Could France-sized ocean garbage patch become 196th nation?

September 19, 2017 by  
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Plastic trash is polluting our oceans , and now there’s a garbage patch near Hawaii that is about as large as the entire country of France. The charity Plastic Oceans Foundation and publication LADbible want to have the patch acknowledged as a country called Trash Isles . Why? Two main reasons: to raise awareness of the pollution problem, and to get the area cleaned up. LADbible and Plastic Oceans want to set up the world’s 196th nation: Trash Isles, currently a giant garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean . They’re working to raise awareness, but they also submitted a Declaration of Independence to the United Nations (UN) on World Oceans Day back in June. They’re now collecting signatures of ‘citizens’ on Change.org to submit a petition to UN Secretary General António Guterres. Related: A garbage patch bigger than Texas was just discovered in the Pacific Ocean Trash Isles actually could meet country criteria. LADbible says under Article 1 of the 1993 Montevido Convention on the rights and duties of States, a country must define a territory, form a government, have a permanent population – they say that one’s open for interpretation – and be able to interact with other states. Quartz said they can roughly draw borders around the garbage patch and it wouldn’t be hard to create a government and organizations for interacting. Trash Isles can already count former United States vice president Al Gore as their first citizen, and over 107,750 people have signed the Change.org petition. What’s the point of all this effort, besides awareness of an environmental issue? If accepted as a country and UN member, Trash Isles will be protected under the UN’s Environmental Charters. LADbible pointed to a specific line which reads, “All members shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect, and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem .” They interpret that to mean the world’s countries will have to work to clean up Trash Isles. LADbible said people can help out by signing the Change.org petition to become a Trash Isles citizen, or by donating to Plastic Oceans . Trash Isles already has an official flag, currency, and passports created with recycled materials . LADbible Group Head of Marketing Stephen Mai said, “We are just getting started. There may well be a national anthem, general elections, and even a national football team.” + Trash Isles + Plastic Oceans Foundation Via LADbible ( 1 , 2 ) and Quartz Images via LADbible and Mario Kerkstra ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 )

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Could France-sized ocean garbage patch become 196th nation?

Al Gore fights climate change with "An Inconvenient Sequel"

January 23, 2017 by  
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When Al Gore ‘s landmark climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, the administration in Washington was averse to climate change action. Eleven years later Gore has debuted his follow up film, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” at Sundance — just as Donald Trump takes office as the nation’s 45th president. Despite the dire prospects for the climate under Trump after eight years of modest gains under former President Barack Obama, Gore was upbeat in comments to the crowd after two standing ovations followed the Sundance screening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2unzHvFPtY0 “Now we are undergoing a time of challenge, but we are going to prevail,” the former vice president said at the post-screening Q&A, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m not going to give all the evidence of why I’m so confident. Always remember that the will to act is a renewable resource. We will win. No one person can stop this movement. We want this movie to recruit others.” Related: Al Gore reaches out to work with Donald Trump on climate change Gore met with the president at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 5 to talk about climate change solutions. In an interview with THR , Gore said that Trump was “receptive” to some of what he had to say. Gore revealed that he has maintained private communications with Trump since the public meeting in December, joking that he couldn’t go into details about how they communicated because the Russians could hack it. “An Inconvenient Truth” was a great success, winning two Academy Awards, including Best Documentary Feature. The film grossed $49.8 million in worldwide box office proceeds, becoming the tenth highest grossing documentary film to date in the United States. The challenges of global warming have only increased in the past decade, with 2016 setting a heat record for the third straight year. Fortunately, renewables are rapidly ramping up as countries aim to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets set forth in the Paris climate agreement . “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” opens in Germany on June 15 before hitting US theaters on July 28. Via Slate Image and video via IMDB

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Al Gore fights climate change with "An Inconvenient Sequel"

Al Gore meets with Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump to talk climate change

December 6, 2016 by  
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Rumors have been flying that Ivanka Trump may focus on the issue of climate change in her role as First Daughter. Yesterday Ivanka met with climate advocate Al Gore at Trump Tower – and President-elect Donald Trump joined in. While a spokesperson initially said the President-elect would not be present at the meeting, Gore later said he did talk with Trump, and that Ivanka is “very committed” on climate policy . Trump spokesperson Jason Miller told the press that Ivanka would meet with Gore to discuss climate issues, although the spokesperson said he didn’t know exactly what they would discuss. Miller said the President-elect would not be present during the meeting. Related: Al Gore reaches out to work with Donald Trump on climate change But some members of the press said Trump did indeed meet with Gore. Wall Street Journal deputy bureau chief Tim Hanrahan quoted Gore as saying “I had a very lengthy and very productive session,” after the Trump Tower meeting, and “It was a sincere search for areas of common ground.” NBC Nightly News editor Bradd Jaffy quoted Gore as saying , “The bulk of the time was with President-elect Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation and to be continued. And I’m just going to leave it at that.” After campaigning for Hillary Clinton , Al Gore said he would be willing to work with Trump and the new administration on the issue of climate change. He wrote that as Trump said he’d like to be a president for all, Gore hoped Trump would “work with the overwhelming majority of us who believe that the climate crisis is the greatest threat we face as a nation.” While Trump continues to pursue actions that negatively affect the environment, such as the Dakota Access Pipeline , his meeting with Gore may offer some hope. In addition, Ivanka’s meetings with climate advocates have led some people to wonder if the First Daughter will advocate for progressive climate change policies. Ivanka has apparently already met with climate advocate Leonardo DiCaprio . Aides for Ivanka and DiCaprio said they met to talk about the environment, with DiCaprio gifting her a copy of his documentary Before the Flood . After referring to climate change as a hoax, Trump seems to be backpedaling – he told New York Times reporters there is “some connectivity” between humans and climate change. Let’s hope both the President-elect and his daughter are willing to listen to the science backing up climate change. Via CNN Images via Michael Vadon on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Al Gore meets with Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump to talk climate change

Al Gore reaches out to work with Donald Trump on climate change

November 14, 2016 by  
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Former Vice President Al Gore picked himself up after his controversial presidential election loss to George W. Bush in 2000 and became an internationally respected champion for the climate. But convincing President-elect Donald Trump of the urgent need to act on the climate crisis could be Gore’s greatest challenge yet. Gore is extending an olive branch to Trump and pledging to do everything he can to “work with him and his administration to ensure that our nation remains a leader in the global effort to meet this challenge.” Many in the environmental community are in despair about the prospect of a Trump presidency. Trump has promised to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, scrap President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and Climate Action Plan, roll back environmental regulations and increase dirty energy. Despite all the doom and gloom, Gore is staying upbeat. “President-elect Trump said he wanted to be a president for all Americans,” Gore wrote. “In that spirit, I hope that he will work with the overwhelming majority of us who believe that the climate crisis is the greatest threat we face as a nation.” Related: What Trump’s victory means for the environment (it’s not good) Gore isn’t the only climate activist who plans to work on persuading Trump to take climate action. The Independent reports that the Sierra Club and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are preparing campaigns to change Trump’s views, which are currently dismissive of the imminent threat global warming poses to human civilization and the natural world. Dr. Rush Holt, chief executive of the AAAS, told The Independent that the financial costs of doing nothing on climate could perhaps convince Trump to reconsider pulling out of the Paris climate deal , saying that “maybe he [Trump] would respond to arguments of dollars and cents.” But every indication so far is that Trump is going to be a disaster for global efforts to mitigate climate change. Not only does Trump want to exit from the Paris climate agreement signed by nearly 200 nations that went into force earlier this month, but fossil fuel executives and climate skeptics are set to take key roles in his administration. Trump has tapped climate denier Myron Ebell to oversee the the Environmental Protection Agency transition (Trump has stated that he wants to abolish the EPA) and is considering Sarah Palin, a vocal proponent of oil and gas drilling, and Forrest Lucas, co-founder of oil products firm Lucas Oil, for interior secretary. Related: Trump taps climate denier, fossil fuels advocate as energy adviser If Gore isn’t successful at convincing Trump of the catastrophic consequences of climate inaction, perhaps the Pentagon can get through to our next commander in chief. The US military calls climate change a “threat multiplier” and is integrating climate change into its national defense strategies. The Pentagon is prioritizing climate change partly because of concerns that it could create conditions that foster extremism and terrorism – an issue that Trump said he wants to address. Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrote in the forward to the Pentagon’s 2014 climate report that “while scientists are converging toward consensus on future climate projections, uncertainty remains. But this cannot be an excuse for delaying action.” Via The Washington Post Images via Wikimedia

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Al Gore reaches out to work with Donald Trump on climate change

Nha Trangs first hostel built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Vietnam

November 14, 2016 by  
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Created with the motto that “everyone around the world can be connected into a big family,” the Ccasa hostel was designed with a sense of openness and transparency that puts the spotlight on the shared living spaces, rather than the sleeping quarters. The three shipping containers, which house the beds, serve as a colorful backdrop painted in the primary colors of blue, red, and yellow. Each container contains a different bedroom layout, from multiple bunk beds to a family-style room with a queen bed. The bathrooms are housed in a “washing block” in a separate three-story structure next to the shipping containers. The kitchen facilities are located on the first floor in between the containers and the entrance. Related: Kurgo’s bright orange shipping container office is a haven for dogs Natural ventilation is key to the design of Ccasa hostel as a means to mitigate Nha Trang’s muggy and tropical weather. Instead of stuffy corridors, open metal bridges that wrap around a tall tree link the container bedrooms. An accessible terrace roof offers large hammocks and city views. A pergola with climbing vegetation wraps around the hostel to add an extra skin of greenery that protects the interior from direct sunlight and helps create a cooling microclimate. Encaustic cement tiles, old wood windows, and flat winnowing baskets were also upcycled as decorations, solar shades, and room dividers. + Ccasa Hostel Via ArchDaily Images by Quang Tran

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Nha Trangs first hostel built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Vietnam

Al Gore Blasts Geo-Engineering Solutions for Climate Change as Insane

January 16, 2014 by  
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While some have suggested geo-engineering projects could avert a climate change catastrophe, Al Gore described the idea as ”insane, utterly mad and delusional in the extreme.” The former vice president said that searches for an instant solution, which he said were born of desperation, are misguided and could lead to an even bigger catastrophe . His words came in response to the UN climate panel, which warned that governments might have to extract vast amounts of greenhouses gases from the air by 2100. Read the rest of Al Gore Blasts Geo-Engineering Solutions for Climate Change as Insane Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Al Gore , Al Gore on nuclear power , Al Gore says geo-engineering is insane , carbon dioxide removal technology , Climate Change , climate change geo-engineering solutions , geoengineering , global warming , Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , solutions to climate change , sulphur in the earth’s atmosphere , UN climate change panel        

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Al Gore Calls on President Obama to Veto Keystone XL “Atrocity”

June 17, 2013 by  
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The biggest decision of President Obama’s two-term presidency looms ahead, and environmentalists are increasingly concerned that Obama will cave to fossil fuel interests and approve the Keystone XL pipeline . Now we can add former vice president Al Gore to the growing chorus of enviros who are calling on Obama to veto the tar sands pipeline. In an interview with The Guardian last week, Gore described the proposed pipeline “an atrocity,” and he called on the president to back up the environmental rhetoric from his inauguration speech with actions. Read the rest of Al Gore Calls on President Obama to Veto Keystone XL “Atrocity” Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Al Gore , barack obama , environmental policy , keystone pipeline , keystone xl , Keystone XL Pipeline , obama , Obama climate team , obama environmental policy , president obama , tar sands , tar sands pipeline , white house        

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Al Gore Calls on President Obama to Veto Keystone XL “Atrocity”

Al Gore Compares Investing in Oil and Gas to Subprime Mortgage Crises and Lays Out “A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism”

February 16, 2012 by  
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Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore — a continuous warrior for the environment — said yesterday in an interview that current investment in the oil and gas industry is not that dissimilar to the subprime mortgage crisis. Moreover, he believes that the industry could collapse within the decade. Gore’s statement came in conjunction with a five point plan from Generation Investment Management LLP (the investment group Gore helped found with a former Goldman Sachs Group executive) entitled “A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism” . The plan outlines a long road forward for the investing world that if adopted could fundamentally change the current environment. Aside from moving investors away from carbon intensive stocks, the five point plan lays out a world where investors are rewarded for sticking with companies for the long haul. This plan will not only reduce the stress of achieving gains in the short term, but will allow companies to focus their plans on more sustainable gains over the long term. Read the rest of Al Gore Compares Investing in Oil and Gas to Subprime Mortgage Crises and Lays Out “A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism” Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: a manifesto for sustainable capitalism , Al Gore , al gore environmentalism , clean energy investments , david blood , environmental investing , generation investment management , green business , green investing , investing in the green economy , sustainable capitalism , sustainable capitalism manifesto , sustainable investing

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Al Gore Compares Investing in Oil and Gas to Subprime Mortgage Crises and Lays Out “A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism”

Why #OccupyWallStreet May Be Progressive Turning Point

September 30, 2011 by  
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Photo by Jim Kiernan via Flickr – All rights reserved. Used with permission. Are we on the cusp of an American Autumn a la the Arab Spring ? Last night, Van Jones said yes. “I think everybody should hold on to your seats. October is going to be the turning point when it comes to the progressive fight back,” Jones said. From the Keystone XL

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Why #OccupyWallStreet May Be Progressive Turning Point

DEC Rushes Draft Fracking Regulations, Skipping Proper Environmental Review Process

September 30, 2011 by  
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Image: Marcellus Protest via flickr The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that draft regulations for industrial gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale through fracking will be issued at the same time as the environmental impact statement—a d… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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