TCD Best of: First international guidelines on valuing Nature, plus the Climate Clock, and Ironman recruits clean energy workers for US Dept. of Energy!
TCD Best of: First International Guidelines on Valuing Nature, Climate Clock, Ironman Recruits Clean Energy Workers for U.S. Dept. of Energy!
WORLD’S NATIONS GET FIRST GUIDELINES ON VALUING NATURE
Countries have approved the first comprehensive guidelines for judging the value of nature following four years of intense debate, officials announced last week. The report was endorsed by 139 countries, including the U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K. and Germany, that are members of the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES.
Its authors hope the guide they’ve drawn up with the help of experts from a wide range of disciplines will make it easier for governments to consider more than just the economic benefits of a project when deciding whether and how to go ahead with it. This includes figuring out how local communities will gain or lose from a project such as a hydroelectric dam — a situation that has regularly led to friction between businesses, citizens and authorities in the past.
Rather than prescribe a set way for governments to estimate these non-economic benefits, the report provides them with tools for working through the often complex assessment process. Said co-author Patricia Balvanera of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, “We provide a roadmap to decision-makers for how to deal with this very complex situation they face every single day.”
The report was drafted with the help of dozens of experts from both social and natural sciences in an attempt to bridge the often considerable differences between disciplines and find a common approach they could all support. Why does this report matter to us? Representatives of Indigenous groups welcomed the new guidelines and an IPBES report published last week which highlighted the need for sustainable use of nature.
Said José Gregório Díaz MIrabal of COICA, a coordinating body for the indigenous organizations of the countries of the Amazon Basin, “There’s a growing body of evidence showing that when the rights of Indigenous peoples are guaranteed, we outperform all other forest managers in reducing deforestation and preventing wildfires.”
US DEPT. OF ENERGY TAPS IRON MAN TO RECRUIT CLEAN ENERGY WORKERS
The Energy Department is teaming with actor Robert Downey Jr. to recruit up to 1,000 new workers focused on climate change and clean energy. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm released a video with the “Iron Man” actor encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds to join the department’s “clean energy corps” and take on jobs aimed at accelerating deployment of clean energy such as wind and solar power.
Participants will help build thousands of miles of electric transmission lines to carry wind and solar power and take on other jobs to research, develop and deploy ways to produce energy while cutting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Granholm said. The new job corps is part of $62 billion awarded to the Energy Department under the bipartisan infrastructure law signed last year by President Joe Biden.
In the animated video, Downey says viewers may know him from one of his “many day jobs” as a billionaire superhero in “Iron Man” or “world’s greatest detective,” Sherlock Holmes. Added Downey, “But now I’ve got this sweet new office over the Department of Energy, and I’ve already been putting in some crazy hours helping out the Clean Energy Corps. I’ve been working with some amazing people on fantastic new solutions” to climate change.”
Why does the collaboration between DOE and Ironman recruiting the best and brightest? Because the Energy Department is looking for folks to help us with pretty much everything, from scientists to IT specialists, civil engineers, electrical engineers and more to help create a more sustainable future.
The video will be played on the Energy Department’s YouTube channel and featured on social media.
HISTORY OF THE CLIMATE CLOCK
Back in 2009, Deutsche Bank briefly erected a Carbon Counter billboard 70 feet above New York’s Times Square, tracking humanity’s alarming rate of carbon emissions (2 billion tons per month at the time). In 2015, musician-activist David Usher and scientist Damon Matthews began hosting an online climate clock at Concordia University’s Human Impact Lab, that in addition to carbon, tracked temperature and time. Another webpage clock, the Bloomberg Carbon Clock, has also been running since 2015.
In 2018, The 2° Window, an art-concept-project by Andy McWilliams and Amay Kataria went live online, and was installed in a few galleries the following year. In 2019, the Berlin Carbon Clock, a large, real-world LED-sculpture was installed by Fridays for Future and EUREF on the famous Gasometer in Berlin. Finally, inspired by these earlier, graphical iterations of climate change warnings, the Climate Clock was unveiled on September 19, 2020 In Manhattan’s Union Square.
According to climateclock.world, the device is the brainchild of climate activists Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd, art-fixer Katie Peyton Hofstadter, tech maestro Adrian Carpenter, and a clutch supporting teamincluding leading scientists, the Mayor’s office, and a host of creatives. There are now a number of climate clocks around the world, including Berlin, Seoul, South Korea, Rome, Accra, Ghana and Glasgow. They’re all synced up, too. If you want one in your city, town or village, well you can. Surf on over to climateclock.world/clocks, or click on the link in the Deeper Dive section at the end of this story at theclimate.org/episodes to find out how.
So why does the climate clock matter to us? Because it’s about creating a movement. The clock is a vivid tool to help turn up the volume and amplify the message of our limited time window, and it helps make the wider public better understand the urgency of this moment.