World Leaders commit to Pledge for Nature, Environmental Recovery

Worldwide, the natural environment is straining under the weight of a myriad of threats, and time is quickly running out to stem the damage before it becomes irreversible. The urgency of the situation prompted leaders from 64 countries around the world to sign a Pledge for Nature on Sept. 28, committing to work together to put ecosystems—land, ocean, and freshwater—on a path toward sustainability. The group released the pledge ahead of the Sept. 30 United Nations Summit on Biodiversity, which will bring together heads of state and other government representatives under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.”

Can you guess which “advanced” nation hasn’t yet decided if it should sign on to such a radical proposal?

3 thoughts on “World Leaders commit to Pledge for Nature, Environmental Recovery

  1. Cassandra says:

    “Political and business leaders worldwide are failing to stop the planet turning into “an uninhabitable hell” for millions of people, the United Nations warned on Monday.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/12/climate-change-spurs-doubling-of-disasters-since-2000-un
    Climate change is largely to blame for a near doubling of natural disasters in the past 20 years, a UN report said. https://www.dw.com/en/climate-change-triggers-doubling-of-disasters-threatens-millions-un/a-55243851 The report did not touch on biological hazards and disease-related disasters such as the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than one million people and infected at least 37 million in the last nine months.
    “We are willfully destructive. That is the only conclusion one can come to”, with action on climate change and other major threats lagging, said Mami Mizutori, the U.N. Secretary-General’s special representative for disaster risk deduction.
    See also “Women key to fight against climate change” (video) https://www.dw.com/en/women-key-to-fight-against-climate-change/a-42829376

    • p/s says:

      “Three Scenarios for the Future of Climate Change” By Elizabeth Kolbert (The New Yorker, October 5, 2020) https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-a-warming-planet/three-scenarios-for-the-future-of-climate-change

      VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday issued an urgent call to action to defend the planet and help the poor in his second TED talk. https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-science-climate-climate-change-environment-496543b1d18d49f072520bdc35011a54
      “…Francis laid out three paths of action: promoting education about the environment “based on scientific data and an ethical approach,” assuring drinking water and an adequate food supply through sustainable agriculture and promoting the transformation from fossil fuels to clean energy sources.
      “We have just a few years — scientists calculate roughly fewer than 30 — to drastically reduce the emissions of gas and the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere,” the pope said, adding that the transition needs to take into account the impact on the poor, local populations and those who work in the energy sector.
      He called on investors to exclude companies that do not taking into account the environment, as have many faith-based organizations already have.
      “In fact, the earth must be taken care of, cultivated and protected; we cannot continue to squeeze it like an orange. And we can say this, taking care of the Earth is a human right,” Francis said.”

  2. Footnote says:

    Exclusive: GM, Ford knew about climate change 50 years ago https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063717035 “Scientists at two of America’s biggest automakers knew as early as the 1960s that car emissions caused climate change, a monthslong investigation by E&E News has found.
    The discoveries by General Motors and Ford Motor Co. preceded decades of political lobbying by the two car giants that undermined global attempts to reduce emissions while stalling U.S. efforts to make vehicles cleaner.
    Researchers at both automakers found strong evidence in the 1960s and ’70s that human activity was warming the Earth. A primary culprit was the burning of fossil fuels, which released large quantities of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide that could trigger melting of polar ice sheets and other dire consequences.
    A GM scientist presented her findings to at least three high-level executives at the company, including a former chairman and CEO. It’s unclear whether similar warnings reached the top brass at Ford.
    But in the following decades, both manufacturers largely failed to act on the knowledge that their products were heating the planet. Instead of shifting their business models away from fossil fuels, the companies invested heavily in gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. At the same time, the two carmakers privately donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups that cast doubt on the scientific consensus on global warming.
    …More than 50 years after the automakers learned about climate change, the transportation sector is the leading source of planet-warming pollution in the United States. Cars and trucks account for the bulk of those emissions.”

    President Lyndon B. Johnson was briefed in 1965 about climate change and addressed Congress about it that year. “This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels,” Johnson said. “One of the principal unchecked sources of air pollution is the automobile. I intend to institute discussions with industry officials and other interested groups leading to an effective elimination or substantial reduction of pollution from liquid fueled motor vehicles.” https://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2015/feb/02/50th-anniversary-few-remember-lbjs-warning-carbon-/ [re: the escalation of the Vietnam war in 1965 see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Rolling_Thunder ]
    The science on carbon dioxide as known at the time, including forecasts of warming and sea level rise, was detailed in a chapter of a report on environmental pollution issued later that year by the president’s Science Advisory Committee. https://carnegiedge.s3.amazonaws.com/downloads/caldeira/PSAC,%201965,%20Restoring%20the%20Quality%20of%20Our%20Environment.pdf

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