Vulnerable countries sound alarm on climate finance
Small Pacific islands threatened by rising sea levels (such as Fiji, the Marshall Islands, and the Maldives), African countries worried by desertification (including Ethiopia and Rwanda) and developing countries hit by extreme climate events (Nepal, the Philippines), grouped together as the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), sounded the alarm at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, which closed last Thursday (18 May).
Negotiators from all over the world attended the ten days of talks in Germany, in an attempt to make progress on the application of the Paris Agreement. While the international community committed in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, its efforts have not yet managed to drag the planet off its more drastic trajectory.
“Keeping to the 1.5 degrees goal is quite simply a matter of survival. For all of us, the Paris Agreement is our lifeline,” said Debasu Bayleyegn Eyasu, a director-general with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Ethiopia is currently leading the CVF. “The world is moving ahead,” he added.
Together, the 48 members of the Forum represent more than a billion people, all of whom are particularly exposed to the effects of climate change. In its final declaration, the CVF warned that the implementation of the historic UN agreement could not be taken for granted and depended on an increase in support from the world’s richer nations.
“2018 needs to trigger enhanced ambition for climate action if the Paris Agreement’s goals are to remain achievable,” the Forum’s joint statement said.
This negotiation session in Bonn was in large part dedicated to the question of ambition, and more precisely, how the signatories to the Paris Agreement can be encouraged to increase it.
“There is a gap between the current trajectory of warming and the objective defined under the Paris Agreement,” said Lucile Dufour from Climate Action Network (CAN).
To get the deal back on track, countries will have to present new national contributions aimed at closing this gap between theory and reality. The exercise will begin next year and end in 2020.
Among the most vulnerable countries, the issue of climate change is already being taken seriously. “We are working now together with our ministers of finance to find innovative ways to accelerate our progress towards the 100% renewable energy vision, as well as to reduce risks and boost poverty reduction efforts,” the declaration stated.
“Costa Rica produces 100% renewable energy most of the year. But we won’t stop there: we are tackling now the transport sector and hope to even export renewable power more widely in the region,” said William Calvo, Costa Rica’s adjunct chief negotiator to the UNFCCC.
At the COP22 in Marrakesh, the CVF countries committed to a 100% renewable energy future. “These countries have shown and are showing that they are ready to be the leaders on climate questions,” said Dufour.
This year’s COP23, which will take place in Bonn from 6 to 17 November, will be presided over by Fiji; a first for a small island state.
A question of financing
To achieve their objectives, the Forum also called on the world’s rich countries to keep their financial promises. The CVF demanded the “quick” allocation of the capital from the Green Climate Fund and used the opportunity to remind the developed countries of the pledges they had made to support the Global South.
The Vulnerable Addict
During active addiction, no one is more capable of being wounded than a person who is under the influence. Easily played, many lose assets, belongings, and dignity during the latter stages of addiction. Beyond this point lies only recovery, incarceration or death.
Reaching out for help is an anxiety-inducing event due to the unknown. When a person knows everything from housing to daily routines is about to drastically change, fear sets in. Withdrawal is powerful and extreme.
When a failure is no longer an option, the addict usually caves in. ‘Anything’ is what a person will finally accept as the cost to have relief from unbearable chemical hooks.
Nothing can change until society decides to address addiction as an illness of imbalance rather than a moral failing. First, the physical aspect must be addressed with a detoxification process by professionally trained medical staff. Only then is the mind free from having the mesolimbic system dragooned by drugs such as heroin, opioids or methamphetamine.
Raw emotions, fears, and anxiety-producing life events can be addressed through therapy with CBT-cognitive behavioral therapy being especially helpful to those dealing with addiction. The path to sobriety is three parts-body, mind and soul. All three are required for successful abstinence.
Re-living past experiences is one way to defuse them. By recalling an event thoroughly to a trained listener or therapist, the incident can be re-categorized in the mind. This can bring closure to recurring memories of negative, life-altering experiences.
An advanced user will need to maintain an addiction until a safe detoxification can be arranged. To stop alcohol ‘cold turkey’ is to invite disaster if the drinker keeps a continuous blood level on a normal basis. Withdrawal can be deadly from ethanol alcohol. Most other drugs cause a horrendous experience but not a lethal one.
New drugs are now available and will be tested with active addicts to attempt to wean or substitute a ‘safer’ substance in the transfer to sobriety. No one became an addict overnight. It usually sneaks up on the user and springs its chemical trap before its presence is known.
San Antonio, Texas, is currently trying the drug Baclofen for Alcohol Use Disorder. With one in ten currently experiencing some phase of alcoholism, the numbers are staggering with 88,000 deaths each year, just in the U.S! Other countries have had good luck with this drug which is normally used for Multiple Sclerosis.
Why Were EPCOT Countries Chosen and Why Are They Positioned There?
One of my favorite parts in all of Walt Disney World is the world showcase section of Epcot. Experiencing the various cultures, especially the food and beverages that each country exhibits gives a person the ability to see many other cultures in a short period of time. But have you ever wondered why the countries were set up the way they are, and why some are included and others are not? As with most everything interesting, there’s usually a story behind it.
The World Showcase at Epcot is represented by 11 countries centered on a large lagoon. The distance around the lagoon totals about 1 ¼ miles, and when the countries were being selected any country was welcome to place a bid. In some cases, they had to get countries to agree on costs, and for that or for some reason couldn’t come up with an agreement. In fact, three pavilions were advertised as part of the project but were never built: Spain, Israel, and Equatorial Africa. It is said that Spain still might be represented at some point in the future.
The original plan was to have the American showcase as the centerpiece, and that would have been the place from where visitors would start the showcase. From there they would go to Mexico to the left or Canada to the right, which of course are our natural geographic neighbors. Then it was decided that the American adventure, being the focal point of the entire area should be on the opposite side as the draw for people to circle the lagoon. That’s the way it’s set up now, as it is more visually appealing as the centerpiece of all of the lands across the lagoon. But Canada and Mexico remained where they are today.
In order to make sure that every country was equal, the frontage is the same as is the height of their tallest feature. In the interior, some may spread out a bit more than others, but each is equal in frontage space. Morocco is interesting in that it didn’t cost Disney anything to build. The King of Morocco at the time was so thrilled to be part of the showcase that he sent his own people over to build it, totally paying for its construction. Another thing about Morocco is at night when the countries are all lit up as part of its illuminations, the temple in Morocco is not lit up as it would violate their religious beliefs.
Stop Bad Financial Habits And Choose A Fresh Start
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