UN Climate Negotiators Ink Deal in Lima

Negotiators have reached a deal at United Nations (UN) talks in Peru, setting the stage for a global climate pact in Paris in December 2015. The agreement, dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action, for the first time in history commits every nation to reducing its rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

“As a text, it’s not perfect but it includes the positions of the parties,” said Peru environment minister and conference chair Manuel Pulgar-Vidal.

In addition to an “ambitious agreement” in 2015 that reflects each nation’s “differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” the Lima document calls for submission of national pledges by the first quarter of 2015 by those states “ready to do so” and for setting of national targets that go beyond countries’ “current undertaking.”

Countries already imperiled by climate change, such as small island states, were promised a “loss and damage” program of financial aid.

Through Belgium’s pledge of $62 million, the UN Green Climate Fund met its initial target of $10 billion to aid developing countries in curbing carbon emissions.

“There is still considerable work to be done,” said Felipe Calderon, former president of Mexico and chairman of the —> Read More Here

Next Steps for U.S. Pirate Fishing Rules

 QR Codes on the glass seafood display at the Fish Market at BlackSalt Restaurant  in Washington, DC. Photo by Maggie Hines.
QR Codes on the glass seafood display at the Fish Market at BlackSalt Restaurant in Washington, DC. Photo by Maggie Hines.

Do you know if your seafood dinner was caught and imported legally?

Chances are good now that you wouldn’t be able to find out. But this week, a special task force of a dozen federal agencies released recommendations on how the U.S. can rein in illegal, or pirate, fishing and make seafood more traceable and sustainable.

Carol Browner, a former EPA Administrator who now serves on the Global Ocean Commission, told National Geographic that she is “impressed” by the new recommendations, which call for better monitoring and control of seafood products.

The recommendations are now in a 30-day comment period, before the president issues final rules.

“They have articulated a very comprehensive strategy,” said Browner. “If they can figure out the implementation this really positions the U.S. in a leadership role.”

We spoke with Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment about the recommendations and the next steps. Novelli was instrumental in guiding the report process.

Why is it important to fight illegal fishing and improve seafood traceability?

I think it is hugely important. Global losses attributed —> Read More Here

Coral Reefs Could Soon Fall Silent As Ocean Acidification Ravages Ecosystems

This story originally appeared on Climate Central.

Doug E. Fresh may have some competition in the beatboxing arena from unlikely source. It’s not from some underground phenom but rather an underwater rising star, or well, fish.

Take a listen to this beat laid down by a croaker fish off the coast of Indonesia. A rhythmic thumping provides the beat for an otherwise ambient ocean noise track.

“This one has just stuck with me,” said Julius Piercy, a PhD candidate studying underwater acoustics at the University of Essex, who discovered this particular virtuoso.

Piercy has been recording the sounds of fish and crustaceans at tropical coral reefs around the world. The thumps, whistles, grunts and snaps of those reef inhabitants are more than just fodder for multi-platinum recordings. They give Piercy and other marine scientists a snapshot of reef health and biodiversity that can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional reef monitoring.

Piercy’s recent research shows that the future ocean may be a lot quieter than our current if overfishing and ocean acidification continue to take a toll on the reefs that support the symphony of life.

The —> Read More Here

Sony Hack A Reminder To Stop Saying Stupid Things In Email

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One of the most shocking revelations to come out of the Sony hack is that people are still saying stupid things in email.

For the zillionth time: You have to assume that everything you write in an email, instant message, or text — any written communication, really — will be read by your boss and your spouse and splashed on the front page of The New York Times.

Seriously. Assume that.

“You may think you’re alone at your computer because there’s nobody sitting there, but you might as well be announcing it in a big stadium,” said Nancy Ancowitz, a business communication coach, author and adjunct professor at New York University.

Because it just keeps happening! The long list of embarrassing leaks from the maybe-North-Korean hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment involve many, many emails in which people say things for which they are apologizing now: Emails saying kinda racist things about President Barack Obama. Making Hitler jokes. Slamming Angelina Jolie, Adam Driver and Aaron Sorkin in one epic email chain. Trashing the studio’s own films. And so on.

This has all of corporate America freaking out about emails now, —> Read More Here

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