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

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1524)

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I got two thank you emails over the last couple of weeks, which I am now getting around to sharing. One of was from Tom Hart of ONE.org.

You and more than 28,000 ONE members have already signed on to tell your senators to Upgrade Aid, but with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee now set to discuss the bill on October 20, we have a little more time to build momentum around this important cause. Please forward the message below to your friends and ask them to join you in supporting an aid upgrade that will help make U.S. foreign aid better, smarter and stronger.

Thank you,

Tom Hart, ONE.org

I got it for supporting S. 1524 along with, at last count, 45,392 others. They've reached 90% of their NEW goal of 50,000 signers! S. 1524 will give USAID the tools and people it needs to better fight hunger and poverty around the world, but this bill critically needs more support to push it through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, now scheduled for November 10, 2009. Tell your senators to upgrade aid now.

Please strengthen U.S. foreign aid by cosponsoring the bipartisan Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1524).

Ultimately, it means better USAID programs to help the most difficult-to-reach farmers grow crops and feed more of Africa's 265 million hungry people. It means better support for treating 6.6 billion liters of water in Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, and Zambia. And it also means better immunization, polio eradication, nutrition, diarrhea and pneumonia care, and maternal and neonatal healthcare through USAID programs across the African continent.

The other was from Senator Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator

Mr. Dowling

Thank you for writing to express your support for the "Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009" (S. 1524). I appreciate hearing from you regarding this legislation and welcome the opportunity to respond.

Like you, I want to help alleviate the suffering of people living in poverty worldwide, and believe that organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) must be adequately funded and staffed, with robust congressional oversight to ensure transparency and accountability.

Indeed, it is important to examine ways in which the Federal agencies tasked with fighting global poverty, such as USAID, can be reformed and strengthened to better achieve their mission. As you may know, S. 1524 is designed to achieve this through such measures as directing the Administrator of USAID to develop a comprehensive workforce, human resources strategy, and a related task force to support the objective of promoting development and reducing global poverty. As you may know, this legislation is currently awaiting consideration by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on which I do not serve. Be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should the full Senate have the opportunity to debate this bill.

Further, you may be interested to learn that the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which I serve, recently approved its version of the fiscal year 2010 State -Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (S. 1434), which includes $1.4 billion in funding for USAID to support programs such as the Development Leadership Initiative (DLI), which will provide an additional 350 USAID Foreign Service Officers. Please know that I read your comments with interest and will be sure to keep them in mind as I continue to examine U.S. foreign aid funding.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will keep in touch on issues of importance to you. If you have further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Sustainable Environment and Sustainable Development - The World has a chance to keep a millennium promise this December

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Another big event I missed because of real life/day job was 350.org and the more than 3000 extraordinary climate actions across nearly every country, from the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef to the summit of Mount Everest. Click to see the events map:

The 350 day of action is named for 350 parts per million, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere that scientists say would be the safe for the climate. (At the moment, we're at 387 parts per million and climbing fast.) Most immediately, 350 is the number world leaders need to lead with as they prepare to meet in Copenhagen this December to draft a new global climate treaty.

Quick links to more info about 350.org:


Of course, all this is leading up to the Copenhagen summit in December when 192 nations of the world gather again as they did back in 2000 and made the millennium promises which still remain unfulfilled. One particular fulfilled promise is now endangering us all unless positive and real action is taken and that is Millennium Development Goal 7 Environmental Sustainability.

What is becoming ever more apparent is the connection between global climate and poverty. CARE is thought of as an organization helping the poor in the far flung regions of the world, but it too is taking a stand against climate change.

CARE is working toward a world where people living in poverty can create opportunities despite the obstacles they face. But the reality about climate change is that it makes poor people even more vulnerable. Agricultural production is declining in the poorest developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Less reliable rainfall is effecting planting seasons, crop growth and livestock health, and leading to increased malnutrition.

In Zimbabwe, women make up 75 percent of the labor force in agriculture, and their livelihoods depend almost exclusively on natural resources. Droughts and the occasional cyclone, combined with limited resources for irrigation, left many women either waiting for the rainy season or suffering through floods that destroyed their crops and devastated their landscape. CARE worked with them to better manage their scarce water resources and modify their farming techniques in order to adapt to new climate conditions.

As President Obama told the United Nations recently, "Developing nations are already living with the unfolding effects of a warming planet: famine and drought, disappearing coastal villages and the conflict that arises from scarce resources. Their future is no longer a choice between a growing economy and a cleaner planet, because their survival depends on both."

The international community is negotiating a new agreement to guide global efforts to address climate change. These negotiations will conclude in Copenhagen, Denmark, in fewer than 50 days! The United States must help lead those efforts and forge strong agreements that cap emissions to prevent catastrophic warming and respond effectively to climate change affects already in motion.

Please contact your senators today and urge them to take the necessary steps to make the United States a global leader in the fight against climate change!

P.S. CARE has launched a new Web site just about climate change. Click here to view all the resources we have made available.

For a closer look at the numbers

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Still more from the Stand Up event from two weeks ago. While I was able to participate online in the event, I was not able to follow up in a timely manner due to real life/day job demands. Part of me simply wants to move on to other issues, but some review needs to be made to make sense of things.

This also came from the Stand Up End Poverty organization giving a wrap up of the events impact. They put a nice spin on the outcome, which is to be understood. There is however the concern that this campaign is beginning to plateau. A basically 50% increase is impressive, but there were exponential increases in past years. There is mention of North America sharing in the largest percentage increase, but if the number starts small that is not a high hurdle to get over. My point is not to cease the efforts, but rather start concentrating on increasing overall numbers work on strengthen the connections that have been made.

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD SHATTERED BY CITIZENS ACROSS GLOBE DEMANDING THAT THEIR LEADERS END POVERTY

More than 173 Million People Gather at "Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!" events, setting new world record for largest mobilization in history

A Guinness World Record shattered [this weekend] when 173,045,325 citizens gathered at over 3,000 events in more than 120 countries, demanding that their governments eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). "Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!", now in its fourth year, has been certified by Guinness World Records as the largest mobilization of human beings in recorded history, an increase of about 57 million people over last year.

"The more than 173 million people who mobilized this weekend sent a clear message to world leaders that there is massive, universal, global demand for eradicating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals," said Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. "In particular, we have seen citizens determined to show their governments that they will hold them accountable for keeping their promises to end hunger, improve maternal health and abolish trade-distorting agricultural subsidies. They will not accept excuses for breaking promises to the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, who have already been hardest hit by the global food, economic and climate crises they had no role in causing."

The numbers from around the world:

  • Asia 101,106,845
  • Africa 37,848,412
  • Arab region 31,394,459
  • Europe 2,102,121
  • Latin America 229,371
  • North America 191,535
  • Oceania 172,582

The mobilization was organized globally by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, in partnership with a range of organizations including the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP).

For a closer look at the numbers

Asia and Africa, which is where the largest numbers of poor people reside, continue to be the two regions where the maximum number of people Stand Up for the MDGs. Asia saw the biggest increase in absolute numbers and Europe, the Arab Region, North America and Africa saw the biggest increase in percentage growth.

The top two countries in terms of numbers mobilised this year are Philippines and Bangladesh, with Philippines continuing to mobilise in force despite the typhoons and devastating floods.

India and Nepal showed big jumps in spite of the dates clashing with Diwali and 3 million Indonesians joined the Stand Up mobilization even as the country was reeling from a major earthquake.

The mobilization in Africa this year was simply spectacular, Nigeria is still numero uno with huge increases in Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and several other countries.

And in the Arab region, Egypt saw a massive jump again, Yemen entered the mobilization in a big way.

GET YOUR OFFICIAL STAND UP WORLD RECORD CERTIFICATE!

GET IT NOW >

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE

Tell us how you stood up and took action to end poverty

Tell your story now >

VIDEOS, PHOTOS, FACEBOOK

Watch videos, see photos and connect with Stand Up from all over the world

Thank You for Standing Up

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My real life/day job has been heating up lately, so I missed out on blogging about the October 24th 350.org events or any follow up after the October 16 thru 18 Stand Up event though I did get to participate on line this year. This is a part-time amateur effort so one does what one can. This is what the folks at Stand Up sent me after the event.

New World Record! 173,045,325 people stood up and took action to end poverty now!

The global people's movement for the MDGs is stronger than ever, over 173 million people have answered the call - you made it happen!

Dear Fellow Campaigners,

Your passion, commitment and determination have once again inspired a global movement which continues to grow beyond all expectations. You stood up in your cities, towns and villages, in your churches, mosques and temples; you stood in your colleges, schools and homes, on town squares and street sidewalks, you stood together as a global community, not only to shatter the Guinness World record but also to send a powerful message to leaders at the local, national and global level which cannot now be ignored:

"We are more determined than ever to see the Millennium Development Goals become a reality and to end poverty now!"

We know from experience that a significant proportion of activities and events do not get registered in time as many of them take place in remote rural locations with limited internet connectivity. Despite these constraints, over 3000 events spread across 121 countries were registered and more information on the scale of this mobilisation continues to flood in through phone calls, text messages and faxes! More details are at the bottom of this email and on the website www.standagainstpoverty.org.

On behalf of the United Nations Millennium Campaign (www.endpoverty2015.org) I want to thank every one of the thousands of organisers across the world at the local and national levels - social movements, faith groups, NGOs, youth organisations, women's groups, trade unions, civil society coalitions campaigning for the MDGs, local and national governments and the even larger number of volunteers, local groups and individual citizens who made this year's Stand Up and Take Action a resounding success.

We also want to thank the UN system at all levels as well as many of our global partners including the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, Art of Living Foundation, Micah Challenge, Skype, UStream, the ONE Campaign, major media partners at the global and national levels and so many others who played a pivotal role in this unprecedented mobilisation.

Together we have the power to make a difference ...

Now in its fourth year, we have seen the impact that Stand Up is making in people's lives and improving the MDG policies and practises of governments. Providing the space and platforms for ordinary citizens to have their voices heard on issues that matter to them at the national and local level. In both rich and poor countries, citizens have come together, to put the priorities of the poor and excluded groups, firmly on the political agenda and get their own governments to address them. Once again an overwhelming majority of the people who stood up were from poor countries. And as their voices grow louder, they can no longer be ignored. The sharp focus on women's rights, hunger and maternal health (in poor countries) and the elimination of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies (in rich countries) and the specific targeting of Parliamentarians made the Stand Up 2009 messaging more impactful. An outstanding example was the leadership of the Speaker of the All-Party Parliamentary Group in Bangladesh which mobilised citizens in large numbers and joined the Prime Minister in taking an oath to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

We will continue to Stand Up every day until promises to end poverty and achieve the Millennium Goals are delivered ...

Next year in September, world leaders will gather at the UN to review progress on the MDGs. With the strength of over 173 million people telling their leaders that their commitments are being closely monitored, we will take this commitment to those decision makers with renewed energy to convert the strength of these numbers into concrete policy and practice changes in our own local and national contexts. We challenge Heads of State to come to the 2010 MDG Review Summit not just with generalised statements of intent but concrete national action plans for MDG implementation that are focussed on the rights of the poor and excluded, particularly women, to meet the 2015 deadline.

To us, Stand Up once again showed the power of the MDGs in really unifying the different parts of the UN for one common cause and the extent to which the MDGs and the UN system enjoy the confidence of the public at large.

Warmest wishes and once again congratulations on this massive show of people power against poverty and inequality. I hope you will closely follow up with all the partners, organisations and individuals that you helped to mobilise and inspire them further to join our on-going campaign for the MDGs from now to 2015.

Warmest wishes

Signature

Salil Shetty

Director

Millennium Campaign

United Nations

salil.shetty@undp.org

Copyright © 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Some Speak Out to End Poverty Now Some Sing!

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Stand Against Poverty

When I learned about these "Stand Up" concert events being planned, I decided to grab some YouTube videos to give a taste for those of us participating online:

In Nairobi, Kenya, they held the anti- hunger concert dubbed Free the Hungry Billion, Stand Up and Take Action, bringing together development-conscious musicians from across the African continent, including

Oliver Mutukudzi (Zimbabwe),

Susan Owiyo (Kenya)

Professor Jay (Tanzania)

Didier Awadi (Senegal)

Ntsiki Mazwai (South Africa)

Carlou D (Senegal)

Nameless (Kenya)

and Wahu (Kenya) Video .

Food donations will be collected from attendees.

In Nigeria, thousands of people attended various concerts over the three-day mobilization by performers including

Sarah Mitaru
Sarah Mitaru - Stop The War

Francis | MySpace Video

and Femi Kuti,

who will honor the life and work of renowned African musician/AIDS activist Fela Kuti.

The performers will explore the MDGs and the issues of social injustice, exclusion and poverty through song and dance. They will also sign a petition demanding accountability and transparency in their governments in order to achieve the MDGs.

Voices from across the globe call out to End Poverty Now!

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Citizens attempt to break another Guinness World Record by showing their governments they won't stand for broken promises to world's poorest. Here are some voices from around the globe.

This is the last day of the Stand Up Take Action End Poverty campaign. Here are some of the voices that have spoken up at BloggersUnite for Stand Up Take Action End Poverty Now!

Hal786 is a Muslim girl from the United Kingdom. My introduction to her was through my other blog at Blogging about Hardship to Ease and Other Paths Showing the Way From Hardship to Ease. Her perspective on Stand Up Take Action End Poverty Now!

In Islam, we believe that giving money to charity is a very blessed action. Muslims believe that there are 3 actions in this world which will grant us rewards even in the grave!! Yes, that’s right, 3 things which you will be blessed for, given rewards by God for even when you are dead. One of the things is giving money to charity. ‘Ongoing charity’ .

From asimplicity of [small.simple.life] we got Stand Up Now Against Poverty and Inequality.

Connect with your fellow humans on a global scale and let it be known that we care, we know and that we want an end to poverty and inequality. Change can be achieved!!!

More ways to Take action against poverty from Moansters Incorporated

Small actions can make a big difference, so choose yours and take a step to making poverty a thing of the past. Because poverty is not just being too poor to buy a glow-in-the-dark bat, or a pumpkin-shaped candy bucket.
I already introduced two bloggers from the Philippines in my post Today is the Day Stand Up and Be Counted to support World Food Day and End Poverty! One post from Ang Sa Wari Ko who wrote Ang silbi ng 45 pesos at ang isyu ng kahirapan [English Translation]
Since 2004 data provided to me by UNDP and until now 33% from the population of the Philippines is experiencing they call extreme poverty in which they budget in one day is less than 1 Dollar or 45 pesos to the money we .That the only standing only value is specific for only a few pieces of noodles, rice and half papaladin are there with a few pieces of dry, eggs and soap depends also how to budget it, but how the pagsisiksikin these needs if the family that bu-budget are less than five members?

The other from 2Rivers who wrote Can We End Poverty In Our Generation.

Imagine yourself living in an isolated village surrounded by barren fields and wilted crops, with the seasons bringing nothing but drought and mosquitoes carrying malaria.“This is a story about ending poverty in our time,” says Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the U. N. Millennium Project, in his landmark The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities For Our Time. “More then 8 million people around the world die each year because they are too poor to stay alive.”

It’s time to end this madness. Here’s how.

I will leave the last words to those who have helped lead this campaign with a few links added.

"With just six years left until the deadline by which heads of state have pledged to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes, 'Stand Up' will be a stark reminder that citizens will not accept excuses for governments breaking promises to the world's poorest and most vulnerable citizens," said Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign.
"This year's mobilization will place particular emphasis on telling world leaders that their track record on women's rights, maternal mortality and hunger is unacceptable. Citizens refuse to accept the fact that 70 percent of the people living in poverty are women and children [ENDING POVERTY—Why Empower Women and Girls? pdf] and 500,000 women continue to die annually in the process of giving life, and they are demanding urgent action from their leaders.
"Millions of people are standing up against poverty, while politicians are sitting on their hands," said Adelaide Sosseh, Co-Chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) based in The Gambia. "The combined effects of the economic, climate and food crises are affecting people of all ages and stations in life, in all countries - especially women -- but those already living in poverty are the hardest hit. Given the amounts found to bail out banks in just a year, we know the resources are not lacking. It´s this lack of political will to tackle poverty that remains the biggest motivation behind Stand Up participation."

People can still Stand Up virtually and be counted towards what organizers hope will be a new Guinness World Record by clicking on the Stand Up Now button in the Today Stand Up and Be Counted widget in the right hand column of this blog.

TO DO FOR THE DAY - EVENT ORGANIZERS – ITS TIME TO ADD YOUR COUNTS

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This morning I woke up and checked my email and saw the email from Stand Against Poverty. Today is the last day to make statement about ending poverty on our planet and more importantly to let everybody know about it by submitting the numbers. The most elaborate and heartfelt demonstrations don't mean anything if they don't get counted. The online event BloggersUnite for Stand Up Take Action End Poverty Now! has 6 bloggers submitting so far including me, more on that in another post. I have reminded everyone that they need to submit before 5 pm Pacific Time or 4 pm to be safe. Anybody who did not get around to writing a post can still be counted by clicking on the Stand Up Now! button at the right hand column of this blog or by going to http://standagainstpoverty.org/.

Stand Against Poverty

EVENT ORGANIZERS - ITS TIME TO ADD YOUR COUNTS.

Attention Stand Up Organizers,

There is just one day left in the global event to end poverty now. People of all walks of life and in all corners of the globe are standing up, taking action and demanding governments do what is necessary to put an end to poverty in our lifetime.

We noticed that you have not added your counts yet.

As this global action is officially counted by the Guinness Book of world records, it is crucial as a show of momentum, that each and everyone of us who has hosted an event completes our registration forms before the deadline of 23:59 on Oct. 18th.

TO ADD COUNTS:

1) Just login to http://standagainstpoverty.org/user/register

2) Click on each of your events

3) Click the edit tab

4) Go to step 5 of the event registration process

5) Add your counts and hit save. YOU ARE DONE!

If you have completed an event but have not registered yet, or were having any problems with previous numbers submission, then you may use this one time simple form here: http://standagainstpoverty.org/content/alternative-event-numbers-form

Thanks for taking part in this momentous event to end poverty!

The Stand Up Take Action Team

www.StandAgainstPoverty.org


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Take a Stand Against Climate Change

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Two days ago I was blogging about Climate Change for Blog Action Day. Yesterday and today I have blogged about the Stand Up End Poverty Day and other related events. The United Nations Foundation sent an article that combines both.




UN Foundation






This weekend, October 16 to 18, millions of people around the world will join forces through a variety of events to draw attention to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and call upon world leaders to implement solutions now.

Stand Up against Climate Change

Established by the UN in 2000, the MDGs outline eight critical global goals -- including environmental sustainability -- and provide a roadmap for worldwide progress by 2015. But the climate crisis threatens to undo much of the progress made so far, especially with regard to poverty reduction. Agricultural production in the developing world will face even greater challenges, and that could spell disaster for the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

When you submit your climate change story on October 16, 17, or 18, it will count as an action for Stand Up.

Add your climate change story to the board now, and have your action count!

Even better: Help us spread the word! Test your MDG knowledge with our quiz and then share it with friends and family.

The UN Foundation Climate and Energy Team
(Reid, Ryan, Jana, Kurt, and John)
http://www.UNFoundation.org/











Speaking Out Against Poverty For the Young By the Young

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Today is the second day for Stand Up End Poverty! and for another two BloggersUnite events that reflect the purpose of the day, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and Stand Up Against Corruption and Poverty. All three strive to meet the same challenge, but take different pathways. Besides having the struggle against poverty as their primary focus, they are all related to the United Nations. What they demonstrate is that there is more than one pathway to the same destination. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2009 is giving voice as CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SPEAK OUT AGAINST POVERTY.

In recognition of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child the 2009 observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty focuses on the plight of children and families living in poverty and the need to fulfill children's rights in partnership with them and in keeping with the Convention.

The pathways, however, have a tendency to cross and converge. This Facebook sponsored cause the Power of Dignity features the following video.



This is the same video that inspired me start along this pathway more than a year ago when the goal was to go over 100 Million For The Millenium Goals. We surpassed that goal and now are trying for a new record. I have learned a good deal more and made a number of connections since then, including a number on Facebook.

Facebook sponsors many pages for causes like the Power of Dignity, which are created by organizations such as SustainUS: U.S. Youth for Sustainable Development. As the World Wide Web is the territory of the Millenniums, it only makes sense that the presence of the young would be strongly felt in these efforts.
SustainUS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of young people advancing sustainable development and youth empowerment in the United States. Through proactive education and advocacy at the policy-making and grassroots levels, we are building a future in which all people recognize the inherent equality and interdependence of social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

Here is a Facebook cause to which I do belong.

UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Bulletin Posted by Seth Werfel

U.S. foreign aid has not undergone serious reform since 1961. Sign the petition to ensure poverty reduction and that the Millennium Development Goals are core objectives of U.S. foreign aid. It takes 30 seconds! Please pass along to friends, this is a grassroots campaign. From the petition site.

Tell Congress to prioritize extreme poverty in U.S. foreign assistance.

Before signing an online postcard to Congress, please visit the links generously shared by RESULTS to learn more about foreign aid reform and the UN Millennium Development Goals and visit this link to learn more about the S. 1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act, which can bring the needed reform.

Friday, October 16, 2009

World Food Day - here's one thing you can do and I did

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This is an timely update to the post I did earlier on World Food Day. The video came from the folks at ONE

To commemorate World Food Day, the State Department released this excellent video about global food security– the challenges and the opportunities.

I added it with what got from the Oxfam folks.

Today is World Food Day.

It's a sobering moment to consider the impact that hunger has on more than one billion women, men, and children worldwide.

But it can also be an empowering moment. Because we CAN reduce hunger and poverty by working together with poor communities – and by demanding action from our leaders in Congress.

Contact your Representative today!

No one should have to go to sleep hungry.

Tell Rep. Miller to co-sponsor the Global Food Security Act of 2009.

At least 70% of the world's poor people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods – but climate change, rising food prices, and unfair trade rules present extreme challenges to millions of small farmers.

The Global Food Security Act, along with a new global hunger initiative from President Obama, are decisive steps in the right direction.

These proposals would provide critical resources for investing in agriculture and rural livelihoods – which are both key to reducing poverty.

With broad Congressional support, we can invest more – and more wisely – in local agriculture. We can help small farmers find sustainable and innovative ways to rebuild their livelihoods.

Together we can empower millions.

Sincerely,

Raymond C. Offenheiser
Oxfam America Advocacy Fund


Learn more about hunger and the food crisis by visiting the Oxfam information hub and action center here.

Here is the introduction to my letter to Representative Miller.

I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 3077, the Global Food Security Act of 2009, sponsored by Congresswoman Betty McCollum of Minnesota. H.R. 3077 would enhance developing nations' ability to respond to future food crises and prevent millions more from falling into poverty and hunger. On this day of all days, World Food Day would be the right time to show your support for this essential effort.

Today is the Day Stand Up and Be Counted to support World Food Day and End Poverty!

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Stand Against Poverty

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Better of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Climate Change

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What is really better is that bloggers whether large institutional or small voice can help by doing what they are already doing, getting the word out and back again. In some cases, they can partner.

Jacklyn G. Rodney of the Fratelli Group recently sent me a hello, on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund and its "Act For Our Future" an integrated online and broadcast TV campaign to encourage the U.S. Senate to act on climate legislation.
Like Milestones for a New Millennium, we are also participating in Blog Action Day and we would like to join forces with you to spur Senate action on a climate bill this year. Your blog could help us reach more people and have a greater impact. In return WWF would like to draw our vast network of 1.5 million U.S. members to your site by cross-posting some of your content and links on our ActForOurFuture.org campaign site, as well as posting material on our campaign Facebook and Twitter pages.

I, of course, think that this great. The whole point of this blog is, beyond learning for myself, is trying to pass what I learn to whomever is interested. Apparently thousands are interested.

The “Act For Our Future” campaign strongly emphasizes the importance of reaching out to local Senators and asking them to vote “yes” on climate legislation. I strongly suggest that you take advantage and Act For Our Future. I was Supporting the Boxer-Kerry Climate Bill through Care2 before I knew about this opportunity.

For my efforts through Care2, I received the following reply from Senator Boxer's Office.

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).

Sincerely,

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 ...it's right here in front of us...in 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.

Barbara Boxer

United States Senator

Related Posts:

The Ugly of the Good, the Bad and The Ugly of Climate Change

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The Ugly of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Climate Change is the impact that a lack of action is having on those least able to deal with the negative affects of global warming. This has been discussed before at No Leadership or Consensus Regarding Climate Change as Nations Meet, more from different perspectives along the economic and political continuum.

Christian Science Monitor, The/Bright Green Blog (9/30) cited a Study: Climate change will lead to increase in number of malnourished.

Climate change is likely to affect crop yields negatively by 2050, an International Food Policy Research Institute study found. And, as the price of wheat, rice and maize increases, the study predicts, 25 million more children will be malnourished.
“Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate changes,” notes a new study from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that looks at how climate change will affect food production around the world by 2050.

Developing countries are likely to be hardest hit by climate change and will suffer bigger declines in crop yields,said Gerald Nelson, lead author of the study and an IFPRI research fellow, in a conference call with journalists on Tuesday.

The Economist also wrote that the Developing world bears brunt of climate change's effects

Developing countries account for more than half of carbon emissions, but climate change still hurts those countries in an outsized manner. The housing, health and health care problems that the poor face leave them more vulnerable to natural disasters, and poor countries are more prone to flooding.

There is not yet a real sense of urgency. One Hundred Months, a blog about the effects of climate change, has a clock ticking away and says that we are running out of time.

We have 100 months to save our climate. When the clock stops ticking, we could be beyond our climate's tipping point, the point of no return.

Related Posts:

The Bad of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Climate Change

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Nobody could look at where we are in terms of achieving Millennium Development Goal 7. Environmental Sustainability and believe that we are in good shape. The Bad is that addressing climate change is still being put on the backburner by too may people and too many governments. The months leading up to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference have seen a great deal of activity, the trouble is that most of it is in the streets and not the halls of government.

Here is some background. Neil MacFarquhar of The New York Times summarized the United Nation's session on climate change in this Video Library Player: U.N. Summit on Climate Change. He also covered Presidents Hu Jintao of China and Barack Obama, both of whom are acknowledging that a deal is an important goal, but are also stressing their own needs in U.S. and China Vow Action on Climate but Cite Needs. The problem is, has Neil MacFarquhar points out, that proposals lag behind promises on Climate.

At the start of October, New York Times ANDREW C. REVKIN was reporting that Obama Aide Concedes Climate Law Must Wait in U.S. / POLITICS|

An aide to President Obama said there was virtually no chance of a bill passing before global talks in December.

The Senate is a huge challenge — not impossible, but difficult,” Ms. Claussen said. “What we need is for the health care debate to conclude, and the president and the entire administration to work constructively and tirelessly to pass climate legislation as soon as possible.”

Thing are a bit better, thanks in part to activists and even slacktivists putting pressure on their government. According to Krittivas Mukherjee and Muriel Boselli of Reuters things are looking better at home, but Climate talks may go to last minute.

Reuters: UNITED NATIONS/LONDON (Reuters) - Official Washington sounded more upbeat on Monday than it has for weeks in sizing up U.S. President Barack Obama's chances of progress on a climate-change bill in Congress this year.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer predicted the committee she leads would approve a bill before a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen in December while Obama's Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he hoped all of Congress would pass a law by then.

It is still a nail-biter at Copenhagen though.

NEW DELHI/ PARIS (Reuters) - The world may have to wait until the dying seconds of a U.N. climate summit in December for a global deal to channel business dollars into low-carbon energy, industry and analysts said on Wednesday.
Senior executives warned progress so far in U.N.-led climate talks was inadequate to guarantee the future of low-carbon markets which could transform how the world gets its energy.

Related Posts:

The Good of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Climate Change

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The Good is that Blog Action Day is today Thursday, October 15 and as of this morning 8,912 Blogs in 148 Countries with 12,587,643 Readers were participating in this effort. Nobody can complain that they don't get the importance of climate change because of a lack of information.

Zunia Knowledge Exchange of Development Gateway provided the following resource in cooperation with the Danish government and Google Earth.


In collaboration with the Danish government and others, we are launching a series of Google Earth layers and tours to allow you to explore the potential impacts of climate change on our planet and the solutions for managing it. Working with data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we show on Google Earth the range of expected temperature and precipitation changes under different global emissions scenarios that could occur throughout the century. Here is a video and more in the way of explanation


I already posted in the Ugly of Climate Change of the impact of climate on food and poverty. What about the impact of food on climate? I took the following information from the Blog Action Day Climate Change 2009 site itself. TED has been a long time source of information and inspiration for my blogs.

Food: Agricultural production is responsible for nearly as much greenhouse gas emissions as all forms of transportation put together. Blogging the Connections Between Climate and Food Oct. 8th, 2009 by Robin Beck.

I just saw this great TED talk about how food even gets to our plates in cities by Carolynn Steele in which she brings up a lot of the ways in which food itself influences how we live in an urban environment:

Other areas of interest included:

Travel: Check out who's blogging about the connection between travel, geography, transit and climate change.

Business:5 Ways Climate Change Will Change Business in the 21st Century .

Politics: The best political blogs participating in Blog Action Day this year.

Finally there are the Events going on around the world: People around the world are taking action locally on climate change, check out our friends at 350.org. They're organizing an INTERNATIONAL DAY OF CLIMATE ACTION on October 24. They were featured in this blog before under the post One of the Morally Urgent Questions of Our Moment. Here is the map from 350.org showing actions going on around the world.
View Actions at 350.org

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tell President Obama the World Needs U.S. Action on Climate Change

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The folks from Change.org, who are leading the Blog Action Day effort 2009 Climate Change tomorrow, tells us that the United States produces more than twenty percent of all greenhouse gas emissions with just five percent of the world's population. The United States, it would seem logical to conclude, needs to limit greenhouse gases and build a clean energy economy in order to achieve a sustainable solution to our global climate crisis. This is an essential step in not only achieving Millennium Development Goal 7. Environmental Sustainability, but all of the Millennium Goals and especially 1. End Hunger.

World leaders are about to gather in Copenhagen to negotiate a response to global climate change. It is essential that the United States takes action, both at home with current legislation (Boxer-Kerry climate bill) and at Copenhagen or the efforts to curb emissions will be severely hampered. David Adam warns in CommonDreams.org that Key differences between the US and Europe could undermine a new worldwide treaty on global warming to replace Kyoto.

Back in September of this year President Obama made a Climate Change Speech at at the United Nations.

President Obama recognized that climate change is an urgent global threat. Tell President Obama that to make good on this promise to restore America's responsible leadership in the world, and that the world needs him to lead Congress in taking bold and significant action to reduce greenhouse gasses.

Click here to encourage Obama to show bold leadership on the climate now >

Dear President Obama,

This December world leaders will gather in Copenhagen to negotiate a global response to climate change. As a world leader in greenhouse gas pollution as well as clean energy technology, the United States needs to take bold action by implementing comprehensive clean energy policies to curb emissions.

We join others around the world in calling on you to lead the United States in taking bold and significant action to reduce greenhouse gasses.

Brian Dowling

Click here to sign your name

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Supporting the Boxer-Kerry Climate Bill

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Blog Action Day is now two days away. I signed up to post something, this will be my third year being part of this joint effort to raise consciousness. This year the effort is in anticipation of the United Nations meeting in Copenhagen this December on a Climate Change Treaty.

I have been gathering material for a piece on Climate Control and Millennium Development Goal 7. Environmental Sustainability, but there is some information which should not be held for another two days. Recently, I wrote to my Senators in support of the Boxer-Kerry climate bill. It was, I admit, one of those online support letters provided by one of the progressive organizations to which I subscribe. I was respondent number 5,828. They are looking to reach 10,000. I also added my own "two-cents" to fulfill the purpose of this blog, and the fact that as Senator Boxer is my Senator, I would be asking her to support her own bill. So I added the following paragraph to the correspondence.

Now I fully realize that I am not only preaching to the choir, but to the one of the choir masters, but the relationship between environmental sustainability and economic sustainability in achieving world changing efforts such as the Millennium Development Goals is too apparent these days to be ignored. We need to do both, but we cannot go to Copenhagen or to Davos or some other conference claiming a leadership role until we have our own house in order. So even though you did not need to be asked, I am asking again.

The Senate's version strengthens bill passed by the House by:

  • raising the 2020 target for greenhouse pollution reductions to 20 percent below 2005 levels.
  • ensuring that revenues from carbon regulation goes to transit, bike paths and other green modes of transportation.
  • giving the EPA the authority to regulate coal plants under the Clean Air Act.

The bill is being debated in committee, so if you think it needs to be made even stronger, you can tell your senators: Push for and pass a strong climate bill! >> At last count, they were at 7,006.

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