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World Science Day for Peace and Development

The rationale of celebrating a World Science Day for Peace and Development has its roots in the importance of the role of science and scientists for sustainable societies and in the need to inform and involve citizens in science. In this sense, a World Science Day for Peace and Development offers an opportunity to show the general public the relevance of science in their lives and to engage them in discussions. Such a venture also brings a unique perspective to the global search for peace and development.   The purpose of the Day is to: Strengthen public awareness of the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies; Promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries; Renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies; Draw attention to the challenges faced by science in raising support for the scientific endeavour.   The year 2021 marks 20th edition of World Science Day for Peace . . .

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

Half world's fossil fuel assets could become worthless by 2036 in net zero transition

A very interesting read in The Guardian highlighting the complexity of any transition, especially the carbon transition we know we need to undertake. A report in Nature Energy shows how transitioning offers both opportunities and dangers. High income countries have already seen something similar as they transitioned from industrial to post-industrial economies from the 1970s onwards. Many places still feel the negative impacts of that today, while others have boomed. Moving away from carbon-based economic activity will have similar repercussions which governments need to manage carefully and where the UN has a key role. . . .

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

The make-or-break climate summit: here's what's at stake at Cop26

Cop26 may involve dozens of world leaders, cost billions of pounds, generate reams of technical jargon and be billed as the last chance to prevent calamitous global heating, but at its simplest the climate conference in Glasgow is a debate about dialling up or dialling down risk……(The Guardian) . . .

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

World Cities Day

31st October is World Cities Day when the UN seeks to raise awareness of particular issues concerning our urban systems with a hope that political and practical action can be stimulated. It is only the last decade which has seen the world’s population shift from being predominantly rural to predominantly urban, and this trend will lonely continue. While on the face of it cities can appear highly dirty concentrations of noise, air, water & light pollution and highlight all the issues humanity faces with the way it lives, they also represent immense hope for the future if addressed properly. By concentrating human activity into smaller spaces there are huge efficiencies to be had, most obviously with transport and energy. Of course this has to be set against studies concerning construction which may counter-intuitively show low rise buildings to be lower impact.  But all kinds of sustainable systems can be deployed if we properly harness the social and economic benefits . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting stories from all over

Sustainability continues to grow in the C-suite (GreenBiz) Gain confidence in following a “green” career (GreenBiz) Why finance is crucial to sustainability progress – case study (Eco-Business) Sheer scale of some countries makes targets daunting (wbcsd) How the West’s obsession with fast fashion compounds an environmental nightmare in Ghana (The World) Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful? (Nature) Leading Banks Launch Guide to Setting and Implementing Net Zero Banking Strategies (ESG Today) . . .

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

Considering impact of building materials

The Parson’s School of design has a cutting edge department called the Healthy Materials Lab. Recognizing that materials release chemicals and we take in much more than previously realized, the school hopes to help designers for the future have a better understanding of designing health into the very fabric of the built environment. Not only is it the right thing to do (or put another way, now we know materials harm us it cannot be morally right to build with them and laws need to catch up) but it makes sense from a holistic viewpoint on the working of social groupings. Even if you want to take a very transactional and economic lense, more harm means more illness, more healthcase costs and less productivity and so on. . . .

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

Alternative ways to highlight social issues

The story of the puppet Little Amal (overview in The Guardian, official website The Walk - Good Chance) in a production by Good Chance Theatre is a great example of how social enterprises can take different approaches to addressing the issues that concern them. In this case, using a striking piece of street theatre to raise awareness about the plight of refugees everywhere and more specifically those on the route from Syria to London. It forces the viewer, and those reading reports about it, to reflect on what life must be like to have no home and no sense of security at all from meeting basic needs to personal safety. And what it says about us if we reject refugees, turn them away, do not help. . . .

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

SDG round-up

Sustainability (or lack of) in the news: How biodiversity loss is jeopardizing the drugs of the future (with links) (The Guardian) Battle over emissions from shipping (The Guardian) Innovative environment approaches – trees on twitter (The Conversation) Yet another argument against GDP as a valid benchmark (The Conversation) Last chance for coral (IISD) Voices critical of COP26 (XR) UN chief calls crisis for fragile states (UN) . . .

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