The Urbane Ecologist

This week’s adaptation-related news

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Check out the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities blog.

This month’s Global Roundtable on the Nature of Cities  was “What are the social justice implications of urban ecology, and how can we make sure that “green cities” are not synonymous with “gentrified” or “exclusive” cities?” Nine contributors from the United States, China, India, and Brazil, offer their perspectives.

I came across this article that gives advice to teachers on teaching the seasons–and how to introduce the changes in seasonal trends to their students.

This article gives a short review of the lack of transparency in the global market for rare earth elements, which are crucial to modern tech.

This article describes the Gazelle Valley Park, Jerusalem’s first urban nature park.

This article reviews the colossal problems of Mexico City’s sewage system.

A study predicts that temperature-related mortality will increase 257% by 2050 in the UK as a consequence of climate change. Here is an article summarizing it.

Johannesburg’s Mayor Parks Tau said at the C40 Mayors Summit that major cities in developing countries find it difficult to attract funds for infrastructure projects from international financing institutions like the World Bank. This article discussed the personalities of several key players in the C40 summit–such as Mayor Tau, Michael Bloomberg, Annise Parker–and touches on how the public role of a mayor may change based on how involved they become in international groups. This article takes it even further and gives them classroom nicknames–Rio de Janeiro’s Paes is Mr. Popularity, and Bloomberg is Head of the Class.

This article reviews the World Bank’s scheme to balance water scarcity and poor hydro management with energy production.

Sao Paulo, already experiencing drought, is running out of water. California’s droughts have become longer and more severe. A report by Ceres found that 47% of oil and gas wells recently fracked in the United States are experiencing drought.

This Guardian article introduces us to “bucket brigades”, community groups which measure air pollution and use their findings to campaign for cleaner air.

Richard Branson hosted a summit to develop plans to “green” the Caribbean, with a focus on renewable energy.

Vivienne Westwood announced that climate change, not fashion, is now her priority, and has joined George Clooney, Chris Martin, Paloma Faith, and other celebrities in supporting Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic Campaign. As a way of promoting sustainable consumption, she has decided to stop expanding. Here is an album of the celebrities modeling the tshirts!

Disappointingly, communities secretary Eric Pickles has said that it “does not matter if climate change or fluctuation in weather patterns” were the ultimate cause of Britain’s floods. A live news feed about the floods and related issues can be found here. The chairman of Britain’s Environment Agency stated that there is not enough money to defend both “town and country” (urban and rural areas) from floods and that the island faced a choice in prioritizing one over the other.

Nature paper came out predicting changes in species distributions as a consequence of climate change. (Here’s a readcube pdf.)

China is planning a major reorganization of its Ministry of Environmental Protection and is likely to give that ministry more power. The Ministry of Land and Resources may be dissolved.

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but a Nature paper found the flooding as a consequence of climate change had little impact on migration in rural Pakistan, whereas heat stress has had a large impact. Relief efforts, however, have focused on the former.

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