WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER
Silent protest—It’s a long way from where the shuttle buses stop to the Conference’s activities. Past security and identification card scanners, there is a long passage with airport-style people movers. And today, stationed all along these mechanical conveyors, were youth activists standing stonily still and silent bearing placards protesting that their voices weren’t being heard by the negotiators. “We demand recognition of our existence,” or simply, “we matter too,” the placards message was clear—“listen to us.”
2012 was above average—The first 10 months of 2012 saw above average temperatures over most of the world’s land surface areas according to WMO, the World Meteorological Organization. The areas most affected were North America, southern Europe, western and central Russia and northwestern Asia. Warmer than usual conditions were also experienced in much of South America, Africa, South Asia and the Pacific. 2012 also saw record-breaking heat waves, major droughts in the United States, western Russia and southeast Europe, while western Africa and the Sahel, Pakistan, and parts of South America experience record rainfall and flooding.
Teaching for climate change—It is one thing just to raise awareness about climate change. It is quite another to educate people for living with climate change in the future. But for many youth attending the Doha conference, teaching awareness to their peers, along with other parts of society, seems essential to dealing with the causes and impacts of climate change. From China to Sri Lanka, Nigeria, or the UK, youth recounted how they are helping to educate others through scouting, government programmes, or schools, in ways that make things interesting. The upshot was that Educational institutions will have to shift their curricula to match the demands of a sustainable future and provide training to the youth of today to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, securing green jobs and a green economy in the future.
Toward the next IPCC report—The IPCC—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—puts out an assessment of the climate science every five or six years, and work is well underway on the next installment. The report, delivered in four parts, deals with the physical science, impacts, mitigation prospects and a synthesis that ties it all together. IPCC head Dr. Rajendra Pachauri told the Doha Conference today that an unprecedented number of approximately 3,000 nominations of outstanding scientists volunteered to work on the next report and that the IPCC selected 831 out as Lead Authors and Review Editors.
Pachauri said the Panel would look at the literature and the science performed since mid 2006 and would present a “much more comprehensive and extended view and understanding of a changing planet,” with for example a better appreciation of mass loss of the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica where satellite missions planned in the 1990s now bear fruit. He said this is leading to a better understanding of ongoing sea level rise. And he said the report would also delve into the issue of clouds and aerosols, which are also significant for air quality and health.
Odds and ends—Qatar expects 17,000 people to attend the COP—they’re not all here yet, but the high-level portion of the Conference takes place next week, with the arrival of the UN Secretary-General and high level officials that may include several heads of state…. During the first two days of the Conference, 750,000 fewer sheets of paper were used than at the same time during last year’s Conference, the result of the UN’s PaperSmart initiative, which has made all documentation digitally available. It is estimated that 90 trees so far have been saved….An interesting NGO project unveiled today shows how people are being impacted by climate change in their own lives. The group, Climate Legacy, held up a big sheet in a hallway with big red stars on a world map to highlight where the impacts are.