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Sustainability dilemmas

One of the biggest problems about transforming to more sustainable ways of doing things is that we often simply do not know whether the new method is actually less harmful than the original, let alone whether it is actually net positive. For example, the Climate Bonds Initiative recently released a Cement Criteria consultation about whether the cement industry should switch from coal burning to waste burning as a way to reduce impact. This would also allow them to tap into funds allocated for green financing. The problem is that there are many pitfalls from getting it wrong and doing more widespread harm to disincentivizing more impactful moves such as to renewables. Burning anything, including waste is always going to include harm. So there’s the dilemma. Allow changes even though they may not be great or block smaller steps in favour of bigger transformation? . . .

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

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

The IFRC is one of the oldest, largest and most varied of all civil societies. The fact it is now a Federation says it all! 8th May is marked by the IFRC as it is the birthday of Jean Henri Dunant, the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (the original society which started the IFRC) and the first Nobel peace Prize recipient. In 2022, the theme is #BeHumanKIND. The IFRC notes that kindness is at the heart of any act that one human may do to help another in need. Anyone can get involved with simple activities. See their dedicated page: https://www.ifrc.org/world-red-cross-and-red-crescent-day   . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Nuclear renaissance hinges on solving the waste issue (Eco-business) Critics question labelling of plastic products as 'eco-friendly' in Earth Day promo (Eco-business) Soy Protein Vs Soy Protein Isolate: What’s The Difference And How Are They Used? (green queen) 10 Trends Shaping Eco Travel In 2022: Exploration Meets Ethics (green queen) 50bn tonnes of sand and gravel extracted each year, finds UN study (The Guardian) EU unveils plan for ‘largest ever ban’ on dangerous chemicals (The Guardian) Here’s one way to burn less fossil fuel – use human energy to heat buildings instead (The Conversation) Meet the power plant of the future: Solar + battery hybrids are poised for explosive growth (The Conversation)     . . .

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

Seaweed stepping up

The Seaweed Research Group at the University of Gothenburg Tjärnö Marine Lab are one of the foremost units looking at how seaweed can be a big part of a sustainable future. A number of cultures have a history of including seaweed in their diet, but ramping seaweed as a food source up to impactful levels and in a sustainable way is a whole different challenge. In addition, there is the potential for seaweeds to fulfil other roles such as animal feed, cosmetics, coastal protection, biofuel and more. They have a good video on seaweed as food on their website: https://www.gu.se/en/research/seaweed-research-group . . .

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

Difficult (impossible?) decisions

An article in The Guardian last week caught my eye as a real-life example of those philosophical brain teasers that high-schoolers are often presented with. You know the ones like who to throw out of the falling balloon to save all the others. In Tajikistan, recent experience has shown that by making the prey of the snow leopard the preserve of trophy hunters, sheep and goat populations have stabilized and thus snow leopard numbers have gone up. The key is that the money charged to trophy hunters is so high that it makes protecting the target populations the most logical financial choice for the local population who would otherwise see these animals as necessary for their own food provision. An interesting dilemma for the sustainability community. Read the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/19/trophy-hunters-tajikistan-unlikely-saviours-snow-leopard-conservation-aoe . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web 04-22-22

Oceans and their largest inhabitants could be the key to storing our carbon emissions (The Conversation) Greener lifestyles linked to greater happiness – in both rich and poor countries (The Conversation) As G20 chair, coal-heavy Indonesia sends mixed signals on green transition (Eco-business) ‘A huge mistake’: alarm bells ring as deep-sea mining negotiations progress (Eco-business) ‘Historic’: global climate plans can now keep heating below 2C, study shows (The Guardian) 12 best ways to get cars out of cities – ranked by new research (The Conversation) Protected areas don’t always benefit wildlife, global study finds (The Guardian) UK consumers able to track renewable energy hourly under new plans (The Guardian) Brazil Commits To Serving 10 Million Sustainable Plant-Based School Meals A Year (green queen)   . . .

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

Friday sees both Earth Day and International Mother Earth Day.

Earth Day started in 1970, driven initially by politicians and environmentalists in the US and in reaction to environmental problems being seen in the US. In 1990, the observance went fully international and now sees tens of millions of people in dozens of countries engaging in events and actions. Many places have instigated earth weeks and earth month to expand the impacts they can have. For 2022, the theme is Invest in Our Planet. International Mother Earth Day is a UN observance started in 2009 as an addition to World Environment Day in June. It takes the specific theme of working towards living in harmony with the earth as an eco-system. . . .

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

International Girls in ICT Day

This year Girls in ICT falls on 28 April. Girls in ICT is a UN observance run by ITU - The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology. Since 2011, over 377,000 girls and young women have taken part in more than 11,400 International Girls in ICT Day celebrations in 171 countries. In 2022, the theme is “Access and Safety”. The aim is to lower barriers for girls and young women to have access to reliable and good quality digital tools, including the internet. This is a proven route to improving women’s overall educational outcomes as well as addressing the gender imbalance in STEM. . . .

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