UN Chronicle

A news reference publication published by the United Nations. Reports on UN actions and events as it addresses world issues.

Articles from Vol. 46, No. 3-4, September

A Clean Climate
How to have a clean climate? Climate pollution is not Separate from other different types of pollutions we have in our public and private lives-including military wars; invasion of other nations to exploit their resources; killing women and men under...
A Future for Itself
How does Africa intend to deal with climate change and how can it help shape a better future for itself in the face of the coming environmental catastrophe? As concerns grow, the continent will for the first time negotiate under one umbrella in Copenhagen....
Ahmedabad Days
Jlament for trees I have lost during my many migrations in the city and today, I am very possessive about my handkerchief-size garden. Having lived in different parts of Ahmedabad, I have seen different attitudes towards trees. Like, a vegetable vendor...
A Hypothesis of Hope for the Developing World
About 99 per cent of climate change casualties take place in the developing world. While economic growth and development are priorities in all countries, the needs in developing and least developed countries are on a different scale altogether. Developing...
A Loss of Memory
My first novel, Killing Time in a Warm Place*, opens with a man's recollection of an idyllic boyhood summer spent in the seaside village where he was born, in the central Philippines. It was, of course, partly autobiographical. For me, as for millions...
America's Great Test
The editor of UN Chronicle approached me with a request to write about the subject of global warming. I am not at all young, and for most of my life it never occurred to me to regard climate change as an existential danger for mankind. The horrible...
A Solution to Hunger?
World hunger and food insecurity is a recurring problem in most parts of the developing world. Among the many potential biotechnologies that are available, and the different ways in which they can be applied, genetic modification (GM) of crops demands...
A Student's Wake-Up Call
I'm a thirsty guy and in my college senior year I became aware of my environmental impact. As I trudged up the dorm stairs with my daily panoply of water bottles, Gatorade, and iced teas, I saw a flyer on a bulletin board. The flyer described the enormous...
Bare Sanctuaries
Loss of habitat is the greatest threat to biological diversity, and 85 per cent of the species on the 2006 Norwegian red list are threatened by changes in habitat. Highly-specialized species appear to be the most vulnerable. The polar bear is one such...
Bearing the Burden: The Impact of Climate Change on Women and Men Is Not the Same. Women Are Increasingly More Vulnerable, Mainly Because They Represent the Majority of the World's Poor and Are Proportionally More Dependent on Threatened Natural Resources
HUMAN SECURITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WOMEN BY IRENE DANKELMAN, Professor, Centre for Sustainable Management of Resources, Radboud University, Netherlands. HUMAN SECURITY CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON WOMEN SECURITY ASPECTS Security...
Beyond Carbon Markets
"Billions Wasted on UN Climate Programme" "Truth About Kyoto: Huge Profits, Little Carbon Saved" "UN Effort to Curtail Emissions in Turmoil" The headlines generated by the carbon trading mechanisms at the heart of the Kyoto Protocol, most...
Climate Change Our Common Future
I saw at one time a leaflet that asked people to come together in stopping climate change. It seems that many are not aware that the climate changes all the time and that the change is not stoppable. Climate changes, however, differ in their timing...
Ecology
The environmental dangers that now face mankind put me reflexive non-scientist in an awkward situation. He must acknowledge that he can have precisely nothing interesting to say on the two most important questions in the air, namely, "What is going...
Fellowship
They drove by Stopsley Common, and Yusuf got off the bus at the corner of Butterfield Green Road, to walk the few hundred metres to the Vale. He rested his eyes on the peaceful farmland beneath Warden Hill, the gently undulating carpet of gold, red,...
Financial Innovations & Carbon Markets: A Modest Extension of the Kyoto Protocol Can End the Impasse between Industrial and Developing Nations
THE POINT OF NO RETURN For the first time in recorded history, humans are altering the planet in ways that can endanger its basic life-support systems. We are rapidly transforming the planet's atmosphere, its bodies of water and the complex web...
Forests Are Our Lives
Ecologically speaking, in my country, the bad news is a nightmare and the good news sounds like a dream. Though native people insist that nature is always in balance, a nightmare is taking place on their land. Their settlements and subtropical forests,...
Freshwater in Latin America and the Caribbean
Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean have the largest freshwater resources per capita, a third of the region's population is cut off from sustained access to drinking water. Up until a few years ago, freshwater problems had been generally...
Global Warming and Surging Glaciers: During Global Warming, Solutions to Surging Glaciers and Their Unpredictable Behaviour Are Still Far from Being Found and Demand Organized National and International Research
The Earth's climate undergoes fluctuations and for the past thousand years has experienced periods of warming and cooling. In the seventeenth century, severe and long-standing winters, known as the Little Ice Age, recurred in the south of Europe. One...
Global Warming: Could Be Cool
I am both alarmed and encouraged to realize that global warming and the finitude of oil are really the same problem. Oil is running out so fast that by the time my daughters are my age (I am sixty), it will all be gone; but if global warming goes unchecked,...
Greening the Workforce
The climate negotiations are entering into their most intense phase. Negotiators are aiming to put together one of most complex sets of international commitments ever. This goal is an ambitious package which can deliver within the short time frame...
Health & Development? Will Climate Change Impact the Right To: Never before in Human History Has the World Had Such a Wealth of Knowledge, Skills and Resources Invested in Keeping Its Communities Well. Why, Then, Is Global Health Heading into a "Perfect Storm"?
On a dusty construction site in western China, Mr Tan is just another anonymous migrant labourer. But, the unassuming former farmer is also the face of a complex web of crises threatening global health. On one level, 24-year-old Mr Tan is a symbol...
HIV/AIDS & Climate Change: The Pattern of Response
Almost three decades into the HIV/AIDS pandemic, there is still widespread stigma, denial and government inaction. There are reports of rising rates of infection in the Western industrialized nations and concerns about the possibility of explosive...
In a Low-Carbon Economy
No matter what the future holds, the Arab world will continue to play an important role in providing the planet with energy. However, whether this energy will be clean and will insure the planet against climate change, does not depend only on the region,...
Indigenous Peoples and Their Rights
Inuit hunters in northern Greenland are treading carefully on increasingly thinning ice, while at the same time the key marine species they depend on--seals, walrus, narwhals and polar bears--are moving away from the areas in which they are traditionally...
In the Shadow of Climate Change
Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges of the twenty-first century. Its impacts vary among regions, generations, age, classes, income groups, and gender. Based on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),...
Is Africa Ready?
The evidence for climate change is overwhelming. It has been reconfirmed by successive international studies and reports over the last two decades. Catastrophic climate change, which will threaten our entire ecosystem as we know it, is possible, though...
Seal the Deal! However, What's in It for Africa?
The effects of climate change are being felt by millions of people throughout the world, but especially in Africa where endemic poverty, disease, wars, growing populations, limited access to capital have all taken their toll on the people and the rich...
Small Islands Rising Seas
"You know that with a sea-level rise of over 1.5 metres, hundreds of millions of people would be dead. They would simply be wiped out," President Mohamed Nasheed of the Republic of Maldives told the UN Chronicle just two days after he addressed other...
The Cycles of the Seasons
The phone rings, ruining my morning silence. I hesitantly pick it up. The caller: my son, a student in South Africa. "Yes, Papa, everything is fine. But there is something strange here in Johannesburg. The streets are covered in snow, the whole...
The Ecology of Recycling
While not on the front line of climate solutions, recycling of waste materials, wastewater, and wasted energy is a locally available and highly desirable means of reducing greenhouse gases. One potent greenhouse gas, the methane emitted from landfills...
The Pandemic of Consumerism
Periods of global warming are not in and of themselves a human invention. But humans have invented ways of turning a natural cycle into an abnormality whose severity can exceed the tragedy of one atomic bomb or even several atomic bombs. However, we...
The True Costs of Conventional Energy
Myth Renewable energy is expensive Reality Market price of conventional energy does not tell the truth "Renewable energy is expensive--we cannot afford it." I have heard this argument many times over. But those who bring it up are wrong. The...
Towards a More Habitable Homeland
Nature is all-powerful, and we humans must ultimately abide by its laws; but this is easy to forget when living, as I do, in a society undergoing dramatic, and compelling, political transformations. I grew up in a sleepy, quiescent Kathmandu, where...
Tracking Climate Change from Space
For centuries, rural communities in the high plateaus of the Andes have utilized water from melting glaciers that typify this amazing mountain range. But the retreat of these glaciers is forcing the communities to reconsider their livelihoods and ways...
Travelling
There is a Haitian folktale that I have known all my life, yet it had never occurred to me until a few days ago that it might be about, among other things, climate change. Beautifully recorded and retold by Diane Wolkstein in her groundbreaking 1978...
Unlayering of the Ozone: An Earth Sans Sunscreen
The formation of the Antarctic ozone hole is a graphic demonstration of how rapidly we can change the atmosphere of our planet. There are many other environmental issues facing us today and we must link them together to understand and debate the underlying...
Will There Be Climate Migrants En Masse?
While some countries are historically responsible for climate change, should the global community take up responsibility for climate migrants, even if they do not cross international borders? Should there be immigration concessions for climate migrants...

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