International Environment Forum - A Bahá'í inspired organization for environment and sustainability https://iefworld.org/ en Leaves - September IEF newsletter is available https://iefworld.org/node/1182 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Leaves - September IEF newsletter is available</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">15. September 2021 - 14:31</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/312" hreflang="en">Leaves - September IEF newsletter is available</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Read on line: <a href="/newslt147"><strong><em>Leaves</em></strong> 23(9) September 2021</a> light text version with fewer illustrations.<br /> Download as a <a href="/fl/IEF_Leaves210915.pdf">pdf version</a> [2.7 mb].</p> <table background="/gr/BLEAF1.JPG" style="background-color: rgb(0, 153, 0); width: 100%; height: 55px; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Wed, 15 Sep 2021 11:31:34 +0000 admin 1182 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/node/1182#comments Climate Change, Faith and Science https://iefworld.org/node/1180 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Climate Change, Faith and Science</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">14. September 2021 - 13:41</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Nexus between Climate Change, Faith and Science</h2> <p>Webinar 16 September 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>IEF President Arthur Dahl spoke on 16 September in an African webinar on the Nexus between Climate Change, Faith and Science, sharing the Baha'i perspective on Climate Change and Global Warming.</p> <p><img alt=" " data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/gr/Webinar_poster2021.jpg" style="width: 800px; height: 800px;" /></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 16 September 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 14 Sep 2021 10:41:21 +0000 admin 1180 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/node/1180#comments Our Common Agenda for a Better Future https://iefworld.org/node/1179 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Our Common Agenda for a Better Future</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">10. September 2021 - 18:33</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/70" hreflang="en">United Nations</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Our Common Agenda</h2> <p>Report of the UN Secretary-General<br /> on the future of the United Nations<br /> 10 September 2021 - Summary</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>We are at an inflection point in history.</p> <p>In our biggest shared test since the Second World War, humanity faces a stark and urgent choice: a breakdown or a breakthrough.</p> <p>The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is upending our world, threatening our health, destroying economies and livelihoods and deepening poverty and inequalities.</p> <p>Conflicts continue to rage and worsen.</p> <p>The disastrous effects of a changing climate – famine, floods, fires and extreme heat – threaten our very existence.</p> <p>For millions of people around the world, poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion are denying them their rights to the basic necessities of life: health, safety, a vaccination against disease, clean water to drink, a plate of food or a seat in a classroom.</p> <p>Increasingly, people are turning their backs on the values of trust and solidarity in one another – the very values we need to rebuild our world and secure a better, more sustainable future for our people and our planet.</p> <p>Humanity’s welfare – and indeed, humanity’s very future – depend on solidarity and working together as a global family to achieve common goals.</p> <p>For people, for the planet, for prosperity and for peace.</p> <p>Last year, on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, Member States agreed that our challenges are interconnected, across borders and all other divides. These challenges can only be addressed by an equally interconnected response, through reinvigorated multilateralism and the United Nations at the centre of our efforts.</p> <p>Member States asked me to report back with recommendations to advance our common agenda. This report is my response.</p> <p>In preparing the report, we have engaged with a broad array of stakeholders, including Member States, thought leaders, young people, civil society and the United Nations system and its many partners.</p> <p>One message rang through loud and clear: the choices we make, or fail to make, today could result in further breakdown, or a breakthrough to a greener, better, safer future.</p> <p>The choice is ours to make; but we will not have this chance again.</p> <p>That is why <b>Our Common Agenda</b> is, above all, an agenda of action designed to accelerate the implementation of existing agreements, including the Sustainable Development Goals.</p> <p>First, <b>now is the time to re-embrace global solidarity</b> and find new ways to work together for the common good. This must include a global vaccination plan to deliver vaccines against COVID-19 into the arms of the millions of people who are still denied this basic lifesaving measure. Moreover, it must include urgent and bold steps to address the triple crisis of climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution destroying our planet.</p> <p>Second, now is the time to renew the <b>social contract between Governments and their people and within societies</b>, so as to rebuild trust and embrace a comprehensive vision of human rights. People need to see results reflected in their daily lives. This must include the active and equal participation of women and girls, without whom no meaningful social contract is possible. It should also include updated governance arrangements to deliver better public goods and usher in a new era of universal social protection, health coverage, education, skills, decent work and housing, as well as universal access to the Internet by 2030 as a basic human right. I invite all countries to conduct inclusive and meaningful national listening consultations so all citizens have a say in envisioning their countries’ futures.</p> <p>Third, <b>now is the time to end the “infodemic” plaguing our world</b> by defending a common, empirically backed consensus around facts, science and knowledge. The “war on science” must end. All policy and budget decisions should be backed by science and expertise, and I am calling for a global code of conduct that promotes integrity in public information.</p> <p>Fourth, <b>now is the time to correct a glaring blind spot in how we measure economic prosperity and progress</b>. When profits come at the expense of people and our planet, we are left with an incomplete picture of the true cost of economic growth. As currently measured, gross domestic product (GDP) fails to capture the human and environmental destruction of some business activities. I call for new measures to complement GDP, so that people can gain a full understanding of the impacts of business activities and how we can and must do better to support people and our planet.</p> <p>Fifth, <b>now is the time to think for the long term, to deliver more for young people and succeeding generations and to be better prepared for the challenges ahead</b>. Our Common Agenda includes recommendations for meaningful, diverse and effective youth engagement both within and outside the United Nations, including through better political representation and by transforming education, skills training and lifelong learning. I am also making proposals, such as a repurposed Trusteeship Council, a Futures Lab, a Declaration on Future Generations and a United Nations Special Envoy to ensure that policy and budget decisions take into account their impact on future generations. We also need to be better prepared to prevent and respond to major global risks. It will be important for the United Nations to issue a Strategic Foresight and Global Risk Report on a regular basis, and I also propose an Emergency Platform, to be convened in response to complex global crises.</p> <p>Sixth, <b>now is the time for a stronger, more networked and inclusive multilateral system, anchored within the United Nations</b>. Effective multilateralism depends on an effective United Nations, one able to adapt to global challenges while living up to the purposes and principles of its Charter. For example, I am proposing a new agenda for peace, multi-stakeholder dialogues on outer space and a Global Digital Compact, as well as a Biennial Summit between the members of the Group of 20 and of the Economic and Social Council, the Secretary-General and the heads of the international financial institutions. Throughout, we need stronger involvement of all relevant stakeholders, and we will seek to have an Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments.</p> <p>For 75 years, the United Nations has gathered the world around addressing global challenges: from conflicts and hunger, to ending disease, to outer space and the digital world, to human rights and disarmament. In this time of division, fracture and mistrust, this space is needed more than ever if we are to secure a better, greener, more peaceful future for all people. Based on this report, I will ask a <b>High-level Advisory Board</b>, led by former Heads of State and Government, to identify global public goods and other areas of common interest where governance improvements are most needed, and to propose options for how this could be achieved.</p> <p>In this spirit, I propose a <b>Summit of the Future</b> to forge a new global consensus on what our future should look like, and what we can do today to secure it.</p> <p>Humanity has shown time and time again that it is capable of great achievements when we work together. This common agenda is our road map to recapture this positive spirit and begin rebuilding our world and mending the trust in one another we need so desperately at this moment in history.</p> <p><b>Now is the time to take the next steps in our journey together, in solidarity with and for all people</b>.</p> <hr /> <p>Source: <a href="https://www.un.org/en/content/common-agenda-report/assets/pdf/Common_Agenda_Summary_English.pdf">https://www.un.org/en/content/common-agenda-report/assets/pdf/Common_Ag…</a></p> <p>The full report is available at <a href="https://www.un.org/en/content/common-agenda-report/assets/pdf/Common_Agenda_Report_English.pdf">https://www.un.org/en/content/common-agenda-report/assets/pdf/Common_Ag…</a></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 10 September 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Fri, 10 Sep 2021 15:33:10 +0000 admin 1179 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/node/1179#comments Concern at low ambition of biodiversity negotiations https://iefworld.org/node/1178 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Concern at low ambition of biodiversity negotiations</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">7. September 2021 - 22:18</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/8" hreflang="en">Biodiversity</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Concern at low ambition of biodiversity negotiations</h2> <p>Launch of Non-State Actor Call to Action</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>Organizations representing all corners of society from around the world came together in Marseille, France, on 7 September 2021 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress to issue an unprecedented joint call for governments to strengthen a draft global biodiversity agreement.</p> <p>The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is currently being negotiated by governments under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. It presents a once-in-a-decade opportunity for the world to secure a global agreement to halt and reverse the loss of nature, but the pace of negotiations has been slow.</p> <p>The growing concern from leading organizations is over the lack of ambition displayed by governments negotiating the agreement. NGOs, faith groups, local and regional governments, Indigenous Peoples, academics, youth, business coalitions and artists, including the International Environment Forum, are united in calling for governments to deliver an ambitious agreement at COP15 that reverses biodiversity loss to secure a nature-positive world by 2030.</p> <p>The launch event convened by non-state actors was addressed by speakers including Inger Anderson, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme; Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International; Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director, Indigenous Information Network; and Sofia Sprechmann, Secretary General of Care International.</p> <p>Human activities are causing a catastrophic loss of biodiversity, with one million species now threatened by extinction. This destruction of nature undermines its ability to support us, placing human health and livelihoods at risk.</p> <p>The signatories, which include leading academics, stress that reversing biodiversity loss is a moral responsibility, but it will also help avoid future pandemics, fight climate change and land degradation, and enhance environmental security. Continued loss of nature threatens not only half of global GDP, but also our opportunities to uphold human rights, and reduce social and gender inequalities.</p> <p>The strong presence of humanitarian and development organizations among the signatories reflects biodiversity loss’ role in undermining human security and the need for connected action for nature and people.</p> <p>Crucially, the call to governments highlights the commitments made by many world leaders in the past year to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, through the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and the G7 2030 Nature Compact. Leaders are called on to deliver an ambitious global biodiversity agreement which acts on these commitments.</p> <p>To secure a nature-positive world by 2030, governments are urged to include a nature-positive mission in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and to ensure a rights-based approach, including to nature-based solutions and to conserving 30% of land, freshwater and seas by 2030.</p> <p>Governments are further called on to ensure the final agreement tackles the drivers of biodiversity loss - including unsustainable agriculture and food systems, forestry, fisheries, infrastructure, and extractives - by securing a just transition that halves the footprint of production and consumption by 2030. Other key areas of the draft agreement that need strengthening include ensuring adequate financial resources and an effective implementation mechanism.</p> <p>You can download the Call to Action, including the IEF signature, <a href="/fl/Non_State_Actor_Call_To_Action210907.pdf">here</a>.</p> <p><small>Based on WWF press release: <a href="https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?3524966/100-organizations-voice-concern-at-low-ambition-of-biodiversity-negotiations">https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?3524966/100-organization…</a></small></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 7 September 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 07 Sep 2021 19:18:25 +0000 admin 1178 at https://iefworld.org The Recent Climate Report - Elevate the Conversation! https://iefworld.org/node/1177 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Recent Climate Report - Elevate the Conversation!</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">1. September 2021 - 20:08</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">The Recent Climate Report - Elevate the Conversation!</h2> <p>Article by Christine Muller</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The Wilmette Institute has recently posted online an article by IEF General Secretary Christine Muller on "<b>The Recent Climate Report - Elevate the Conversation!</b>" which can be read at <a href="https://wilmetteinstitute.org/the-recent-climate-report-elevate-the-conversation/">https://wilmetteinstitute.org/the-recent-climate-report-elevate-the-con…</a></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 1 September 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Wed, 01 Sep 2021 17:08:03 +0000 admin 1177 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/node/1177#comments Musical Composition: Humans on Earth - a Ballad of Our Time https://iefworld.org/node/1176 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Musical Composition: Humans on Earth - a Ballad of Our Time</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1386" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Christine Muller</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">31. August 2021 - 10:01</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Musical Composition <b>Humans on Earth - a Ballad of Our Time</b></h2> <p>by IEF member Christine Muller</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The new musical composition "Humans on Earth - a Ballad of Our Time", written by IEF member Christine Muller, is looking for an orchestra that will play it. The piece is for soprano, baritone, string orchestra, piano, and percussion.</p> <p>The two singers first lament about the big problems of our time - climate change, biodiversity loss, social inequality and human suffering. In the second part of the piece, the tone is getting more hopeful with a spiritual perspective. The lyrics contain quotations from scientific papers and from the Baha'i writings as well as words spontaneously written while composing the music. These are the lyrics:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><b>Humans on Earth - a Ballad of Our Time </b></p> <p>Baritone: <i>The Earth is warming, quickly warming, it is getting out of balance, crazy climate, extreme conditions, droughts and floods and terrible storms! The Earth is warming, quickly warming, it is getting out of balance, acid oceans, melting arctic, sea levels rising, forests burning, the Earth is getting, out of balance, out of balance, - so! </i></p> <p>Soprano: <i>A wicked, a wicked, a wicked, wicked problem, a wicked problem no doubt. "The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms - including humanity - is so great that it is difficult to grasp even for well-informed experts."</i> <small>- <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcosc.2020.615419/full">https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcosc.2020.615419/full</a></small></p> <p>Baritone: <i>Where are the bees, where are the butterflies? Humanity has destroyed about half of all plants and 83% of wild mammals.</i> <small>(The biomass distribution on Earth, Yinon M. Bar-On et al., PNAS 19 June 2018)</small><br /> <i>Where are the bees, where are the butterflies? One million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Earth's life support systems are unraveling. </i></p> <p>Soprano: <i>So many people are suff'ring, from poverty and hunger and injustice all around. Now climate change makes things much worse, forcing them to leave their homes. They will lose their country and their culture, their community, and become climate refugees. </i></p> <p>Baritone: <i>"Sore-tried and disillusioned, humanity has no doubt lost its orientation."</i> <small>- Shoghi Effendi</small></p> <p>Soprano: <i>"But it need not be so!" All we need is a change of attitude, a change of heart, a change of consciousness to interconnectedness. </i></p> <p>Baritone: <i>"The welfare of any segment of society is inextricably bound up with the welfare of the whole."</i> <small>- Universal House of Justice, 1 March 2017 letter</small></p> <p>Soprano and Baritone: <i>We are one, yes, we are one, "The Earth is but one country." We are one, yes, we are one, "and mankind its citizens."</i> <small>- Baha'u'llah</small></p> <hr /> <p>Different sections are written in different classical styles, mostly in the Romantic style, but some are impressionistic with one brief reference to 12-tone music. The music is an expression of the text.</p> <p>The piece begins with the strings plugging their instruments. They play the theme of the "wicked problem" which the soprano will pick up later. Climate change is often portrayed as a wicked problem because of its enormous complexity.</p> <p>The two orchestral sections without voice (when the piano comes in) are based on the whole tone scales and paint the various problems with the oceans, especially sea-level rise and flooding.</p> <p>When you hear the violins playing alone and you are thinking of insects buzzing - that's exactly the sound they are trying to paint. The increasing pauses illustrate the loss of the abundance and diversity of life. This will become clear when the baritone starts to sing "Where are the bees?""</p> <p>The different musical themes come together toward the end in the polyphonic section "The welfare of any segment of society is inextricably bound up with the welfare of the whole."</p> <p>The first part of the composition is quite emotional, expressing the destruction of nature and the suffering of people. The second part is more hopeful and aims to give positive energy.</p> <p>You can download the score <a href="/fl/Humans_on_Earth-a_Ballad_of_Our_Time210830.pdf">here</a> and listen to an electronic version of the music <a href="/fl/Humans_on_Earth-a_Ballad_of_Our_Time210613.mp3">here</a>. The electronic audio does not convey the words and cannot adequately present the music, but it will give some flavor of how it may sound. The music is licensed under a <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License</a>. Everyone can use CC-licensed materials as long as they follow the license conditions. If you know of an orchestra, a conductor, or singers who may be interested in playing the piece, please share the music with them. If you would like to receive the Finale file of the score or instrumental parts, just contact Christine at <a href="mailto:ief@iefworld.org">ief@iefworld.org</a>.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 31 August 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 07:01:10 +0000 Christine Muller 1176 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/node/1176#comments 9th IEF Webinar Discussion: The Recent IPCC Report https://iefworld.org/node/1169 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">9th IEF Webinar Discussion: The Recent IPCC Report</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">30. August 2021 - 17:43</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">9th IEF Webinar Discussion: The Recent IPCC Report</h2> <p>28 August 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The 9th IEF Webinar was a discussion on <b>The Recent IPCC Report – What Are Its Practical and Spiritual Implications?</b> on 28 August 2021.</p> <p>The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has started to release its Sixth Assessment Report with the results of Working Group I on the Physical Science Base. The reports of other working groups will come out over the next year. The report confirmed its previous conclusion that the human causes of climate change are indisputable, that climate change is happening now and affecting all parts of the world in multiple ways, and that it will get much worse if we do not take urgent action to reduce all emissions of greenhouse gases immediately.</p> <p>Participants in the discussion reviewed the findings of the Working Group I report, based on the short summary of the report <a href="/node/1167">Where is Climate Change Taking Us?</a> which includes the report's headline statements. Arthur Dahl's commentary about the report "There Is No Doubt Left – We Must Act Now" further stimulated the discussion. It is on the website of the Global Governance Forum <a href="https://globalgovernanceforum.org/there-is-no-doubt-left-we-must-act-now/">https://globalgovernanceforum.org/there-is-no-doubt-left-we-must-act-no…</a></p> <hr /> <p>Since webinar discussions are not recorded, Christine Muller prepared the following report.</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><b>IEF August 2021 Webinar Discussion</b><br /> Summary and Commentary by IEF Member Christine Muller</p> </div> <p>The August IEF webinar discussed the recently released 6th Assessment Report of the Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These discussions are not recorded, so here is a brief summary and commentary for all those who have missed it.</p> <p>There were 20 participants coming from Zimbabwe, USA, Switzerland, Iran, France (Corsica), China, and Canada.</p> <p>We started the gathering with watching a 2 minute video which you can find here when you scroll down a little: <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-qa-the-ipccs-sixth-assessment-report-on-climate-science#temperature">https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-qa-the-ipccs-sixth-assessment-repo…</a>. By the way, the information which this link provides about the recent IPCC AR6 WG1 is one of the very best and I can warmly recommend it!</p> <p>It is impossible to convey all the topics that were covered in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Here are my recollections and thoughts about three subjects discussed:</p> <p>The discussion started off with the huge problem of water scarcity in many areas of the world. It was pointed out that, in addition to climate change, water mismanagement is a huge problem, such as the diversion of water for irrigation of unsustainable crops which contributed to the shrinking of lake Urmia in Iran, and the depletion of aquifers, many of them not replenishable. Lack of knowledge/education as well as corruption have played a major role in that water crisis. Our participant from Iran emphasized that we cannot separate climate change from other environmental and social problems. They are all interconnected. Therefore, we need to address these issues in a holistic way. We may want to add here that the holistic approach also needs to be used in efforts for adaptation – such as measures to improve living conditions in drought stricken areas – and mitigation which aims to reduce carbon emissions or improves carbon sinks. Our participant from Zimbabwe addressed this with the idea of tree planting to help save water and also to respond to climate change, something which is already being pursued in some areas, but will certainly be beneficial in many more places.</p> <p>One participant elaborated how materialism is the underlying cause of climate change and environmental destruction in general. He pointed out that 'Abdu'l-Bahá led a life of voluntary simplicity. Another participant observed that several studies have proven that a consumer lifestyle does not make us happy. Writing this just reminded me of the words of the Universal House of Justice:</p> <blockquote> <p>At all times, contentment and moderation, benevolence and fellow feeling, sacrifice and reliance on the Almighty are qualities that befit the God-fearing soul.</p> <p>The forces of materialism promote a quite contrary line of thinking: that happiness comes from constant acquisition, that the more one has the better, that worry for the environment is for another day. These seductive messages fuel an increasingly entrenched sense of personal entitlement, which uses the language of justice and rights to disguise self-interest. Indifference to the hardship experienced by others becomes commonplace while entertainment and distracting amusements are voraciously consumed. The enervating influence of materialism seeps into every culture, and all Bahá’ís recognize that, unless they strive to remain conscious of its effects, they may to one degree or another unwittingly adopt its ways of seeing the world. <small> (<a href="https://universalhouseofjustice.bahai.org/involvement-life-society/20170301_001">Universal House of Justice 1 March 2017 – To the Bahá’ís of the World</a>)</small></p> </blockquote> <p>A participant brought the <a href="/UHJcc2017">29 Nov 2017 letter of the Universal House of Justice</a> to our attention. The letter was a response to three individuals who questioned climate science and can serve as a wonderful example of how we can engage in a conversation with people who share a very different view. It starts by acknowledging their sincere intention and establishes common ground. Then it gently explains: “One of the most pressing problems of humanity in the current century is how a growing, rapidly developing, and not yet united global population can, in a just manner, live in harmony with the planet and its finite resources. … It is essential, therefore, that Bahá’ís contribute to thought and action regarding such matters.”</p> <p>The Universal House of Justice then devotes a whole paragraph to the importance of science and states that there is a “striking degree of agreement among experts in relevant fields about the cause and impact of climate change.”</p> <p>In the discussion, a participant observed that we are all on a path of becoming increasingly more aware, more knowledgeable about climate change, other environmental problems, and the dire state of our world. Respecting that environmental awareness varies greatly in good people from all backgrounds is a good foundation for unity. Another participant pointed to a quote in the same letter of the Universal House of Justice: "Even when there is agreement on some underlying facts, there may be a diversity of views about what to do in response to those facts". We accept the science and the need to act, but what those actions should be needs to reflect local realities and situations, which vary greatly.</p> <p>A participant brought to our attention that “science, the laws of nature, and environmental issues are based in facts on how the earth operates. There are no 'politics', 'sides' or 'opinions.'” Spreading the truth that we cannot change the laws of Physics and that climate change should be a non-partisan issue may contribute to raising our collective understanding. Climate change is a matter of science and ethics and requires unified action from the local to the international level!</p> <p>The discussion reminded me of the huge task in front of us: Continue to educate ourselves about climate change and how to address it with spiritual principles and a holistic approach, and to boldly share this knowledge and speak up for truth, justice, and climate action because we are in a planetary emergency as the recent IPCC report clearly documents.</p> <hr /> <p>The Full IPCC Working Group I Report is here: <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/">https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/</a></p> <p>Webinar discussions are not recorded, but recordings of Past Webinar Lectures are at <a href="https://tinyurl.com/7p09o73q">https://tinyurl.com/7p09o73q</a></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 30 August 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Mon, 30 Aug 2021 14:43:39 +0000 admin 1169 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/node/1169#comments Coral Reefs as a Model for Humanity https://iefworld.org/node/1175 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Coral Reefs as a Model for Humanity</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">28. August 2021 - 12:22</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/69" hreflang="en">Religion</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/60" hreflang="en">Science</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Coral reefs</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Coral Reefs as a Model for Humanity</h2> <p>IEF Presentation at the<br /> Parliament of the World's Religions<br /> 17 October 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions will be meeting on 16-17 October 2021 on the theme "Opening our Hearts to the World: Compassion in Action". The Bahá'ís are as usual collaborating in the Parliament.</p> <p>IEF President Arthur Dahl is scheduled to give a presentation on <b>Coral Reefs as a Model for Humanity</b> on 17 October 2021 at 1:00 pm Central Time, 20:00 CEST.</p> <p>In a world united by technology but fractured by many forms of intolerance, it is important to show the harmony and complementarity of science and religion in our search for solutions to modern problems. Nature has over millions of years learned unity in diversity, favoring cooperation over competition, and showing what principles can lead to a just and sustainable economy and society. The highly complex ecosystem of a coral reef that builds its own environment as a home for thousands of species can provide a meaningful model for humanity as we work for a world civilization founded on spiritual values.</p> <p>We need compassion for both humanity and nature if we are to save the world for future generations. Seeing our spiritual values reflected in nature can inspire us both to save coral reefs from destruction by climate change, and to work for unity in diversity across our faith traditions, cultures and peoples.</p> <p>The presentation will be richly illustrated with photographs of coral reefs taken by the presenter.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 28 August 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sat, 28 Aug 2021 09:22:36 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1175 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/node/1175#comments Making Peace with Nature https://iefworld.org/node/1174 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Making Peace with Nature</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">23. August 2021 - 17:31</span> <div class="field field--name-subjects field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/8" hreflang="en">Biodiversity</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/145" hreflang="en">Pollution</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Making Peace with Nature</h2> <p>UNEP Synthesis Report<br /> February 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The United Nations Environment Programme's first Synthesis Report, <i><b>Making Peace with Nature</b></i>, is a scientific blueprint for how climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution can be tackled jointly within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. It represents a synthesis of the many recent intergovernmental global environmental assessments and assessments prepared under the auspices of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, UN bodies and others.</p> <p>Among other conclusions, it states: "Only a system-wide transformation will achieve well-being for all within the Earth’s capacity to support life, provide resources and absorb waste. This transformation will involve a fundamental change in the technological, economic and social organization of society, including world views, norms, values and governance."</p> <p>Its top five key messages are:</p> <p>• Environmental changes are undermining hard-won development gains by causing economic costs and millions of premature deaths annually. They are impeding progress towards ending poverty and hunger, reducing inequalities and promoting sustainable economic growth, work for all and peaceful and inclusive societies.</p> <p>• The well-being of today‘s youth and future generations depends on an urgent and clear break with current trends of environmental decline. The coming decade is crucial. Society needs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5 °C as aspired to in the Paris Agreement, while at the same time conserving and restoring biodiversity and minimizing pollution and waste.</p> <p>• Earth’s environmental emergencies and human well-being need to be addressed together to achieve sustainability. The development of the goals, targets, commitments and mechanisms under the key environmental conventions and their implementation need to be aligned to become more synergistic and effective.</p> <p>• The economic, financial and productive systems can and should be transformed to lead and power the shift to sustainability. Society needs to include natural capital in decision-making, eliminate envi- ronmentally harmful subsidies and invest in the transition to a sustainable future.</p> <p>• Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that human knowledge, ingenuity, technology and coopera- tion are redeployed from transforming nature to transforming humankind‘s relationship with nature. Polycentric governance is key to empowering people to express themselves and act environmentally responsibly without undue difficulty or self-sacrifice.</p> <hr /> <p>Source: United Nations Environment Programme (2021). <i>Making Peace with Nature: A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies</i>. UNEP: Nairobi. <a href="https://www.unep.org/resources/making-peace-nature">https://www.unep.org/resources/making-peace-nature</a></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 23 August 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Mon, 23 Aug 2021 14:31:29 +0000 admin 1174 at https://iefworld.org World Scientist's Warning of a Climate Emergency https://iefworld.org/node/1172 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">World Scientist&#039;s Warning of a Climate Emergency</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">22. August 2021 - 21:52</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp; <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">World Scientist's Warning of a Climate Emergency</h2> <p>Summary and commentary by Arthur Dahl<br /> President, International Environment Forum</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>An international group of leading scientists has been issuing warnings for thirty years of our growing environmental crises. After a "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" in 1992, the Alliance of World Scientists (<a href="https://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/">https://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/</a>) issued a "World Scientists’ Warning: Second Notice" in 2017, and a "Scientists' Warning of a Climate Emergency" in 2019 (<a href="https://www.scientistswarning.org/">https://www.scientistswarning.org/</a>), documenting the catastrophic trends in the world leading to a climate emergency and the need for rapid action. I was one of nearly fourteen thousand scientists in 158 countries to have signed up to that call, but it has not yet had much impact. At the end of July 2021, the authors have repeated their warning of a climate emergency, updating their data to show that most trends are still in the wrong direction. Click <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab079">here</a> for their full paper with all the graphs.</p> <p>Among the worrying planetary vital signs, the number of ruminant livestock passed 4 billion, forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon accelerated to become a carbon source instead of a carbon sink, global GDP dipped during the pandemic but is expected to reach an all-time high, the reductions in fossil fuel use and air travel during the pandemic appear to be transient, greenhouse gases have set new concentration records in the atmosphere, 2020 was the second hottest year on record, and melting of Greenland, polar and glacier ice, and ocean heat content and sea level rise, have set new records.</p> <p>The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as serious as it is, was not enough to affect the climate crisis. To respond to the climate emergency, the scientists call for immediate action to change course in six areas: (1) <i>energy</i>, eliminating fossil fuels and shifting to renewables; (2) <i>short-lived air pollutants</i>, slashing black carbon (soot), methane, and hydrofluorocarbons; (3) <i>nature</i>, restoring and permanently protecting Earth’s ecosystems to store and accumulate carbon and restore biodiversity; (4) <i>food</i>, switching to mostly plant-based diets, reducing food waste, and improving cropping practices; (5) <i>economy</i>, moving from indefinite GDP growth and overconsumption by the wealthy to ecological economics and a circular economy, in which prices reflect the full environmental costs of goods and services; and (6) <i>human population</i>, stabilizing and gradually reducing the population by providing voluntary family planning and supporting education and rights for all girls and young women. All transformative climate action should focus on social justice for all by prioritizing basic human needs and reducing inequality.</p> <p>Why has the world not listened to the scientists? The warning could not be clearer, and as the recent <a href="/node/1167">IPCC report</a> has shown, the evidence is overwhelming that the climate catastrophe is already underway. Bahá'u'lláh warned over a hundred years ago that material civilization carried to excess would be as great a source of evil as it had been of good when kept within the bounds of moderation. Our present economic system is in total contradiction to that concept, and in particular the <a href="/node/1106">lifestyle of the affluent</a>. The UN and many leaders of thought have called for a fundamental transformation in society, but it is clear that science is not enough to motivate that. We need a fundamental change in values, which only a spiritual or religious renewal can bring about, and that is what the Bahá'ís are working towards from the grass-roots up, community by community, all around the world. As the climate emergency accelerates, let us hope that the renewal of civilization on new foundations can ultimately save us from the worst.</p> <p>Source: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab079">https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab079</a></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 22 August 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/267" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> </div> </div> Sun, 22 Aug 2021 18:52:11 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1172 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/node/1172#comments