Earlier this week, police and climate demonstrators clashed in front of the memorial to the victims of last month’s terror attack. The influence of these tragic events has been evident throughout COP21. During the first few days, with many world leaders in attendance, military snipers staked out the rooftops and low hills surrounding Le Bourget, the site of the negotiations and meetings. Metal detectors, bag searches, and mounted police abound. There’s no doubt the event is changed: it’s smaller, with higher security, and fewer high profile public events. Read more >
UCS's Latest Posts
December 7, 2015 4:59 PM EDT
Storm surges flooding a low-lying Pacific island; Arctic villages toppling on the edge of an eroded coastline; relentless downpours destroying homes and livelihoods in India—wherever we live, whatever our values, culture, or politics, climate change impacts intensify the need for resilience. Supporting resilience and adaptation of human communities and ecosystems is an important focus of the climate talks. Yet a new type of resilience, one that we may be less inclined to think about, has become part of the conversations—that of inner resilience. Read more >
November 17, 2015 2:30 PM EDT
When it comes to problems stemming from the current industrial food system, we need to get beyond cleaning up the mess. At some point, we have to ask: if our food system causes nitrate pollution, climate change, obesity, diabetes, and biodiversity loss—while undermining the very soil quality it depends upon for its own long-term viability—isn’t it time to find a better way? Read more >
November 3, 2015 1:56 PM EDT
Right now Indonesian farmers are burning hundreds of thousands of hectares of the oldest rainforests on earth to clear land for plantation crops. The resulting smoke has covered Southeast Asia in a thick haze, affecting the health of hundreds of millions of people. This happens every year, which is incredibly frustrating because the Indonesian government made slash-and-burn agriculture largely illegal in 2001, following the severe regional haze it generated 1997-1998. On paper those laws were strengthened in 2009 and again 2014, but in actuality the 2015-2016 season is likely to be the worst on record.
October 9, 2015 4:10 PM EDT
Much of western Indonesia is currently undergoing massive fires, producing enormous amounts of smoke-haze, and disrupting large parts of society in the region. This is unlikely to be ‘normal’ seasonal burning; it could rank among the worst fire seasons on record in Indonesia, with frequent and larger fires this year than in previous years. The burning will likely last for at least another month.