money, not taken away from existing aid commitments. The response to climate change should not come at the expense of investments in vitally needed services in poor countries, such as hospitals and schools.

* agreeing a target for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions strong enough to avoid catastrophic climate change. This too is vital to break the deadlock in negotiations in the lead up to Copenhagen. The EU should agree a reduction of 40%, from 1990 levels, to be achieved by 2020.

I urge you to do all you can to ensure the EU takes this month’s vital opportunity to make these firm commitments on climate change. Failure to help poor countries adapt to climate change and develop in a low-carbon way, and to prevent future catastrophic climate change, is simply unthinkable.

The above is a letter sent by me as part of an Oxfam International campaign on Climate Change. You can send you own letter by visiting Oxfam’s website and filling in the details

More about the Oxfam campagn:

Continue reading “Climate Change: A letter to EU Leaders”

October 24th: Day of Climate Action

October 24th is a world wide day of action on Climate Change being organised by 350.org. Why are they doing this?

Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

They are focusing in on the parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere. So why a day of action?

In order to unite the public, media, and our political leaders behind the 350 goal, we’re harnessing the power of the internet to coordinate a planetary day of action on October 24, 2009.  We hope to have actions at hundreds of iconic places around the world – from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef to your community – and clear message to world leaders: the solutions to climate change must be equitable, they must be grounded in science, and they must meet the scale of the crisis.

Sounds like a good idea. It might provoke debate at a local level about this and rasie awareness about the Copenhagen Summit.

There are two events happening in Cork. One is a film screening by Ethical Development Action. The Film is the “Future of Food”. The other is a theatre event by Playback Theatre in the Unitarian Church on Princes St.

There are other events in Ireland too!

Do turn up to an event, who knows what you might learn!

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This is confusing me!!!

As you all know, I am blogging in the thinkaboutit.eu competition on Climate Change, well during the course of wandering through facebook, I came across a link to a BBC article (via Sam Bowman, thank you!) about how Global Temperatures are cooling.

Now this kind of goes against alot of what I was told in Copenhagen and from what a lot of books tell us about Climate Change and Global Warming. So I am utterly confused. Do we have more time do we think? Will oil run out before we melt all the ice? What role are the oceans playing?

Anyway take a look at the post I wrote over on thinkaboutit and please do enlighten me, if you can!

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Poll:Are You A Climate Change Believer, Agnostic or Skeptic?

Yesterday I blogged about how I was a climate change Agnostic and I asked on my facebook status whether people were Climate Change Belivers, Agnostic or Skeptics and I got a few interesting responses so I decided to to widen the audience of question and ask people who read the blog so what are you?

Feel free to explain your vote in the comments!

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A Climate Change Agnostic

UNFCCC logo.
Image via Wikipedia

So the COP 15 summit is coming up in December in Copenhagen. I will be blogging about it in the lead up to it both here and on the Think About It blog when launched. Like Joe I have a bit of a manifesto going, for example learning more about Climate Change, COP15 and finding out Ireland’s poistion and expert and NGO poistions on it.

For me though this is will personal aswell. While I applaud government efforts in the area of Climate and I applaud Governments who will meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and the original United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. What I am not sure of, is can we do anything do change for good?

While I don’t think meeting targets under Kyoto is a waste of time or anything like that, we do need to lower emmission and reduce dependence on fossil fuels as they are running out. But will these changes do anything to stop or lessen the impact of Climate Change?

Is human action only adding to what would happen naturally? Thats what I want to know?

Also will the big countires like China and the USA sign up to this deal? Will the targets be effective and acheivable? Will it actually make a difference?

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Th!nk Round 2 Open for Applications

Image of Th!nk about it  from Twitter
Image of Th!nk about it

The 2nd round of the Th!nk Blogging Competition is open for applications. They are looking for 81 bloggers from Europe as well as having guests from India, China, Brazil and the USA.

The focus of the competition this time round will be the COP15 Climate Change Confrence in Copenhagen, Denmark.

You can sign-up for Th!nk2 on the home page as well as finding out more about the competition.

PS: There is prizes and I have signed up.

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