We Speak For Earth

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alternicobase:

Do you have a photo w/ a member of the #NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD

This will go down as the biggest brand promotion fail in social media history

probablyasocialecologist:

Climate change will reduce crop yields sooner than we thought

A study led by the University of Leeds has shown that global warming of only 2°C will be detrimental to crops in temperate and tropical regions, with reduced yields from the 2030s onwards.

Professor Andy Challinor, from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds and lead author of the study, said: “Our research shows that crop yields will be negatively affected by climate change much earlier than expected.

“Furthermore, the impact of climate change on crops will vary both from year-to-year and from place-to-place – with the variability becoming greater as the weather becomes increasingly erratic.”

The study, published today by the journal Nature Climate Change, feeds directly into the Working Group II report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, which is due to be published at the end of March 2014.

In the study, the researchers created a new data set by combining and comparing results from 1,700 published assessments of the response that climate change will have on the yields of rice, maize and wheat.

Due to increased interest in climate change research, the new study was able to create the largest dataset to date on crop responses, with more than double the number of studies that were available for researchers to analyse for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.

In the Fourth Assessment Report, scientists had reported that regions of the world with temperate climates, such as Europe and most of North America, could withstand a couple of degrees of warming without a noticeable effect on harvests, or possibly even benefit from a bumper crop.

“As more data have become available, we’ve seen a shift in consensus, telling us that the impacts of climate change in temperate regions  will happen sooner rather than later,” said Professor Challinor.

The researchers state that we will see, on average, an increasingly negative impact of climate change on crop yields from the 2030s onwards. The impact will be greatest in the second half of the century, when decreases of over 25% will become increasingly common.

These statistics already account for minor adaptation techniques employed by farmers to mitigate the effects of climate change, such as small adjustments in the crop variety and planting date. Later in the century, greater agricultural transformations and innovations will be needed in order to safeguard crop yields for future generations.

“Climate change means a less predictable harvest, with different countries winning and losing in different years. The overall picture remains negative, and we are now starting to see how research can support adaptation by avoiding the worse impacts,” concludes Professor Challinor.

The study was financially supported by the NERC EQUIP programme and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), with the financial assistance of the European Union, Canadian International Development Agency, World Bank, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Danida.

blackglorious:

ancestralvoices:

The concept of sticking pins in a doll used to inflict pain on others is not traditional in the practice of Haitian Vodun. Dolls/figurines have been used as symbolic icons on shrines or in rituals to represent the Loa/Lwa (Divine forces of nature). 


Voodoo dolls are now commonly found in New Orleans, Louisiana; this is due to the mix of spiritual practices including Vodun, Hoodoo and European magical practices.

Some Western African practices use figures with and nails and pins in them they are known as nkisi. However instead of being used to inflict pain they are essentially a container of spiritual forces that are used for healing purposes. 

The concept of revenge dolls can be traced back to medieval European folk magic with use of poppets, effigies of specific people, which were used to place curses. The poppets however were also used for positive purposes such as healing and bringing good luck.

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I love this!

(via dynastylnoire)

Asker ne-revez-pas Asks:
Hello, I saw you comment on a post about how missionaries in developing countries are ruining the cultures/societies of their people, and it really intrigued me. You see, I am about to go on a trip to Nairobi this coming June with the organization Me To We. Me To We is not religious and I'm not a religious person. But, while there I will help build a school and learn about Maasai culture. Do you feel that service trips without the intention of converting/teaching people are still alienating?
wespeakfortheearth wespeakfortheearth Said:

praxis-cat:

owning-my-truth:

I am radically against service trips where people go to “build schools” (or other facilities) in a developing countries, and I find them to be incredibly disempowering and paternalistic at their core. It all boils down to stroking the (usually white) egos of the volunteers to make them feel like “good people” and does NO longterm good for the community.

I just wish people thought more critically about international development and saw through the smoke screen of “aid” that many of these “development” organizations put up as part of the white savior industrial complex. Like it just seems so obvious to me that an organization that goes through all of the logistical and human effort needed to bring “volunteers” to build schools in ~*aFriCa*~ has values that are fundamentally not aligned with those of their communities. They do not have the best interest of locals at heart, at all. 

If they cared about the community, they would be building out local capabilities and talents rather than trying to make a quick buck from western volunteers. They wouldn’t be bringing in untrained (usually) white people from the West without any language skills or understanding of local cultural intricacies to a community that is most at need. Rather than siphoning resources toward making white people “feel good” about themselves and aligning their values with white supremacy and white savior-dom, instead they would be working to give that exact same business to local carpenters and construction workers. Or, worst case, they would bring in people using those same dollars to train community members so that they develop these critical skillsets for themselves and their community at large. Why not actually work in solidarity with a community and build together to improve and develop local capabilities in the longterm? Why must we instead center the white gaze and destructive paternalism, which is disempowering and harmful and only has one longterm impact: making the Western volunteers “feel good” about themselves for “saving the Africans”

It makes me sick.

I also think it’s just so indicative of the deepset narcissism that lies in white supremacy and Western global hegemony that somehow we think that we can “build a school” better than people who are actually from that community. You know the ones who intimately know their needs and those of their communities, far better than the volunteers swooping in for 2 weeks to “save” them. How sick is it that we presume that “expanding our global horizons” can come at any cost, including undermining the fabric of a community, breeding dependency, and pulling resources away from actually building out the longterm capabilities of the people in these communities? I discussed these topics at length with someone who worked in international NGOs for 7 years in Africa and who left incredibly jaded because she saw how the values of so many of these organization was focused on “more NGO, now” rather than doing the more important work of creating communities where the presence of NGOs fades progressively with time as these communities are empowered. 

The structure of the white savior industrial complex is one of disempowerment, damage and harm. Participating in it furthers this destruction and hurts these communities in the long run.

The vast majority of these international aid and development NGOs do not have our best interests at heart, and are simply there to make white people (and other Westerners) feel better for the “good deed” they did once in ~the third world~

It’s horrible.

This post is very important, and while it mentions this, it needs to be stressed that in many cases these charity construction projects are harmful to local economies. Many countries which are destitute are destitute because they are labor-rich and capital-poor, often times because local and national political structures horde capital at the top (and no, this is nothing like WIRD countries having income inequality, and the equation of the two is disguising.)

When you come in and build a school for free, what you’re doing is depriving the people’s largest resource, labor, from being able to turn a profit, and thus, you’re preventing poor people from getting work. If you really care about people AND build schools (where they cannot afford to build their own), then organize a community locally and provide the capital to build that school AND THEN MAINTAIN IT, rather than doing it yourself. That way they can tailor their institutions to their needs, provide work for their workers, and you provide a constant source of employment for teachers, education for children, and a healthier economy. There are also movements to help develop local technologies that can then be produced locally to free up the time of women, who usually bear the brunt of time-intensive tasks which pay poorly.

kenobi-wan-obi:

A white supremacist charged with killing three people near two Jewish community facilities in suburban Kansas City this week posted more than 12,000 messages on a racist website which carries the slogan “No Jews, Just Right,” according to an organization that tracks hate groups.

The online activity by Frazier Glenn Cross follows a trend in which prolific posters on hate online forums are becoming “disproportionately responsible” for racist murders and mass killings, according to a report released on Thursday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil rights organization.

The report said nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by frequent users of one white supremacist website, Stormfront. The site describes itself as a community of “White Nationalists” and “the voice of the new, embattled White minority.”

“It has been a magnet for the deadly and deranged,” said Heidi Beirich, author of the report.

According to the report, past participants in forums on the website included Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran who opened fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012 killing six people before taking his own life.

Another was Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian extremist who massacred 77 people in a bombing and shooting spree in Oslo and at a nearby youth summer camp in 2011.

Stormfront owner Don Black told Reuters that Cross had never been allowed to post on his site, and that Breivik and other killers named by the SPLC had been banned.

“We’re obviously a big website, and any site is likely to have a few unstable people pass through. Facebook, Twitter, and particularly Craigslist have had their share,” Black added in a statement he posted on his website.

“Like all good propaganda, it’s a mix of truth, half-truth and outrageous lies,” Black wrote of the SPLC.

Frazier Glenn Cross often posted on Stormfront until he was banned from the site in 2005 after testifying in a trial against white supremacists, said Mark Potok, a senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Law enforcement and human rights groups have identified Cross as a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan and someone who has repeatedly expressed hatred for Jewish people.

Cross, who also goes by the name Glenn Miller, later switched to another white supremacist forum, Vanguard News Network, where the center tracked his postings over the last five years.

“These killers are really hiding in plain sight on these forums,” Beirich said.

Vanguard did not immediately respond to an email to the website seeking comment.

Cross faces one count of capital murder in the fatal shooting of Reat Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Corporon, 69, outside a Jewish community center and a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 53-year-old Terri LaManno. Cross is being held on a $10 million bond.

Potok called on law enforcement, particularly the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to increase its focus on racist online forums.

Ya’ll wanna act like I’m exaggerating about white people, these are just how many extremists they’ve FOUND, there are more, and these are just the extremists. Who knows how many lowkey white supremacists are around us in our neighborhoods.

kenobi-wan-obi:

There’s a reason why Neil deGrasse Tyson’s views on race are completely overlooked and why even I was never aware of them until recently. Science nerds will make a billion photosets and quotes about the new Cosmos and speak on everything Neil gets into even the science of the fucking Mjölnir hammer from Thor or the science of Krypton. Anything Neil speaks on as a prominent figure in science gets circulated. But just like Albert Einstein’s celebrity scientist status had no effect on his vocal views against antiblack racism in America [and it’s now 2014 with the same shit different faces], Neil’s anti-racism views are also suppressed, downplayed, or ignored. It shows that the science community at large has a long way to go in terms of accepting the problem of racism and sexism it has and fails to bring to light as it does so frequently with more efforts to many other political subjects.

kenobi-wan-obi:

if your bae on their period and you’re not at your utmost best/caring/nurturing towards em and instead act like you dealing with the biggest inconvenience the world got to offer, you prob dont deserve em.

fuckyeahenvironmentaljustice:

The world needs a Plan B on climate change because politicians are failing to reduce carbon emissions, according to a UN report.

It warns governments if they overshoot their short-term carbon targets they will have to cut CO2 even faster in the second half of the century to keep climate change manageable.

If they fail again, they will have to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere.

This could be achieved by burning wood and capturing the CO2 emissions.

The gas could then be stored in rocks underground.

But a leaked draft of the UN report also says that the technology for carbon dioxide removal is untested at such a scale.

The authors warn that carbon removal systems may encounter resistance from the public - and if the policy goes wrong, it could damage forests and ecosystems.

Government responses

Some comments on the draft text of the forthcoming UN report

  • Russia:"There are no CDR (Carbon Dioxide Removal) technologies by now. In the best case, they are pilot projects and small-scale experiments. [The idea] looks unrealistic.
  • UK:"[The] technologies [are] not proven and may not be available. There is a significant risk that the [summary document] misleads policy-makers into thinking that mitigation action (cutting emissions) could be delayed with little increased climate risk.
  • Germany:"Please indicate that CDR technologies are not currently available and would be associated with high risks and adverse side-effects."

The final draft report to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adopts a new tone of realism in the face of repeated failures by governments to meet their rhetoric on climate change with action.

It warns that governments are set to crash through the global CO2 safety threshold by 2030. Humans have tripled CO2 emissions since 1970, it says - and emissions have been accelerating rather than slowing.

The experts advise governments that it will be cheaper overall to cut the greenhouse gas before 2030 if they want to hold emissions at 430-480ppm CO2 - a level that’s calculated to bring a 66% chance of staying within a desired 2C threshold of warming by the end of the century.

These are not recommendations - the IPCC isn’t allowed to make them - but they are an acknowledgement that many countries appear to lack the will or the ability to cut emissions.

A Greenpeace spokesman said: “This new report captures the choices we face. It’s not too late; we can still avoid the worst impacts of global warming but only if the clean energy technologies that can slash carbon pollution are given the green light.

"The more we wait, the more it will cost. The sooner we act, the cheaper it will be."

But Bob Ward, from the LSE’s Grantham Institute, said it was crucial to reach safe levels by 2100.

"We are in a much worse situation politically than we were seven years ago," he said.

"The current lack of action means that we may have to consider overshoot scenarios, which would be better than abandoning our temperature target threshold of 2 degrees. Some people think there’s a degree of political dishonesty in allowing governments to claim they will keep to their targets in the short term."

The report says emissions are running at the high end of projections. Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are likely to break the 450ppm threshold by 2030. It adds that current pledges by governments made at climate summits in Copenhagen and Cancun currently exceed this cautionary limit.

The share of clean energy sources needs to triple or even quadruple by 2050, relative to 2010, the final draft explains. Delaying emissions reductions beyond 2030 will increase the challenge of bringing down CO2 to a safe level by the end of the century.

The report will be discussed by government representatives and experts through the week.

You don’t say. Every minute climate change has been ignored is a slap in the face. Every time this is addressed, but never rectified, is killing us.

probablyasocialecologist:

Political activist and university lecturer Tadesse Kersmo believed that he was free from intrusive surveillance when he was granted political asylum in the UK. Instead, he was likely subject to more surveillance than ever. His case underlines the borderless nature of advanced surveillance technologies and why it represents such a massive problem.

In the past, those fleeing conflict or persecution could reasonably expect a degree of respite if they managed to escape their circumstances. However, the nature of modern surveillance and its ability to facilitate oppression has changed this. When it comes to surveillance, familiar concepts of borders and nation states are becoming increasingly irrelevant. For refugees, this has grave implications.

Forcibly displaced persons are among the most vulnerable in the world, and the potential for their continued harassment undermines their wellbeing and the basic principle of the right to seek asylum. On top of that, it also kills the potential for meaningful political organisation, empowers established powers, and also carries huge implications for asylum law in the UK and elsewhere.

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