Biodiversity

28 05 2011

Luckily there are enough experts who have concerned themselves thoroughly with the question where and how our earth has to be saved most urgently. This is the perfect starting point for me in order to find a few concrete goals.

One of those experts is Jason Clay, Senior Vice President for Market Transformation at the WWF. In his TED Talk held in 2010 he explains how big brands can help to rescue the biodiversity in our world. Read the rest of this entry »





Our Oceans in danger

14 07 2011

Because the news are full of devastating news about our world oceans I can’t stop myself to have a closer look. Palm oil will have to wait for a moment.

 

While browsing the articles I find two scientific reports:

1. The World Risk Report 2011 (german only), which concentrates on the question where natural catastrophes will most likely cause a huge (humanitarian) harm in the future.

2. The World Ocean Review 2010 (WOR), which aims to provide a most accurate and realistic appraisal of the situation of our worlds oceans.

 

forecast for our oceans

forecast for our oceans as per WOR

Of all sources the WOR writes: “the state of the oceans, as depicted here, gives frequent cause for concern. The outlook on possible developments and consequences of further overexploitation and pollution of the marine environment

Sadly only reinforces our concern.” The topics mentioned are relatively clear-cut:

 

  • Melting of Ice caps in the Arctic, auf Greenland and in the Antarctic
  • Rise of  sea level: The sea level has climbed up about 20 cm in around 100 years – several times over of what it did rise in the last 2000 years. And current forecasts announce a rise of 180cm by end of this century.
  • Release of methane from the seabed: With a constant warming of 3 degrees Celsius circa 85% of methane from sea grounds could be released.  This would have definite consequences to the development of our future climate.
  • Extinction of species: Evidence suggests that the biggest extinction of species since 55 Million years begins soon.
  • Climate change: Oceans warm up and acidify because they absorb carbon dioxide out of the air. This leads to them acidifying faster and results in the oceans being able to absorb less CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Overfishing: The population of some commercially important fish species have reduced by more than 90%.
  • Over-fertilization: Because of huge bulks of nutrient in coastal waters production and decomposition of organic material has unnaturally boosted. When therefore toxic algae spread they poison not only life in the sea, but also via the food chain attain humans.

 

forecast for the rise of sea level

forecast for the rise of sea level as per WOR

The meaning for us humans is pointed out in one of the articles:

“In many regions feeding of humans is dependant on fish and other marine animals. Plankton produces an important portion of our oxygen and up to now the sea cushions climate change, because it absorbs carbon dioxide.”

 

The worst fears are however related to the rise of sea level. Two-thirds of humanity live less than 50 kilometres from a coast – for them the hazard by storm floods could increase in the future. Especially in poor countries hundreds of millions of people would be threatened by increasingly occurring floods.

 

humans and sea

Wie live close to the sea level - source: WOR

The scientist name a few solutions, which shall help to save the oceans but even more save the humans who are dependant on the ocean:

 

  • Reduce emission of climate relevant gases dramatically. Best is to invest this very day into CO2-free technology.
  • Only long-term sustainably fishing.
  • If possible no more harmful substances piped into the water at all.
  • At best completely resign from primary production from/in the ocean.—or at least must be controlled strictly.

 

I ask myself what I can contribute personally to rescue our world oceans. What is my daily portion? Ok, reducing CO2 would be a start I think. But I already have disestablished my car and only take the train. (In which I can at least use my time while travelling to and from my customers 😉 – as a consultant I anyway don’t care from where I work) So where can I apply as well? I think I will have to have a closer look to the separate topics.

 

 





Palm Oil – Who what where?

7 07 2011

Ok, palm oil is a threat to the rainforest in areas as Indonesia, Malaysia and more and more in South America. That’s clear now. But the question I ask to my self is, what can we do to cut that threat? And moreover what can I do in particular? As a single person I don’t think that I can rescue the rain forest, but somewhere you have to start. Therefore I want to find out which products to avoid.

Read the rest of this entry »





Brand Puzzle

30 06 2011

Jason Clay proposed the thesis that for each of the 15 commodities discovered by the WWF it is possible to find around 300-500 manufacturers which share around 70% of the market. He also claimed that out of these 15*500 =7500 manufacturers the top 100 have such a big power in the market, they can actually change it.

Since, I asked my self: who are these top 100 manufacturers? So I had a closer look again to that presentation, hoping to find a hint somewhere. And voila… There is a slide. It is shown just  very shortly and it is very difficult to read, but I believe to see something on it.

brand logos of the top 100 manufacturers

brand logos of the top 100 manufacturers

I think the captions are: Beef, Cocoa, Coffee, Palm Oil, Sugar, Soy, Carton and Whitefish. The second last caption I can’t read. I can further identify some brand name logos: IKEA, Kraft, Carrefour, McDonalds, Lavazza and GAP. But after that it starts to become difficult. Here is my fist scanty interpretation of the slide.

my interpretation

my interpretation

Can anybody make out any other logos? If so, please write a comment saying which and where (e.g. Lavazza, 3rd column, 4th row). But one thing I noticed again: Cocoa and carton have not been mentioned before. Further this slide is incomplete, as it only contains 9 out of 15 commodities. Well, maybe it is just an old slide. However, for the top 100 this should not change much.





Rainforest vs. Palm Oil

23 06 2011

Since my researches for the last Blog entry I start to realize that palm oil is a very hot discussed topic. It is so easy to find information about palm oil in the internet. Particularly environmental organisations offer a lot of information material. While my search I ran into a video:

The video has been produced by Greenpeace in order to call attention to the processing of Palm Oil at Nestlé. Read the rest of this entry »





Palm Oil – A big Stranger

16 06 2011

So I had found out that the WWF discovered 15 commodities, which endanger the 35 most valuable regions of the world. And I had found out that two of them were completely unknown to me. So I want to get to know what’s behind them. Once again I consult Wikipedia and Google in order to find out what Palm oil has to do with my daily life and in order to find out what is even more important: what the hell is palm oil?
Read the rest of this entry »





The big 15 – what else?

10 06 2011

I want to meet my responsibility as an environmentally aware consumer and would like to know where and to what extend we use those 15 goods in our flat share, that have been introduced by Jason Clay as problematic ones for the biodiversity in our world. In my last blog entry I already looked at 9 out of these 15 goods. Particularly the dairy products shocked me. But what about those other 6 goods? They are not directly to be found in our fridge Read the rest of this entry »





The big 15 – mainly food

4 06 2011

In the last blog entry I wrote about 15 goods which have been identified by the WWF and which endanger the 35 most valuable regions of the world in terms of biodiversity. I want to meet my responsibility as a responsible consumer. Therefore I would like to now where and in which extend we use these 15 goods within our flat share. By having a closer look, I realize that at least 9 out of them are some kind of food. Read the rest of this entry »