Tuesday, December 31, 2019

8th Environmental Documentary Series at Siena Heights University

The Sustainable College Committee proudly announces the 8th Environmental Documentary Series.

Almost all films will start Wednesdays 6:30 PM in the Science Building, Room SCI 131 and are free and open for everybody. This faculty-led program and any related discussion is for educational benefit only. A campus map can be found at: http://sienaheights.edu/About/Campus-Map-Parking
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For the details of every showing, including links to information about the films, please refer to the schedule at: http://sustainability.sienaheights.edu/environmental-documentaries.html
This year we will host a pre-release screening of Nor Any Drop to Drink focusing on the Flint water crisis and how appointed emergency managers violated democracy in the State of Michigan.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency | BioScience | Oxford Academic

...we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.


Change in global human activities from 1979 to the present. These indicators are linked at least in part to climate change. In panel (f), annual tree cover loss may be for any reason (e.g., wildfire, harvest within tree plantations, or conversion of forests to agricultural land). Forest gain is not involved in the calculation of tree cover loss. In panel (h), hydroelectricity and nuclear energy are shown in figure S2. The rates shown in panels are the percentage changes per decade across the entire range of the time series. The annual data are shown using gray points. The black lines are local regression smooth trend lines. Abbreviation: Gt oe per year, gigatonnes of oil equivalent per year. Sources and additional details about each variable are provided in supplemental file S2, including table S2.
Figure: Change in global human activities from 1979 to the present. These indicators are linked at least in part to climate change. In panel (f), annual tree cover loss may be for any reason (e.g., wildfire, harvest within tree plantations, or conversion of forests to agricultural land). Forest gain is not involved in the calculation of tree cover loss. In panel (h), hydroelectricity and nuclear energy are shown in figure S2. The rates shown in panels are the percentage changes per decade across the entire range of the time series. The annual data are shown using gray points. The black lines are local regression smooth trend lines. Abbreviation: Gt oe per year, gigatonnes of oil equivalent per year. Sources and additional details about each variable are provided in supplemental file S2, including table S2.



Continue reading at: World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency | BioScience | Oxford Academic

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

World Scientists' Warning to Humanity

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency (Condensed Version)

William J. Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M. Newsome, Phoebe Barnard, William R. Moomaw, xxxxx scientist signatories from xxx countries







We scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat. In this paper, we present a suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years. Results show greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, with increasingly damaging effects. With few exceptions, we are largely failing to address this predicament. The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity. We suggest six critical and interrelated steps that governments and the rest of humanity can take to lessen the worst effects of climate change, covering 1) Energy, 2) Short-lived pollutants, 3) Nature, 4) Food, 5) Economy, and 6) Population. Mitigating and adapting to climate change entails transformations in the ways we govern, manage, feed, and fulfill material and energy requirements. We are encouraged by a recent global surge of concern. Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. The Pope issued an encyclical on climate change. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits are proceeding in the courts. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change. As scientists, we urge widespread use of our vital signs and anticipate that graphical indicators will better allow policymakers and the public to understand the magnitude of this crisis, track progress, and realign priorities to alleviate climate change. The good news is that such transformative change, with social and ecological justice, promises greater human wellbeing in the long-run than business as usual. We believe that prospects will be greatest if policy makers and the rest of humanity promptly respond to our warning and declaration of a climate emergency, and act to sustain life on planet Earth, our only home.

Continue reading at: World Scientists' Warning to Humanity

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gabby Ahmadia to speak tonight October 30, 2019, 7 pm in Rueckert Auditorium, Dominican Hall, Siena Heights University

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Dr. Gabby Ahmadia is a director of marine conservation science on the Ocean Conservation team at WWF where she provides programmatic and technical support on a range of marine issues. Gabby is interested in how we better design and implement conservation programs at the intersection of communities and coastal ecosystems (primarily coral reefs and mangroves). She has expertise in tropical marine ecology, community-based conservation, area-based management (i.e. LMMAs, MPAs), monitoring design and implementation, and impact evaluation of marine conservation interventions. Gabby is focused geographically in the Coral Triangle and Coastal East Africa.
Originally hailing from Hawai‘i, Gabby has a wealth of experience, ranging from monitoring and eradication programs for invasive plant species in Natural Area Reserve Systems in Hawaii to marine ecophysiology to developing rapid vulnerability and resilience assessments for coral reefs. She has worked for over 15 years on marine science and conservation issues across the Pacific Ocean and into the Coral Triangle, with a recent expansion into Coastal Africa.  Gabby completed her PhD in Coastal and Marine Systems Science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, investigating factors that structure coral reef fish assemblages.

The title of Gabby’s talk is "Conservation in the Anthropocene: creating a world where both people and nature can co-exist”.
Species and habitats are declining at alarming rates and are under siege from overuse, exploitation, and degradation from human activities. These threats are being further compounded by impacts from climate change that are changing the environment including changes in rainfall patterns, frequency and intensity of storms, ocean acidification, increasing sea-temperatures, and rising sea-levels.   With an increasing human population, conservation is shifting from the traditional biodiversity focus in a world that restricts access to those ‘wild places’ to increasing considerations of sustainable development and human well-being while maintaining a healthy, intact environment.  And it’s also not all ‘doom and gloom’; there are examples across the globe in which NGOs, governments, communities, and other stakeholders come together to tackle environmental issues and provide sustainable solutions for both nature and people.  This presentation will: (1) give an overview on global trends in biodiversity in both the land and the sea; (2) describe the evolution of conservation approaches;  (3) provide a dose of conservation optimism and journey through different regions of the world with conservation success stories, highlighting projects that WWF has supported; and (4) discuss collective action: how individuals can act across the world to help tackle biodiversity loss and climate change.