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Leonardo DiCaprio: 'Do Not Wait Another Day' to Move to 100% Renewable Energy
Leonardo DiCaprio delivered a powerful speech Friday at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders at City Hall in Paris, a side event of COP21. The event was hosted by Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris and former mayor of New York City and the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy for cities and climate change Michael R. Bloomberg. Mayors from Los Angeles, Berlin, Madrid, Johannesburg and other major cities around the world gathered to discuss their role in mitigating climate change.
“Our world leaders are here in Paris in an effort to finalize a global agreement 20 years in the making, to finally address the very real threat that climate change poses to our planet,” DiCaprio said to the mayors. “These leaders have met before. They met in Kyoto, they met in Copenhagen, and in cities on every continent, but each and every time, they have come up short. This time must be different, because we are fundamentally running out of time.”
“Climate change is the most fundamental and existential threat to our species," he continued. "The consequences are unthinkable and worse, it has the potential to make our planet unlivable.
“So to all the mayors and governors in this room today, I implore you to join with your peers to commit to moving to no less than 100 percent renewable energy as soon as possible. Do not wait another day.
“Our future will hold greater prosperity and justice when we are free from the grip of fossil fuels. Now to get there, we must act. We must finally leave behind the inefficient technologies of another century and the business models that they have created.”
A photo posted by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on
Also at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, 1,000 mayors and local leaders adopted a declaration to “support ambitious long-term climate goals such as a transition to 100 percent renewable energy in our communities, or a 80 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2050."
The declaration also included:
- Advance and exceed the expected goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement to be reached at COP 21 to the full extent of our authorities.
- Produce and implement participatory resilience strategies and action plans to adapt to the rising incidence of climate-related hazards by 2020.
- Deliver up to 3.7 gigatons of urban greenhouse gas emissions reductions annually by 2030 the equivalent of up to 30 percent of the difference between current national commitments and the 2 degree emissions reduction pathway identified by the scientific community.
- Engage in partnerships among ourselves and with global organizations, national governments, the private sector, and civil society to enhance cooperation and capacity-building programs, scale-up climate change solutions, develop metrics and promote innovative finance mechanisms and investments in low-emission projects across the world.
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Farms with just one or a handful of different crops encourage fewer species of pollinating and pest-controlling insects to linger, ultimately winnowing away crop yields, according to a new study.
Up to half of the detrimental impacts of the "landscape simplification" that monocropping entails come as a result of a diminished mix of ecosystem service-providing insects, a team of scientists reported Oct. 16 in the journal Science Advances.
Monocrop palm oil plantation Honduras.
SHARE Foundation / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0
"Our study shows that biodiversity is essential to ensure the provision of ecosystem services and to maintain a high and stable agricultural production," Matteo Dainese, the study's lead author and a biologist at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy, said in a statement.
It stands to reason that, with declines in the sheer numbers of insects that ferry pollen from plant to plant and keep crop-eating pests under control, these services will wane as well. But until now, it hasn't been clear how monocultures affect the number and mix of these species or how crop yields might change as a result.
Aiming to solve these questions, Dainese and his colleagues pulled together data from 89 studies cutting across a variety of landscapes, from the tropics of Asia and Africa to the higher latitudes of northern Europe. They tabulated the number of pollinating and pest-controlling insects at these sites — both the absolute number of individuals and the number of species — along with an assessment of the ecosystem services the insects provided.
In almost all of the studies they looked at, the team found that a more diverse pool of these species translated into more pollination and greater pest control. They also showed that simplified landscapes supported fewer species of service-providing insects, which ultimately led to lower crop yields.
The researchers also looked at a third measure of the makeup of insect populations — what they called "evenness." In natural ecosystems, a handful of dominant species with many more individuals typically live alongside a higher number of rarer species. The team found as landscapes became less diverse, dominant species numbers dwindled and rare species gained ground. This resulting, more equitable mix led to less pollination (though it didn't end up affecting pest control).
"Our study provides strong empirical support for the potential benefits of new pathways to sustainable agriculture that aim to reconcile the protection of biodiversity and the production of food for increasing human populations," Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, one of the study's authors and an animal ecologist at the University of Würzburg in Germany, said in the statement.
The scientists figure that the richness of pollinator species explains around a third of the harmful impacts of less diverse landscapes, while the richness of pest-controlling species accounts for about half of the same measure. In their view, the results of their research point to the need to protect biodiversity on and around crops in an uncertain future.
"Under future conditions with ongoing global change and more frequent extreme climate events, the value of farmland biodiversity ensuring resilience against environmental disturbances will become even more important," Steffan-Dewenter said.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Mongabay.
Ivory Coast's rainforests have been decimated by cocoa production and what is left is put in peril by a new law that will remove legal protections for thousands of square miles of forests, according to The Guardian.
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Greenland had quite the summer. It rose from peaceful obscurity to global headliner as ice melted so swiftly and massively that many were left grasping for adjectives. Then, Greenland's profile was further boosted, albeit not to its delight, when President Trump expressed interest in buying it, only to be summarily dismissed by the Danish prime minister.
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Creepy-crawlies are among the oldest life forms on this planet. Before dinosaurs ever walked the earth, insects were certainly already there. Some estimates date their origins to 400 million years ago. They're also extremely successful. Of the 7 to 8 million species documented on Earth, around three quarters are likely bugs.
But several insect species could disappear for good in the next few decades and that would have serious consequences for humans.
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The report, released Wednesday, found that almost every European who lives in a city is exposed to unhealthy air, Reuters reported.