Climate change will push 120 million into poverty

June 27, 2019 by  
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New studies by the United Nations and Stanford University show that the extreme weather and hotter temperatures associated with climate change are — not surprisingly — making the poor poorer and the rich richer. According to the U.N., this “climate apartheid” will result in 120 million more people living in poverty by 2030. The ability to survive extreme weather is a major determining factor, with the wealthiest people frequently able to relocate, protect their assets and build back. On the other hand, the poorest people are displaced, with their homes and economic resources destroyed. Rural communities and women are particularly vulnerable, given their direct dependence on natural resources for their livelihoods and the risk of droughts, floods and storms to decimate these resources. Related: Low-income housing in flood zones traps families in harm’s way “We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer,” said Philip Alston, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. CNN paints a clear picture with the example of Hurricane Sandy in New York, where thousands of people in housing projects spent weeks without electricity, while the Goldman Sachs headquarters was barricaded with sandbags and up and running on privately funded generators. According to researchers at Stanford, global warming is also helping wealthy countries be more productive. While tropical islands and warmer countries see a decrease in Gross Domestic Product that the researchers attribute to global warming, countries like Norway and Canada have actually seen a significant increase in economic prosperity. This news is likely not enough to sway countries to stick to their Paris Agreement commitments to limit carbon emissions, even when the poorest countries emit the least and suffer the most. Aston said, “Perversely, while people in poverty are responsible for just a fraction of global emissions , they will bear the brunt of climate change and have the least capacity to protect themselves.” + United Nations Via CNN Image via Bertsz

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Climate change will push 120 million into poverty

Why co-living might be the perfect situation for you

June 27, 2019 by  
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While a college dorm room might come to mind when you hear the phrase co-living, that type of shared housing is just one example of what the concept means for both those deep in their studies and career-bound people, too. Co-living is not a new idea, but one that has evolved over many years to include several different ideas and populations. At its core, co-living simply means sharing a space with one or more other people. However, the modern concept encompasses lifestyle choices, socialization, a sense of community, financial aspects and shared resources. Around the world, different groups have embraced co-living and the reasons seem to be centered around a few general motivating factors. Related: Cambridge’s first co-housing development fosters sustainable living Money Co-living typically saves money compared to paying all the bills for a house or apartment individually. If you remember sharing an apartment with a roommate, you understand the concept. Splitting bills for utilities and rent is a financially conservative idea, but modern co-living cuts out the need to hassle your roommate for the rent. Instead, many newer co-living opportunities allow you to pay for your space only, as each person rents directly from the management company. Social life While it does appear that most newly graduated housemates make the choice in order to take advantage of the lower costs, even more people report they are moving toward co-living for the social interaction. This includes singles, married couples without children and older individuals. The advantage of co-living is two-fold in that many responsibilities are shared as far as upkeep, cooking and the like. This allows more time for socializing, which is a major draw for this crowd. In this market, shared spaces can include a kitchen or other social areas such as rec rooms and outdoor gathering spaces. Communities organize events to draw residents together with activities like game night, wine tastings, movie night, dinners and more. Sustainability While the co-housing philosophy began as a way to connect people and make better use of space, the idea of sustainable living has moved to the forefront of the co-living concept. A key component to co-living is sharing resources, which is an ideal way to live more sustainably. Many co-living situations encourage community gardens , for example, leading to more helping hands and less waste. Pretty much everything from building materials to yard tools are minimized with shared living spaces. Think two community grills for many people instead of one for each resident, and you’ll see just a small part of the picture. Shared philosophies Living sustainably is an example of a mindset that those within a co-living situation might share. There are other philosophies that bring people together as well. Religious beliefs, communal living or co-parenting philosophies might bring groups together to find their ideal living situation. For example, single women with children might find that other women in the same situation can help raise their kids together, cook meals and offer a social outlet while still allowing privacy in their own space. Urban lifestyle In many cities, housing is in a state of crisis , motivating a solution in the form of co-housing. Urban co-living situations are often built out of a necessity for resource management and lack of space. Fortunately, the need for affordable living options also fits well with many people seeking that type of living arrangement. Co-living opportunities exist around the world and in all types of environments. Where one person might be drawn to remote farm living, many find urban living in a shared space ideal for their needs. Frequent travelers, for example, embrace co-living as a way to keep a home base at a low cost and perhaps have a second base in a different urban landscape. Is co-living for you? While there are many undeniable advantages in regards to co-living, it’s not for everyone. Some typical disadvantages of this arrangement include small living spaces and sharing a space with strangers. If you are an introvert who doesn’t enjoy a lot of social interaction, this might not be your scene. Then again, perhaps the 3-bedroom urban setting isn’t for you, but the country cabin with a shared garden is. In a recent study initiated by IKEA , respondents overwhelmingly admitted that they do not want to share space with kids and teens, so unless you’re childless or are able to find a welcoming option, co-housing might not be for you. The key is finding a community that fits your goals, budget and co-living philosophy. Co-living offers many solutions to the residential, financial and social issues we face today. In a society that has become individualistic and separate, it’s an opportunity to encourage a closer sense of community. While being personally closer helps, it’s really the sense of shared responsibility and philosophies that makes friends out of roommates and family out of community members. Images via Shutterstock

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Deforestation and climate change combined may split Amazon in two

June 27, 2019 by  
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Deforestation is a well-documented enemy in the Amazon, but new research suggests that the climate crisis , when coupled with the destruction of trees, could mean the end of the rainforest as we know it. The Amazon contains at least ten percent of the world’s biodiversity, but the synergistic impact of a changing climate and tree clearing could destroy up to 58 percent of the trees by 2050 and effectively split the forest in two. A new study, published in Nature Climate Change , developed and applied models of different climate scenarios to over 5,000 species of trees and layered that with possible deforestation scenarios. Related: Deforestation in tropical countries linked to European diets in new study For example, their computer program modeled scenarios where current rates of carbon emissions and deforestation remain constant and discovered that between 19 and 36 percent of trees would be lost to deforestation in addition to 31 to 37 percent from climate change. As if it weren’t enough, the loss of these species will be detrimental to other plants, animals and people who live within and depend upon the ecosystem. “The impacts of deforestation are local. We can see clearly the area we are impacting,” study author Vitor Gomes. “Climate change may impact the whole area. Climate will be changing all over the forest area.” The scientists’ models also indicated that given the current rate and location of deforestation activities, the Amazon might be split in two, with human settlements between the two disconnected sides. This ecosystem fragmentation is also devastating to animals, particularly migratory birds and wide-roaming species. In addition to policies that curb emissions and limit deforestation, the researchers suggest establishing more protected areas within the forest. Protected areas have been documented to retain more biodiversity and can be effectively managed and even sustainably harvested when under the control of local and indigenous groups. Via Earther , Nature Climate Change Image via Ibama

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Deforestation and climate change combined may split Amazon in two

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