On Reducing Emissions, UN Tells The World: Do Better
Days before climate negotiations resume in Qatar, the organization's Environment Program has released a report claiming that governments aren't doing nearly enough to fight global warming.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
With just days to go before the start of a major climate change conference, the United Nations Environment Program (Unep) has released a report stating that the concentration of heat-trapping gases in Earth's atmosphere is up by 20 percent since 2000. Combined with a separate report from a different UN program declaring record-breaking levels of carbon dioxide in 2011, the organization claims that governments aren't doing nearly enough to slow global warming and meet the goals stated in past climate agreements. This year's talks will focus on extending the Kyoto Protocol (which expires this year) and creating a more thorough pact that will include developing nations.
What's the Big Idea?
In order to keep the global temperature rise to below 2°C, emissions must come down by 14 percent by 2020. However, each year that countries drag their feet on reduction plans, the percentage goes up and the likelihood of reaching the goal decreases. Unep executive director Achim Steiner believes there's still hope, and says that there are "inspiring actions" to be found among some nations. Climate activists like Kaisa Kosonen say governments need to step it up: "The only way we are going [to] achieve the necessary cuts in emissions is to move away from fossil fuels and towards a world of renewable energy."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.