News that is edifying not electrifying, information that produces hope not heat

The Greens work locally and internationally and so, have their pulse on the people, thoughts and activities that shape our world and our civilization. It is therefore mandatory that we are spidered into every part of the world and its happenings. We also know that we live in an age of fake and therefore, we know what is hearsay, what is rumor, what is blind belief, what is spin. We also know how to cut through that fog of lies and drive to the truth, inconvenient though it might be at times. This area covers the most pertinent and most reliable facts about our world that constantly upstream to us. Of course, we are kind and anti-sensation so our tone in these posts reflect that. We will certainly break any news we find important. We might even call some of it hot or electrifying. But not hot in the conventional meaning that term has acquired where news that boils one’s blood is equated to hot news. News that makes your hair stand on end is called electrifying news. Whatever else we do, we are not a bunch of jokers that subscribe those definitions of heat or electricity.

Largest source of lead pollution no more!

In a welcome outcome amidst much bad news, the UN Environment Program has announced that the use of led in petrol has been stopped around the world after a multistakeholder effort that commenced back in 2002. A gradual ban across the world’s countries and regions ended with the complete phase-out that has now been completed.   The Tetraethyllead that had been added in to petrol to improve engine performance and widely used in many forms of petrol across the world had become a serious threat, contaminating air, dust, soil, drinking water, and food crops and resulting in heart disease, stroke, and cancer, and it harms development of children’s brains.   The move commenced at the RIO+10 Johannesburg summit with the establishment of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV), which is an alliance of governments, fuel and vehicle industries, and civil society. The UNEP hosts the secretariat. The group provided technical assistance, investment in refinery upgrades and overcame resistance from lead producers.   Adopting cleaner fuels and vehicles can reduce emissions by more than 80% and the transport sector is known to be responsible for one fourth of the energy related GHGs and this percentage is expected to rise to one third by 2050. UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said that with this milestone “we are invigorated to change humanity’s trajectory for the better through an accelerated transition to clean vehicles and electric mobility.” She called for adopting cleaner vehicles standards globally. Additionally, UNSG Antonio Guterres called for a shift from fossil fuels to renewables to mitigate climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.   Despite the fact that fossil fuels are the largest single contributor of lead pollution, the UNEP underscored the fact that there is still an urgency to prevent pollution from such sources as paints, batteries, and household items.

“COP26 must be postponed” – Climate Action Network

Vaccine inequity, unaffordable accommodation, travel challenges and new surges in the Covid19 pandemic will lock out huge numbers of developing country delegates from the UN climate talks set to take place in November. READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE 7 September 2021: Climate Action Network (CAN), a global network of more than 1500 civil society organisations in over 130 countries working together to fight the climate emergency, has today called for the UN climate talks – COP26 – to be postponed. The conference is set to take place in early November. With just two months to go, it is evident that a safe, inclusive and just global climate conference is impossible given the failure to support the access to vaccines to millions of people in poor countries, the rising costs of travel and accommodation, and the uncertainty in the course of the Covid19 pandemic. With just two months to go, it is evident that a safe, inclusive and just global climate conference is impossible given the failure to support the access to vaccines to millions of people in poor countries, the rising costs of travel and accommodation, and the uncertainty in the course of the Covid19 pandemic. An in-person COP in early November would de facto exclude many government delegates, civil society campaigners and journalists, particularly from Global South countries, many of which are on the UK’s Covid19 ‘red list’. This exclusion poses serious and long-lasting implications for issues that will be under deliberation at this COP and that are extremely important to developing countries, including on climate finance, loss and damage and carbon market rules, among others. The full and meaningful representation of those on the frontlines of the climate emergency is critical to produce a credible political outcome from COP26. ”Our concern is that those countries most deeply affected by the climate crisis and those countries suffering from the lack of support by rich nations in providing vaccines will be left out of the talks and be conspicuous by their absence at COP26. There has always been an inherent power imbalance within the UN climate talks, between rich and poor nations, and this is now compounded by the health crisis. Looking at the current timeline for COP26, it is difficult to imagine there can be fair participation from the Global South under safe conditions and it should therefore be postponed,” said Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network

GMSL webinar on the IPCC’s latest WG1 report

With the IPCC’s alarming science report, ACTED, the lead partner of the EU sponsored COLIBRI project requested a review of the report and how it affects Sri Lanka. GMSL stepped up and we did a 1 hour webinar with the Climate Action Network of South Asia (CAN-SA) stepping in very graciously to host the meet on their zoom account. 10 individuals from various ACTED and GMSL partner organizations participated. There was an initial technical problem that caused a wrong date to go out to everyone which might have been the reason why the webinar was comparatively poorly attended. It was pitched at a point beyond the basis but not quite into the deep science and CAN-SA kindly allowed the GMSL to make use of some of its own presentation slides copyright free. The presentation outlined key scientific findings, the most important takeaways with respect to global warming and climate change, the contextual positioning of the report with respect to South Asia and possible impacts on how to position / design programs in Sri Lanka based on its findings.

Kalpitiya mangrove planting continues

The GMSL just completed the second phase of its mangrove rehabilitation effort in the Kalpitiya lagoon. In the first phase 3000 saplings where planted and in the second, another 3000 propogules were set in place in the same area. We are happy that over 60% of the saplings survived thanks to the watchdog services of the local fisheries association headed by Human Fernando. The entire activity is sponsored by Arinma Holdings which have a number of environment projects across the country. The effort is founded on the GMSL’s activities to improve the blue economy and is part of a much larger effort to improve sustainable tourism, coaching for fisher folk on how to harvest catches without damaging fish stocks through unsustainable exploitation and improving the overall socioeconomic environment of the communities in those areas.

IPCC issues code red warning to the world

The evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions are choking our planet & placing billions of people in danger. Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible. We must act decisively now to avert a climate catastrophe tweeted UN Secretary General António Guterres in response to the IPCC’s WG1 report published August 9th 2021. The trouble that the Greens predicted back in 1994 has come to pass with the IPCC scientists warning the world that things are literally hotting up. For the first time, it has directly tied human activity to climate change with irrefutable evidence that shows that many climate issues such as the warming factor, the rise of sea levels is irreversible. The current continent destroying Quick Onset Events (QOEs) such as the European, Central American and Chinese floods, the the wildfires in Southern Europe, California and Sibera prove this is not a drill anymore. COP 26 looms in the near future and this is a make or break situation. It is pertinent to Sri Lanka in that our own climate has shown us that we are rapidly going in the same direction with the nation being water negative over the last seven years, at least two floods per year, the wet zone experiencing torrential rains for over six months a year being just an indicator of worse things to come. While it is easy to sensationalize these eventualities that won’t get anyone anywhere. Therefore, we soberly request the government of Sri Lanka to prepare for COP 26 with some concrete actions with respect to adaptation and mitigation. This is especially true with respect to loss and damage where now, it can prove that development or exploitative activities in other parts of the world have directly impacted the climate losses in the country and we should join the lobby to obtain fair redress for the problems that others have created.

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