Category Archives: Rio+20

Brazil’s World Cup Will Kick the Environment in the Teeth

The Nation

Dave Zirin

A view of newly-planted grass inside the Arena da Amazonas Stadium in the heart of Brazil's Amazon rainforest (Reuters/Bruno Kelly
A view of newly-planted grass inside the Arena da Amazonas Stadium in the heart of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest (Reuters/Bruno Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Brazil prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, a topic that plagues the country is the impact hosting these games will have on the local environment and various ecosystems. Despite efforts by soccer’s ruling body, FIFA, to “greenwash” the games—by holding “green events” during the World Cup, putting out press releases about infrastructure construction with recycled materials and speaking rhapsodically about the ways in which the stadiums are designed to capture and recycle rainwater—the truth is not nearly so rank with patchouli oil.

No matter the country, the environmental footprint of these sporting mega-events looks like a stomping combat boot. The impact of air travel alone, with private planes crisscrossing Brazil, a country larger than the continental United States, will be staggering. According to [ http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/sports/2013/12/10/environment-to-lose-big-at-2014-world-cup-272-million-tons-co2-expected/ ]FIFA’s own numbers, internal travel in Brazil during the World Cup will produce the equivalent of 2.72 million metric tons of greenhouse gases. That’s the equivalent of 560,000 passenger cars driving for one year.

Continue reading Brazil’s World Cup Will Kick the Environment in the Teeth

International Paralysis in the face of Growing Levels of Poverty and Environmental Destruction.

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC

The most upsetting and disturbing outcome from the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012, was the inability of the human community to respond adequately either to the worsening global ecological crisis and the continued impoverishment of more than one billion human beings.  Thirty leading scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Centre have identified what they call planetary boundaries, which, if breached, will cause irreparable harm to planet earth, and as a consequence will impact in a negative way on the entire human family for the foreseeable future.  These scientists argue that human beings have already exceeded three important  boundaries during the past few decades – climate change, nitrogen loading and the enormous loss of biodiversity.  They warn us that humankind are dangerously close to crossing the other six boundaries which they identify as the increased acidification of the oceans, stratospheric ozone, aerosol loading, fresh water pollution, soil erosion and chemical pollution. Continue reading International Paralysis in the face of Growing Levels of Poverty and Environmental Destruction.

Global March in the People’s Summit: Something new is being born

ECO Jesuit

Gilberto Faggion and Lucas Luz

Sandra Araujo dos Santos, SNDdeN and Maria de Jesus Borges Costa
(Rosinha), SNDdeN participating in the Global March
On the afternoon of Wednesday 20th June, thousands of people gathered in the center of Rio de Janeiro for the Global March, organized by the “People’s Summit in Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice,” an event organized by global civil society.  Certainly, the Global March was not homogeneous, it is characterized more as a “crowd,” in the sense coined by philosophers Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt.  A true plurality, perhaps a characteristic of an affluent society. Continue reading Global March in the People’s Summit: Something new is being born

The germinal is in the marginal: Another world is possible

ECO Jesuit

“The oppressed will liberate the oppressors, and along with them, the entire unjust structures of society.” Paulo Freire

The philosopher Martin Buber wrote in his essay “I and Thou” that humanity is going through an extremely stressing moment, where it’s very difficult to find alternatives.  According to Buber, despite these times or perhaps because of them, humankind will find hope.  If Buber is right, then another world is actually possible. Continue reading The germinal is in the marginal: Another world is possible

The Dark Side of the “Green Economy”

YES Magazine
Why some indigenous groups and environmentalists are saying no to the “green economy.”
by Jeff Conant

Photo by Ben Powless.

Everywhere you look these days, things are turning green. In Chiapas, Mexico, indigenous farmers are being paid to protect the last vast stretch of rainforest in Mesoamerica. In the Brazilian Amazon, peasant families are given a monthly “green basket” of basic food staples to allow them to get by without cutting down trees. In Kenya, small farmers who plant climate-hardy trees and protect green zones are promised payment for their part in the fight to reduce global warming. In Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest nations, fully 19 percent of the country’s surface is leased to a British capital firm that pays families to reforest. Continue reading The Dark Side of the “Green Economy”

International Paralysis in the face of Growing Levels of Poverty and Environmental Destruction.

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC
The most upsetting and disturbing outcome from the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012, was the inability of the human community to respond adequately either to the worsening global ecological crisis and the continued impoverishment of more than one billion human beings.  Thirty leading scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Centre have identified what they call planetary boundaries, which, if breached, will cause irreparable harm to planet earth, and as a consequence will impact in a negative way on the entire human family for the foreseeable future.  These scientists argue that human beings have already exceeded three important  boundaries during the past few decades – climate change, nitrogen loading and the enormous loss of biodiversity.  They warn us that humankind are dangerously close to crossing the other six boundaries which they identify as the increased acidification of the oceans, stratospheric ozone, aerosol loading, fresh water pollution, soil erosion and chemical pollution.   Continue reading International Paralysis in the face of Growing Levels of Poverty and Environmental Destruction.

Global March in the People’s Summit: Something new is being born

ECO Jesuit
Gilberto Faggion and Lucas Luz
On the afternoon of Wednesday 20th June, thousands of people gathered in the center of Rio de Janeiro for the Global March, organized by the “People’s Summit in Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice,” an event organized by global civil society.  Certainly, the Global March was not homogeneous, it is characterized more as a “crowd,” in the sense coined by philosophers Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt.  A true plurality, perhaps a characteristic of an affluent society. Continue reading Global March in the People’s Summit: Something new is being born

The germinal is in the marginal: Another world is possible

ECO Jesuit
“The oppressed will liberate the oppressors, and along with them, the entire unjust structures of society.” Paulo Freire
Mauricio López Oropeza
The philosopher Martin Buber wrote in his essay “I and Thou” that humanity is going through an extremely stressing moment, where it’s very difficult to find alternatives.  According to Buber, despite these times or perhaps because of them, humankind will find hope.  If Buber is right, then another world is actually possible. Continue reading The germinal is in the marginal: Another world is possible

Brazilian government harshly criticized at Rio+20 for putting the Amazon at risk

Latin America Press

José Pedro Martins

As the world’s largest rainforest, with the highest concentration of biodiversity and one of the largest freshwater reserves on the planet, the Amazon is at the center of the environmental debate in Brazil. That was no different at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development this year, also known as Rio+20.  The Brazilian government’s policies regarding the Amazon were strongly criticized by environmentalists, scientists, indigenous peoples and traditional communities during events parallel to Rio+20. Held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20 to 22, it was the perfect setting for the government to present its action plan to reduce deforestation and protect the vast rain forest.  The criticisms focused on three points. First was the group of hydroelectric projects in the region, particularly the construction of the Belo Monte plant on the Xingu River basin, which will become the third largest hydroelectric power plant after Three Gorges in China and Itaipu, which is shared by Brazil and Paraguay. The other grievances are about deforestation and a law passed by the Senate to reduce conservation areas. Continue reading Brazilian government harshly criticized at Rio+20 for putting the Amazon at risk

Millennium Consumption Goals

Faith Ecology Economy Transformation
Many of us have heard about the Millennium Development Goals, which set out to improve various indicators of well-being in impoverished nations by 2015. I was intrigued recently to learn of the Millennium Consumption Goals, a complementary initiative that calls for more sustainable consumption by developed nations while meeting the basic needs of persons who are poor. Continue reading Millennium Consumption Goals