Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Friday, November 13, 2009

Maybe Senator Boxer should go to Copenhagen

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I have said before that Senator Boxer is a leader in the Senate when it comes to environmental legislation. Some of her most significant work as been on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S.1733). Below is a some history on the bill from its latest passage out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to her original remarks introducing the bill.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a climate and energy bill sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA).

Th Environmental Defense Fund reminds us that Chairman Boxer and her colleagues deserve great credit for their commitment to move forward on solving our climate and energy challenges.

encouraged by the announcement yesterday that Senators Kerry, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will work together to craft a bipartisan bill to bring America greater energy independence and cap pollution.

Dear Friend:

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which I chair, has opened an intensive three-day schedule of legislative hearings on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, S.1733, a bill aimed at creating new, clean energy jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and curbing the production of greenhouse gases. I am pleased to share with you my opening statement, available at this link. If you would like to see all of the testimony from the hearings, and see video or a live feed, please use this link.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Dear Mr. Dowling:

Thank you for writing to me in support of clean energy legislation to fight climate change. I appreciate hearing from you.

I want to share with you the statement I made when Senator John Kerry and I introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S.1733).


Barbara Boxer

United States Senator

Senator Boxer's statement on the introduction of "The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act" on September 30, 2009:

I am very pleased to stand with my colleagues, national security leaders, veterans, business leaders, workers, environmental organizations, religious leaders, wildlife protectors, energy companies, state and local officials and so many others as we introduce the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

This bill addresses major challenges of our generation:

.protecting our children and the earth from dangerous pollution;

.putting America back in control of our energy future;

.creating the policies that will lead to millions of new jobs; and

.through our example, inspiring similar actions around the world to avoid an unstable and dangerous future.

As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I want to thank so many of my colleagues and their staffs, on and off the committee.

Senator Kerry's staff and my office have been a team, working together for weeks and weeks, and often late into the night. Colleagues and staff on the EPW Committee have been very important in this effort and their work is reflected.

We built on the successful House effort. Our bill has stronger targets in the short term and we have expanded our coalition in the business community.

In our bill, the basic promise to consumers has been kept. The promise to regions that rely heavily on fossil fuels has been kept as well.

The first major part of the bill includes authorizations, all of which would be eligible for appropriations and some which are eligible for both appropriations and allowances.

Some of these are enhanced from the Waxman bill; some are new. Here are some examples of these authorizations:

Investments in clean natural gas, new transmission infrastructure, nuclear R&D and worker training, and green economic development;

Agricultural and forestry offset opportunities;

Provisions to speed the transition to cleaner transportation, including investments in our transit systems, and incentives for efficient hybrid and electric cars;

Adaptation authorizations that include wildfire prevention, flood control, water infrastructure, and investments in coastal communities and wildlife protection.

Our bill gives a much stronger role to mayors and local governments.

The second major part of our bill sets up the Pollution Reduction and Investment incentives.

In this section we have strong principles laid out for market transparency and oversight and we set up an Office of Offsets Integrity.

Allowances in this section will be detailed in the chairman's mark.

We have put into this section a soft collar to address cost containment and limit speculation while maintaining the environmental integrity of the pollution cap.

And our bill does not add one penny to the deficit.

In closing, let me say that my state of California is going through hard times right now and it weighs on me every day.

But there is one bright spot. And that is clean energy jobs and businesses.

The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that 10,000 new clean energy businesses were launched in California from 1998 to 2007. During that period, clean energy investments created more than 125,000 jobs and generated jobs 15 percent faster than the California economy as a whole.

The latest economic study predicts up to 1.9 million new jobs in America if we pass our bill.

We know clean energy is the ticket to strong, stable economic growth's right here in front of the ingenuity of our workers and the vision of our entrepreneurs. And in studies and models.

The global clean energy market is estimated to reach two and a half times the size of the global personal computer market by the year 2020.

We know from venture capitalists that billions of dollars from the private sector will flow into this market.

Others will move ahead if we don't seize this opportunity.

If we do, we will be a leader in the world as we protect the earth and all who dwell here from a future that the world's most respected scientists agree is threatened if we do not act.

No one knows what challenges will face them in their time.

No one chooses their time. But you know what? This is our time.

Global warming is our challenge.

Economic recovery is our challenge.

American leadership is our challenge.

Let's step up right now.

Let's not quit until we have fulfilled our responsibility to our children and our grandchildren.

Thank you.

Tell Obama and the Senate to Take Bold Climate Action!

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I have done a few blogs discussing the upcoming Copenhagen meeting on Climate Change this December. So far things don't look optimistic, but as they say it is always darkest before the dawn. I am getting involved with another BloggersUnite event, this time 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more on that in another post. There are numerous avenues to take action whether full activist and going to Copenhagen to protest or slacktivist and simply clicking a petition button. I am trying for something in between.

The good folks at Care2 remind us that Barack Obama promised to take bold action on climate change. President Obama needs to stay strong -- we need a real climate bill calling for real change >> As world leaders prepare for the U.N. Climate Change Conference in December, it is critical that Obama steps up his efforts to pass strong and comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation here at home. Tell Obama to stay true to his word and transition us away from dirty energy >> I did, even though this video apparently says that he already knows. My words follow.

Failure at Copenhagen puts our planet on an unsustainable path. The questions of not now, when, if not us, who? cannot be ignored because it will not be the bottom billion of the world's economy that history will look to as they have no voice in this effort. It will be the leaders of the developed world and the leading economies who must answer. You have promised to work for the Millennium Development Goals, but none of the others matter if No. 7 Environmental Sustainability is not fulfilled.

Here are more reasons why from the Environmental Defense Funds (EDF).

New York Times ad on climate and water

With a climate bill pending in the Senate, the EDF tells us that they are doing everything we can to keep the pressure on for strong climate action.

You, like I did, can help by emailing your Senators and urging them to support a climate bill. I changed the default wording recognizing the fact that my Senators have been leaders in this effort, especially Senator Boxer.

Now is the time for the Senate to act. I strongly urge you to continue your ongoing leadership and support for strong climate bills and show our President that America is not only ready to support environmental legislation that helps our country, but that we are also ready to work with other countries to help heal our planet and create development that helps the bottom billion of the world's economy. The House has passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, HR 2454. This historic bill will place a cap on carbon, invest in America's green energy future, create needed jobs, curb our global warming pollution, and help free us from foreign oil. We have an historic opportunity to cap global warming pollution and put people back to work unleashing America's green energy economy.

Here are some sobering facts about climate and water to inspire you to take action:

7: Number of great rivers in Asia fed by meltwater from Himalayan glaciers (Ganga, Indus, Brahmaputra, Salween, Mekong, Yangtze and Huang He).

2 billion: Number of people, mostly in India and China, who rely on meltwater from Himalayan glaciers for their fresh water.

2035: Date by which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and India's Energy and Resources Institute predict that much of the Himalayas could be glacier free.

66%: Amount by which the July-September flows would be reduced in the Ganga River if we lose the Himalayan glaciers.

37%: Amount of India's irrigated land is located in the Ganga region.

1 and 2: Respective rank of China and India as the world's producers of wheat and rice, food staples for all of humanity.

Sources for our climate and water facts:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

After Copenhagen, Even More Reason to Worry

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What Would Failure at Copenhagen Mean for the Poor and Developing Nations?

The Care2 Petitionsite reminds us that we need to protect the poor and vulnerable around the world from the effects of climate change. They are asking that we help the poor with the effects of climate change. ». Currently, they are at 6,744 with a goal of 10,000. I am 6,747. My two cents are below:

We are destroying our planet for us all, which is bad enough, we are also putting the greatest cost on the poor. Our governments need to be reminded that these funds are only a small down payment on what was promised in term of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and especially 7. Environmental Sustainability. It is not money that is so desperately needed now, it is political will and global collaboration.

The fact that they are the ones least responsible for the changes in our environment and yet they are likely to suffer its worst consequences has been established previously in this blog under the post the Ugly of the Good, the Bad and The Ugly of Climate Change

There is funding set aside in the House's climate change bill to help poor people adapt to the effects of global warming, but at 1 percent of available resources, it falls short. What's needed is another $3.5 billion for international adaptation programs.
Poor people should not bear an undue burden of the impacts of climate change or the global adjustments needed to address it. Urge the Senate to help poor people adapt to climate change. »
The consequences of failing at Copenhagen don't look much better for the rest of us.

What Would Failure at Copenhagen Mean for Climate Change for the Planet?

From Scientific American: This is the consequence of failure at Copenhagen: A marked shift in scientific effort from solving global warming to adapting to its consequences, a hodge-podge of uncoordinated local efforts to trim emissions - none of which deliver the necessary cuts - and an altered climate.
Climate experts, scientists and negotiators say that, absent international agreement, the children and grandchildren of those living today will negotiate a world where planetary geo-engineering is a part of daily life, sea-walls defend coastal cities, the world's poor are hammered by drought, floods and famine and our planet is heading toward conditions unseen for the last 100 million years. MORE

Getting to Copenhagen, a Reason to Worry

Sphere: Related Content GinaMarie Cheeseman recently posted from Care2 Global Warming about Why the U.S. Must Take Action to Save Copenhagen.
One of the reasons the Barcelona talks were not a rousing success is because the U.S. refused to offer targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. Jonathan Pershing, chief U.S. negotiator, said little when questioned by reporters about U.S. targets. “I have no information to share with you on that… We are studying this question. It's a decision that is yet to be made.”
Unfortunately, the next day she is wondering Is Copenhagen a Lost Cause?

She, like I am, not very optimistic about the chances of a legally binding treaty coming out of Copenhagen in December.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin reported that some delegates at climate change talks last week in Barcelona were “contemplating the increasingly clear high-level messages that a legally binding agreement at COP 15 will not be possible." The Chair at B Barcelona, John Ashe, from Antigua and Barbuda, said that progress was “less than desirable.”
This story from Change.Org supports that view.

Obama Disses Copenhagen

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has laid out his benchmarks for success at the upcoming international climate change talks in Copenhagen, calling on developed and developing countries to do all they can do to cut emissions. But as Stop Global Warming guest blogger Mike Smith notes, it may be too early for Ban Ki-Moon to count on the Obama administration to dance to the same climate change rhythm. (Read more)

Why this is so discouraging is that the stakes are so great. GinaMarie Cheeseman in another post wrote that Kilimanjaro's Ice Cover May Be Another Climate Change Casualty. I added photos, video and links to additional resources. The preponderance of evidence is substantial.

In 13 to 24 years Ernest Hemingway’s short story, The Snows of Kilimanjaro may serve as a reminder of what the world has lost due to climate change. The snow-capped volcano in Tanzania might be ice-free within the next two decades, according to a study(pdf) recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.

More graphic evidence is available from NASA. Click on the photos for more information

Finally, from TED Video, Yann Arthus-Bertrand has captured the fragile beauty of the Earth. Through video and film, his latest projects bind together ecology and humanism.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meet me at the Wall

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Climate Change or for this blog Millennium Development Goal 7. Environmental Sustainability is the issue with the most significant impacts both nationally and globally. It is not enough for us to get our own environmental house in order, we must also work to Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources, across the planet. We cannot lead, however, if we don't start first with ourselves.

The idea of creating a clean energy economy is starting to become more of a reality in America. Far more so than it was in 2007 when I first started dealing with this issue, though far more sceptically than now. This blog and Web 2.0 have been an important factors in the journey from that point to this.

One particular aspect of interest has been the ability of organizations to use the power of Web 2.0 to enhance collaboration. The challenge has been how to move from the virtual world to the everyday real world, while still maintaining the connections. Often these efforts are somewhat parallel with feedback. People sign up and coordinate collectively, act individually as groups geographically separated, and report in collectively. The Stand Up Take Action End Poverty, and global wide efforts are examples. These efforts are time-specific to create maximum affect on a specific issue at a specific time to create maximum exposure for press coverage.

The Wall is a place where literally thousands and thousands of people committed to a revolutionary new energy future for our nation and the world are coming together -- to express our hopes, share our resolve, and step up to a leadership role in building a grassroots movement for change like nothing America has ever seen. It's an opportunity for you to be part of the climate movement in a new way, in a way that takes us beyond ourselves.
Share your voice on The Repower America Wall right now.

Add Your Voice.

I am still uncertain how effective this progressive "shock and amaze" or "shock and annoy" is really. It can be great for inspiring the true believers, but how effective it is moving the mainstream majority is still an open question. A better approach may be the The Repower America Wall. The Wall is collaborative and primarily online. They are reaching out to the real world through main stream media outlets such as TV.

Watch our first national TV ad featuring the faces and voices of supporters like you.
In the coming weeks and months, the messages you add will be part of a groundbreaking new campaign that speaks directly to our elected leaders on the television stations they watch, the radio they listen to, and the newspapers they read. The more photos and videos and thoughts that you add, the more powerful The Wall will be.
Today's national ad begins an aggressive new phase of our campaign. With your passion and the power of your voice, we will break through on clean energy and overwhelm the powerful special interests who profit the most by blocking progress.

The language is inspiring, but this effort was made for slacktivists, of whom I am one. Individuals can decide their own level of activism and then create a combined story. The effort does not have an apparent end point, so it can continue to grow, perhaps even more organically than the, which appealed more to true activists.

Three days ago they reached over 15,000 supporters of a clean energy future who have posted a message on The Wall. The question is whether they will be able to reach a tipping point in regards to collective activism. If all those who support this effort join and convince those slightly less convinced then this take a cascading viral path, but people need to be aware of it and take at least the action of going online. Fortunately, those most likely to support this effort are also more likely to have the knowledge and initiative.

Join thousands of fellow supporters at the Repower America Wall now.

A growing demand for clean energy from all of us together sends a powerful message to our leaders: American support for clean energy is broad and deep.

We're beginning to break through. But to get our leaders to listen and make clean energy a reality, we must rise up in numbers to make our voices heard -- to overwhelm the voices clamoring for the status quo.

We're competing with powerful interests who are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to protect their profits and block clean energy reforms at the expense of our families, our jobs, and our planet.
With every new message you add to The Wall you demonstrate that the most powerful interest in this fight isn't the oil or the coal lobby -- it's the American people joining together, speaking as one, for a clean energy future.

Add your voice to the Repower America Wall now

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We all Stood Up, now which pathway from here?

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The Stand Up event is still getting a good deal of press, at least on the Stand Up and related websites, but its time to move on. First though, I am going to take some time to reassess this effort and what I have learned.

I have learned a great deal since starting on this pathway, more than I can actually absorb, so some resources have been put aside until I could get back to them. One of the positive aspects of the World Wide Web is that any one particular resource will most likely contain a plethora of additional resources. An original source for this effort was the work of Jeffery Sachs' UN Millennium Project. Sachs on Common Wealth was found on Chandan Sapkota's blog which in turn deals with economic growth, development, and public policy in the developing countries, so it fits nicely with the focus of this blog. Chandan's blog provides a number of Interesting links and some insightful ideas with his idea of Intervention Diagnostic. I still prefer an analytical approach to an emotional based one.

I am still optimistic. I still believe in basic liberal democratic free enterprise as laying out the path most likely able to take us to a new and better millennium. Alex Tabarrok of my favorite economics blog Marginal Revolution, doesn't mention the Millennium Development Goals in this TED video, but does cite the growth of China and India and touches on MDG2 global education and MDG8 trade.

I maintain my basic belief in an entrepreneurial approach though with a strong social aspect, realizing this is an oxymoron to many on both ends of the political spectrum. Still there are those who, even if they criticize current policy and practices, remain capitalists, perhaps not unfettered uber-capitalists, but at least they still believe in free enterprise, despite the latest economic crisis.

The challenge is that if we still believe in free enterprise after the worst recession since the Great Depression, then we need to find better ways of using the tools of capitalism. This TEDTalk video features Geoff Mulgan: Post-crash, investing in a better world.

Frogdesign champion Tim Leberecht provides additional pathways for the Future of Capitalism through Meaning-Driven Business.

One example of this is Umar Haique who argues that we need to re-boot capitalism. And like Reinhard Marx, he focuses on a re-definition of “capital.” His concept of “constructive capitalism,” however, is more radical than the social market economy solution Marx proposes.

Haique demands that 21st century economics fundamentally rethink “what capital isn’t – and what capital really is.” “The value equation of industrial-era capitalism was toxically imbalanced. Why is industrial era business so destructive – why does it slash and burn rainforests, endanger entire species, vaporize culture and community, marginalize the poor and disadvantaged, and erode our health and vitality? Because none of those have value in an industrial economy: none are capitalized. So the bean counters of the world are free to plunder and ruin them – because, economically, they actually don’t exist.

Tim Leberecht work provides inspiration for some, like Nathaniel Whittemore, to actually see a Rebirth of Capitalism? Social Entrepreneurship blogger Nathaniel Whittemore notes that, "In the social entrepreneurship field there's a huge push to proclaim a self-fulfilling prophecy of a capitalist rebirth that puts social and environmental value back into the heart of the equation."

Where social entrepreneurship is heading is discussed by Heidi Neck, Candida Brush and Elaine Allen in the The Landscape Of Social Entrepreneurship(pdf.)

Entrepreneurship has often been cited as the engine of economic growth (Reynolds, Storey, & Westhead, 1994). Today, economic growth is still necessary, but no longer sufficient. Social entrepreneurship is the engine of positive, systemic change that will alter what we do, how we do it, and why it matters.

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms