Paris climate agreement clears final hurdle to implementation

One of the major issues at the United Nations this week is tackling climate change. The landmark Paris climate agreement passed the final hurdle to implementation,… coinciding with a new report on countering climate hazards. Oh Soo-young reports. The Paris climate agreement will enter into force on November 4th,… becoming the first universal treaty on combating climate change. The UN confirmed on Wednesday that the landmark deal will be ratified by the European Union, Canada and Nepal,… surpassing the threshold of countries accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions needed for the treaty to take effect. The main goal of the agreement is to keep the rise of global warming to below two degrees Celsius… while trying to limit the figure to one-point-five degrees Celsius. It also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to carbon reduction goals specified by each member state.

The deal was reached in December last year by 195 parties to the UN conference on climate change. Since then, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pushed for its rapid implementation as a crucial part of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals,… which aim to improve lives across the world through positive changes in health, education, income and the environment. In a new report released Monday, the UN said more than four-point-two billion people have been affected by weather-related disasters in the last two decades. Developing countries incur the biggest losses,… with hurricanes, drought and other climate hazards resulting in environmental and socioeconomic consequences,… and knocking off about 5 percent of GDP. The report stresses the need for governments to produce more transformative policies. “Transformative policies are the kind of policies that help build their resiliencehelp , close inequality gaps, provide access to financial services, to diversification of livelihoods, quality education, health and social security.

” The next climate conference will be held in Morocco on November 7th,… when countries will report on their emissions reduction goals and national climate plans. Oh Soo-young, Arirang News..

UN report: Trump’s election may hurt Paris Climate Agreement

The election of a U.S. president who has called global warming a "hoax" alarmed environmentalists and climate scientists raising questions about whether America, once again, would pull out of an international climate deal. UN Up and Close this week: Our Oh Sooyoung. Donald's Trump election as the next U.S. president may thwart global efforts to effectively tackle climate change. That's what many climate experts fear could happen, based on Trump's outspoken opposition to the Paris Climate Agreement which entered into force last Friday. After 20 years of negotiations, the landmark deal was reached in December of last year by more than 190 countries which, for the first time in history, agreed to legally-binding limits on the rise of global temperature — no more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The deal also aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as help developing countries tackle the severe impacts of climate change by mobilizing funds from higher-income governments. While President Obama has made tackling climate change one of his key priorities and part of his presidential legacy, President-elect Trump has on multiple occasions dismissed the concept of global warming as a hoax and pledged in May to cancel the Paris Agreement.

Under the accord, the U.S. has pledged to reduce emissions up to 28 percent by 2025 and contribute three billion U.S. dollars to the Green Climate Fund which will support clean energy systems and climate protection measures for developing countries. While the U.S. cannot pull out of the Paris Agreement for at least four years,… there are no sanctions or repercussions if it chooses to neglect its commitments in the meantime. "Between the U.S. and China, now climate change has been elevated into not only an environmental issue but a geopolitical one between the most important two countries in the world. We urge the next U.S. president to take that into consideration." The UN's annual climate conference began on Tuesday in Morocco,… gathering representatives from nearly 200 countries to discuss specific ways to implement the Paris Agreement. But with the possibility of the world's second largest carbon emitter backing out of its commitments, it remains uncertain whether the world will see meaningful progress on fighting climate change.

Oh Soo-young, Arirang News..

UN chief urges leaders to address climate change and sustainable development in Davos

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was another distinguished guest attending the World Economic Forum in Davos to speak on some of the most pressing issues facing the global community. He said global efforts to tackle climate change issue should go hand-in-hand with pursuing sustainable development. Park Ji-won shares with us the UN chief's message. The UN chief urged world leaders to join global efforts to address the climate change issue,… by ratifying a historical agreement reached in Paris in December,… aimed at effectively limiting green house gas emissions. "Governments must quickly ratify the Paris Agreement, so that it can be effective." He also called for sufficient financing for developing countries to promote less dependency on fossil fuels,… and the rapid implementation of actions at every possible level. The use of market mechanisms to spur the growth of carbon pricing being one of the actions. "The Paris Agreement gives the private sector an unprecedented opportunity to create clean energy and climate resilient economies. Governments have agreed on transparent rules to monitor progress, enhance accountability and foster climate market ambition." Ban stressed that such global efforts to overcome climate change must coincide with efforts to achieve sustainable development goals,.

… or SDGs. SDGs make up a set of 17 ambitious goals such as ending poverty and zero hunger,… that were agreed upon by more than 190 countries in September last year. The UN Secretary General said,… the global community should now move towards development models that are both sustainable and protect against climate change. The UN chief reiterated the importance of sustainable development goals at another open forum session in Davos. Ban called for the need to end poverty and create sustainable food systems,… through a successful implementation of the 17 goals,… an initiative that aims to eliminate hunger within 15 years,…and leave no one behind. Park Ji-won, Arirang News..

Donald Trump: The World’s First TV President | Adam Mansbach

You’re seeing Trump bandy around the term "fake news" to describe some of our most venerated, venerable, trustworthy institutions. When the president is calling anything he doesn’t like “fake news,” yeah, it dislocates the term. It dislocates the idea. I think in general what we’re seeing is an assault on the idea that there can be objective truth, the idea that anything can stand above the political fray. And, you know, he’s seizing on that. But it comes out of a much, you know, it comes out of the polarization that the coverage and the news media has been mired in for a good long time. And he’s opportunistically seizing on it, but he didn’t invent it, right. We’ve been in the era for a long time now of polarized talking heads spewing venom at each other on cable news shows in what is supposed to be a fair and balanced and kind of like equal playing-field situation.

But because objectively speaking some of these people are dealing with facts and others are dealing with invented, imagined, biased nonsense there’s often, you know, creating that illusion of a balanced playing field is difficult. Like you can turn on the news and see like, “A Fair And Balanced Discussion of Climate Change”. And like on this side we have like this dude who’s got like, you know, a doctorate in physics from Oxford and is like a triple Ph.D. in every relevant field and wrote six books, all of which won the Pulitzer Prize. And representing the other side is like Joe Schmucko from Illinois who like thinks global warming doesn’t exist because he has a snowball in his freezer or some shit. And these people are being presented as if they have equal credentials. So, you know, the polarization that leads to the dislocation of truth, it’s got to be – the blame for it needs to be spread around. Like it’s been going on for a good long time. Yeah, I mean satire is an incredibly powerful tool and weapon.

And I think we’re in an age where satire seems outdated. It’ll come back around, but at the moment we are living in such an absurd world. Trump and his administration, his cabinet, his cronies defy satire because they are more ridiculous than anything that our greatest satirical minds can come up with. So as you say we’ve moved into a phase where, you know, right now satire is not for the masses. Satire is directed only at the president. Like Alec Baldwin’s entire audience on Saturday Night Live is essentially Trump. We’re in a moment where Trump’s own advisors are letting it be known that the way that they have to get his attention is to go on television. He won’t listen to them if they’re in the same room together. So they go on TV hoping that he will see them and listen because he apparently only pays attention to things and people that he hears on screen.

So, you know, I think there’s a very real sense in which both the satire and the entire sort of talking head infrastructure is increasingly directing itself solely at him. It’s like, you know, this guy watches TV all the time. He gets his news, he gets his information not from intelligence briefings, not from this treasure trove of classified information that most people would be fascinated to delve into, but from the same idiots that everybody else has access to. Maybe satire isn’t dead. That’s pretty absurd in itself. I take it back. Satire is very much alive in the form of Trump, you know, an audience of one for everything that goes on in the media..

Why You Should ALWAYS Unplug Your Electronics

Are you watching a web-enabled TV while browsing on your smartphone with your laptop nearby? Think about unplugging! Because you’re wasting energy, money AND heating up the planet. Hello everyone, tech addict Amy with you today on DNews. Odds are you’re watching this on a computer or phone that you plug in but rarely, if ever, powerdown. Well, listen up, because perpetual “stand-by” mode is really not a good thing! As we become more connected and more dependent on all the latest gadgets and appliances, we’re inadvertently using electricity when we don’t need to. This includes computers that have a “sleep” mode, DVRs that sit idle waiting to record the next “Game of Thrones,” that silly clock on your microwave and your plugged-in, fully-charged laptop. For most of these appliances, they draw power from the mains simply because they’re plugged-in and not because they’re doing anything useful.

In a study of Northern Californian households carried out by the Natural Resources Defense Council, researchers found that 23 percent of residential energy consumption was coming from idle devices. On average in these homes, there were 65 such devices. Roughly a quarter of all energy use comes from appliances and devices that aren’t currently doing a thing. This may not sound like a lot, but the study crunched some numbers. Assuming that the whole of the United States has a similar addiction to useless machines plugged into the wall, we, as a nation, consume an extra 64 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year — that’s the equivalent power consumption of Alabama and Arizona for 12 months! If there were powerplants dedicated to keeping idle devices on standby mode, we’d need 50 large (500-megawatt) stations to make that happen.

Obviously, there’s a cost. This excess energy use translates to approximately 19 billion dollars per year, which averages out to about 165 dollars per US household per year. But the cost isn’t just financial, it’s environmental. Idle electronics account for 44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — that’s nearly 5 percent of carbon dioxide generated by the US residential sector per year. Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas, so it stands to reason that if households would just unplug their electronics while they’re not being used, another source of the greenhouse gas can be limited. So unplug your devices! Turn off your power bars! And be be aware of how much you actually need your computers. Odds are, you shut a lot of things down, save yourself some money, and help the planet. And if you’re super keen, why not get in on the ground floor and help develop the tech that will help save our environment! Tech innovations are constantly changing our lives.

Full Sail’s Simulation & Visualization degree program was designed to create future engineers who will develop systems for the twenty-first century. All of Full Sail’s Web & Tech programs are designed specifically to flex as new methods and applications unfold, allowing students to remain relevant and informed throughout their entire academy journey. To learn more about these programs, and all of Full Sail’s technology degree programs, visit fullsail.edu/DNews. So electronics are a culprit, but what else in our houses are damaging the environment? Trace has the rundown in this video right here. So with some new knowledge, will you be changing your device habits? Let us know in the comments below, don’t forget to like this video and subscribe for a new episode of DNews every day of the week..

Local Study Pinpoints Hotter Temperatures From Global Warming, Right Down to the Neighborhood

Brian Rooney: Thousands of environmental activists marched in Washington and Los Angeles Sunday in a call for action on climate change and global warming. Activist: What we hope to do is to draw attention to the fact that we have to stop relying on fossil fuels to govern the entire world economy. And we need to start cutting back on the amount of carbon that we put in the atmosphere. Rooney: Last year was the warmest on record in the United States, according to National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. In 2012, the country as a whole was 3.2 degrees above normal and one degree above the previous record set in 1998. It was also a year of extremes, hurricanes and floods, another sign of disturbances and weather caused by global warming. Activist: It's a long-term solution not a short-term one.

It's for the longevity of the entire planet. Rooney: You expect you'll be living with it all your life? Activist: Oh yeah! Sure! Rooney: The term "global warming" makes the problem sound like it is happening somewhere else. So scientists at UCLA recently published a study that brings it home. Alex Hall/UCLA Professor: Nobody really cares how warm the globe is. People care about how warm it is in their environment. So one of the goals of the study was to bring this information down to the neighborhood scale and provide data that they could use. Rooney: UCLA professor Alex Hall says that, in a way, global warming is local warming, and you're going to feel it here in Southern California. He estimates that temperatures around Los Angeles will rise an average four to five degrees by the middle of the century.

He says he can actually pinpoint what local temperatures will be and where. Santa Monica for instance: up just shy of four degrees. Here in Pasadena: up just over four degrees. Out in the desert, Palmdale and Lancaster: almost five degrees warmer than it is now. But the biggest rise in temperature will be up in the mountains of Big Bear and Wrightwood. Because of snow loss, almost five degrees warmer than it is now. The loss of snow has more impact than you might expect Hall: At high elevations especially, we do see enhanced warming mainly due to this process of snow retreating and leading to more absorption of sunshine at the surface. Rooney: And it’s not just higher temperatures. It is more days of the hottest weather. Hall projects that depending on where you are, the number of days when the thermometer goes over 95 will increase two to four times. Downtown Los Angeles: up from 1.

4 days a year to 4.6. Eagle Rock: up from two to six. Sylmar: 6.8 days to 25 days. And Porter Ranch: from 8 days to 30 days. Both those towns nearly four times the number of days over 95 degrees. Hall: People really experience the effects of warming temperatures, not so much through the change in the average temperatures, but more through the changes in the number of the extremely hot days. Those are the days that people feel the most impacted by an overall warming. Rooney: So the voice of environmentalists might one day bring long term change, but for the near future, they are going to be marching in hotter weather..

Korea severely hit by heavy rain, experts suggest impact of climate change and La Nina phenomenon

Although we are used to experiencing the monsoon season every year,… some experts suggest climate change has modified the patterns of rain, making it more difficult to predict. On top of that, the weather phenomenon known as La Nina is expected to arrive soon, bringing more rain to Asia. Here's Lee Ji-won with our News feature tonight. "A seasonal monsoon has wet most part of the nation for the past few days,… with several parts of the peninsula already seeing downpours,… and heavy rain alerts have been issued across most of the nation. In Seoul, it's been raining so much that the water level here at the Jamsu Bridge has topped over 6-point-2 meters, or more than three times the normal level, enough to shut it down." The low-level bridge stands at 2-meters above the river, but with the recent heavy rainfall..

. parts of the bridge and the Banpo Hangang Park have been flooded, forcing authorities to restrict the area due to safety concerns. The monsoon season, or "jangma" in Korean, kicked off last week with precipitation hitting the southern regions of the country, and expanding to the upper regions including Seoul by Monday. Daejeon, located in the center of Korea, has already received more than 268-millimeters of precipitation. Monsoon rain normally arrived in late June and ended around the first weeks of August. But in recent years, the rainy season has become unpredictable. "In the past, precipitation could be somewhat predicted. But not anymore. Even after the monsoon season ends, heavy showers dominate the forecast,… and severe rain storms have become much more frequent with sporadic, localized downpours. And numerous climate experts say this as a result of climate change.

" The expert says as climate change increases the average temperature, the amount of evaporation from land and different bodies of water increases, leading to faster condensation and eventually, more frequent precipitation. And this year, the rainfall is expected to be even more severe due to La Nina weather phenomenon. La Nina occurs when strong trade winds cause warm sea water to move to the west Pacific Ocean, lowering the temperature in the east Pacific. La Nina then causes draught in South America, while it brings severe rain to Asia. "When La Nina phenomenon is triggered, one effect on Korea is that there is less precipitation in the beginning of the summer but more towards the end. This year, the average amount of precipitation in July is expected to be less than average,…

whereas precipitation in August and September is expected to be similar or more than the amount in average years. With the monsoon pattern becoming more random and difficult to predict, experts call for measures to minimize the damage and impact of these abnormal weather conditions. "As the monsoon patterns change, weather forecasting becomes more difficult, which means there is less time to prepare against severe weather conditions. Thus we need to come up with different safety standards, especially when building structures." With the severe rain already taking a toll across the country, expert warns that both short and long-term preparations are needed, while the range of safety regulations against heavy downpours during the monsoon season needs to be widened. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News..

Korea expands support to United Nations Volunteers scheme

Korea and the United Nations have strengthened their partnership in sending out young volunteers to communities in need. Oh Soo-young sheds light on the continued effort to help achieve sustainable development around the world. South Korea aims to further its commitment to achieving peace and development around the world by expanding its support for the United Nations Volunteers scheme. The organization dispatches thousands of volunteers across 130 countries to work on core operations such as providing basic social services, peacebuilding; youth engagement; and national capacity development. The UNV’s Executive Director visited Seoul this week to strengthen the body’s partnership with South Korea. Over the last three decades, Seoul’s foreign ministry has steadily increased its annual contribution to the UNV– expected to reach almost three-point-two million U.S.

dollars this year. This would make South Korea the organization’s second largest donor,… in addition to being the number one provider of fully-funded volunteers. “There’s a very strong volunteer spirit in Korea which is linked to the country’s traditions. And I think Korea has seen the advantages of having young volunteers, specialist volunteers, as opportunities for Koreans to interact with the affairs with the world.” Since 1990, Korean volunteers have served on a wide variety of assignments such as climate change, education and capacity building. “My role was connecting subsistence farmers to the market by providing more input such as seedlings and facilities. Also, providing more capacity building such as education, and cooperative building, and so on. By doing so, the famers could generate more income to improve their lives.” In the face of numerous global challenges, such as the ongoing migrant and refugee crisis, social conflicts and climate change,..

. South Korea will double the number of its UNV volunteers to 50 this year. Many students and specialists are keen to lend a helping hand. “I have easy access to education, water and money but I believe there are people in desperate positions and I am willing to help them. I want to become a specialist to educate them to find out their opportunities that are hidden in their society.” The executive commissioner expressed hope that South Korea’s greater participation will reap strong progress in key areas of cooperation such as governance, security and climate change. Oh Soo-young, Arirang News..