Western Pacific heading for rough weather and increased landslide risk

Last 22-25 June 2010, nearly a thousand scientists gathered at the Taipei International Conference Center to discuss the current understanding about the factors that induce such extreme events. Recent findings from the work of around 4,000 scholars were presented at the Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting (http://www.agu.org/meetings/wp10/) in Taipei in the desire to understand and help with more appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies.

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We sink or swim together

The schedule of UN meetings before the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change shows how intense is the negotiation process: 1-12 June, UN climate negotiations in Bonn; 21-25 September, UN Climate Summit in New York; 28 September – 9 October, UN negotiations in Bangkok; 2- 6 November, final round in Barcelona; and 7 – 18 December, the Copenhagen Conference itself. We are entering a critical phase of the Copenhagen preparations at international and European level and any agreement will require energy, diplomatic skills, and generosity.

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Crisis Requires Creativity

Andreas Carlgren, Swedish Centre Party, became member of the Swedish parliament in 1994. Since 2006, he has been minister for environment in Sweden. He is also a member of St Eugenia catholic parish in Stockholm.

This interview was first published in the Jesuit review Signum (5/2010) and has been shorted for EcoJesuit. See the full text version here.

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Picking up the pieces, regaining momentum after Copenhagen

The United Nations Framework on Climate Change will resume meetings after the failure of the Copenhagen Conference. The two major issues, besides the financial instruments, are the need to conclude a legally binding agreement and to agree transparent rules to assess compliance.

Although a large majority of commentators consider the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference to have been a failure, certain influential voices have stressed the value of the Conference’s agreements. Lord Stern, professor at the London School of Economics and author of a key report on the economic and social assessment of climate change, has affirmed that “this process has itself been a key part of countries stating what their intentions on emissions reductions are – countries that had not stated them before, including China and the US”.

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Climate Change Debate Rises with Pakistan Floods

“If this is not God’s wrath, what is?” 40-year-old taxi driver Bakht Zada said of the massive floods in Pakistan that have swept away his life earnings.

Speaking to IPS from Madyan city in Swat district in north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Zada might pin the blame for Pakistan’s worst floods in 80 years on forces beyond humankind, but environment experts are debating whether they are linked to a much more earthly phenomenon – climate change.

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The Challenge for Jesuits in the Asia Pacific

Reconciliation with Creation is a central theme of the Jesuit mission since the 35th General Congregation, but how can we make this happen?

Even though Pope Benedict makes constant and urgent reference to the state of our environment and GC35 calls our attention to it, the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific or JCAP faces a challenge. Few people know where to begin or how to take practical steps. The challenge, when focused on, is daunting.

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The GMO debate is open

The recent approval from the Commission of a GM potato springs the debate about the acceptance of this technology in Europe after many years of refusal.

In March the European Commission authorized the cultivation of a genetically modified potato called Amflora, from the Basf company. This news would be unremarkable, except that it is 12 years since the previous GMO application received approval. What has changed so that such a decision can be made after so many years?

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The relation and role of the Church in Creation today

Reynaldo “Rey” Raluto shares with ESSCNews some of his thoughts about Creation – our relation to it and its role today, as he finishes his doctoral studies in theology at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) in preparation for his teaching assignment in St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Cagayan de Oro. Rey is a priest from the Diocese of Malaybalay and is doing his doctoral research on the ecological perspective on liberation theology in the Philippine context.

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Creation at the Heart of Mission

Two hundred and forty persons from 82 religious institutes, 57 countries and five continents gathered in Assisi from 12-16 May 2009. “Creation at the Heart of Mission” was jointly sponsored by SEDOS and the JPIC Commission of the USIG/USG where both religious and lay collaborators were led by theologians Séan McDonagh and Denis Edwards in considering ecology and our Christian life.

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