(13) Environmentalism

 Amazon Planet (full documentary)

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AMAZON

The Amazon Basin covers roughly 7 million square kilometers-nearly 5 percent of the world’s land surface-and contains about 5.5 million square kilometers of tropical rainforest. Close to two-thirds of the Amazon is in Brazil; the rest is in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. It is a rich source of biodiversity, by some estimates containing, for example, around 30 percent of all plant species. Approximately 20 million people reside in the Amazon, including over 200,000 indigenous people. Since the 1980s a global environmental movement has been campaigning to protect the Amazon-in particular the old-growth forests of the Brazilian Amazon. Chico Mendes, a Brazilian rubber tapper, was one of the best known activists until his assassination in 1988. This diverse movement has managed to advance research and spotlight many injustices and environmental disasters; however, in terms of slowing deforestation, it has been less effective. The Brazilian Amazon, for example, lost over 17 million hectares of forest in the 1990s alone-an area the size of Uruguay. The total   deforested area had reached nearly 60 million hectares by the beginning of the 21st century. Since then deforestation has continued to escalate as cattle ranchers convert forests into pasture to supply a surging export market for beef and, to a lesser extent, as farmers burn logged forests to grow crops such as soybeans (burning is a cheap and quick way to clear land and fertilize soil).

 ANTARCTICA

The Antarctic accounts for 10 percent of the earth’s total land surface, roughly equal in size to Europe and the United States combined. The southern circumpolar seas also comprise nearly 10 percent of the world’s oceans. The Antarctic continent is home to more than 800 species of plant life (approximately 350 are lichens), 8 types of seals, 12 cetacean species, and about 45 different species of birds. It is the only continent without trees; only two flowering plants have been discovered. Antarctica’s ice sheet contains 70–75 percent of the world’s freshwater reserves and 90 percent of the earth’s ice. On average, the ice sheet is about 2,000 meters thick: if all of this ice were to melt, global sea levels would rise by 60 meters or so. Extreme weather conditions mean the ecosystems in Antarctica are especially fragile and vulnerable to any disturbance. The lowest temperature ever recorded on earth was near the South Pole on 21 July 1983, at the Soviet Vostok station (-89.2 Celsius, or -128.6 Fahrenheit). Antarctica is also one of the world’s driest places, receiving less precipitation than the Sahara desert.

Antarctica, except for the indirect effects of greenhouse gases and ozone depletion, suffers from little atmospheric pollution. Trawlers have exploited some fishing grounds and several species are close to commercial collapse. Whaling also put some species at risk prior to the moratorium on commercial whale hunting by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in the mid-1980s. The Southern Ocean and boundless ice were too rough for early explorers, and until the 19th century most states ignored Antarctica (considered terra nullius, or belonging to nobody). Great Britain was the first country to claim sovereignty over Antarctica in 1908. New Zealand, Australia, Norway, France, Argentina, and Chile would later claim sovereignty to various parts (some overlap, notably the claims by Great Britain, Argentina, and Chile). The Antarctic treaty was signed in 1959 and it came into force in 1961. The treaty forbade new sovereignty claims, while neither recognizing nor delegitimizing existing ones. The treaty only allows nonmilitary research (and bans nuclear weapons testing). Initially, it did not include environmental protection clauses. However, in 1964 the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties passed the Agreed Measures for the Conservation of the Antarctic Fauna and Flora. Since then the parties to the treaty have negotiated other conventions as well, including the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972) and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980). In 1991, the parties agreed to halt all oil and mineral exploration and/or exploitation for another 50 years, an amendment called the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty, or the Madrid Protocol (which came into force in 1998).

 ARAL SEA

The Aral Sea, in Central Asia, was once the world’s fourth largest lake. In just three decades, as governments and industry diverted its inflows for agriculture and hydroelectricity, its surface area shrank by half and its level fell by 15 meters, leaving this saline lake almost as salty as an ocean by the early 1990s. Desertification in the region increased; soil quality deteriorated. The remaining water became increasingly polluted from sewage waste and rising use of pesticides and herbicides to maintain agricultural output, leaving it unsafe for human consumption. Local fish could not adapt, and commercial fishing ended.

Authorities in the Soviet Union declared the region an ecological catastrophe at the tail end of the Communist regime. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, degradation of the Aral Sea turned into an international problem involving the new nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In February 1992, the new states signed the first of a series of agreements to manage the Aral Basin. The Global Environment Facility, together with the World Bank, ran a project between 1998 and 2003 to improve water management, collect data, raise awareness, and restore wetlands in the region. Some progress is occurring in terms of improving environmental management; nevertheless, the Aral Sea is continuing to contract.

 

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(12) Environmentalism

Agenda 21 The Depopulation Agenda For a New World Order

AGENDA 21 - UNITED NATIONS

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Adbusters

Adbusters Media Foundation is a nonprofit activist network cofounded in Vancouver, Canada, in 1989 by Kalle Lasn (a documentary filmmaker) and Bill Schmalz (a wilderness filmmaker and photographer). Adbusters sees itself as an anticorporate social movement; using a method of social change it calls “culture jamming” defined by bestselling Canadian author Naomi Klein as “the practice of parodying advertisements and hijacking billboards in order to drastically alter their messages.”

The network’s primary means of communication is its Adbusters magazine, which, after starting in 1989 with 5,000 copies, has grown into a bimonthly magazine with a circulation of 120,000. The magazine has subscribers from around 60 countries, although two thirds live in the United States. The foundation also operates a website (www.adbusters.org) and runs its own advocacy advertising agency, PowerShift, which offers creative services to environmental campaigns and produces “uncommercials” and “subvertisements.” In recent years, Adbusters has pulled off some high-profile campaigns, including buying space on CNN to advertise TV Turnoff Week and Buy Nothing Day and purchasing a full-page advertisement in the New York Times for its Unbranded America campaign.

AGENDA 21

Agenda 21, a document arising from the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, is a nonbinding plan to achieve sustainable development for the 21st century. The result of years of preparatory meetings, it reflected the emerging consensus among state negotiators that global environmental sustainability would require cooperation and partnerships across developed and developing countries. The specifics of how to share the financing of sustainable development-by far the most contentious topic at the 1992 conference-were never resolved, although Agenda 21 does call for more Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional, and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session.

The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.

Environment and Development Agenda

 

 

 

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(11) Environmentalism

Founder of Adbusters on CNN

Environmentalism11

Adbusters

  Adbusters Media Foundation is a nonprofit activist network cofounded in Vancouver, Canada, in 1989 by Kalle Lasn (a documentary filmmaker) and Bill Schmalz (a wilderness filmmaker and photographer). Adbusters sees itself as an anticorporate social movement, using a method of social change it calls “culture jamming,” defined by bestselling Canadian author Naomi Klein as “the practice of parodying advertisements and hijacking billboards in order to drastically alter their messages.”

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(10) Environmentalism

Environmentalism as Adaptive Management

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Adaptative Management

Adaptive management takes a holistic and systems approach in an effort to manage resources in complex ecosystems, emphasizing ongoing experimentation and continual learning. Since developing in the early 1970s, it has been defined in various ways across different jurisdictions and ecosystems.

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(9) Environmentalism

VIDEO

Acid Rain - Is it really a big deal?

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Acid Rain

Scottish chemist Robert Angus Smith coined the term acid rain in the mid-1800s after speculating that emissions from local coal-burning factories were making rainfall in Manchester unusually acidic.

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(8) Environmentalism

VIDEO

Environmental Accountability ( Part 1 of 2 )

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Accountability (AA)

Founded in 1996 as the Institute for Social and Ethical AccountAbility, AccountAbility, or AA, promotes socially accountable business practices, including increasing the credibility of sustainability reports. Its 350 members include private firms, civil society organizations, and research bodies.

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(7) Environmentalism

VIDEO

The Failure and Future of Environmentalism

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The Future of Environmentalism

Environmentalism, then, involves hundreds of international environmental groups, thousands of national groups, and tens of thousands of local ones.

It also includes hundreds of international agreements, hundreds of national environmental agencies, and countless environmental sections in other organizations-from ones in MNCs to ones in regional and international organizations.

Environmental concepts such as sustainable development, the precautionary principle, corporate social responsibility, and eco-labeling percolate from all of these sources. Every year new ideas, refinements, policies, institutions, markets, and problems continue to enter into environmental debates and discourses-so many from so many different sources and is possibly capture all of it.

We will try strategically skips across issues, concepts, time, organizations, and cultures, without pretensions, but rather with the aim of producing an inclusive, wide-ranging, and global history of environmentalism.

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(6) Environmentalism

VIDEO

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

CSR-Globe

Commercial Environmentalism

Corporations in a few sectors, such as forestry, have long histories of working toward “environmental” objectives such as sustainable yields; the purpose, however, was primarily about improving efficiency, reducing waste, and managing long-term risks to profits, not conservation, or environmental protection.

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