Enviroment

Culture, Enviroment, Sustainable Cities

Game of Thrones and Climate Change: Brace yourselves, Summer is Coming!


By Cassia Moraes

[8 min read]

Imagine a world where different political clans fight for increasing their power while ignoring a threat never seen before – and which can annihilate their societies without much consideration for man-made boundaries. The narrative above could be an introduction for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, to be released soon, in which the fate of Westeros will be sealed as the army of the dead finally make its way through “The Wall”. It could also be an accurate description of the current state of world politics, where names such as Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro wage a war against multilateralism at the moment which we needed it the most. Political distractions as billionaire walls and celebration of past dictatorships occupy their agenda while the real – and potentially irreversible – threats posed by climate change are already in our backyards.

While in HBO’s show the Great Houses fail in addressing the major danger Westeros has ever faced, in real life the scenario is not much different. Those who have historically been the main contributors to climate change do not take the proper actions to offset their actions. In turn, emerging countries like Brazil and China, today’s major emitter of greenhouse gas, use the poor response from developed countries as an excuse to postpone their own actions. Although the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities reinforces emerging countries’ position, they will also be losers if we fail to tackle climate change as a global community. Perhaps the metaphor of white walkers makes it easier to understand why the prisoner’s dilemma strategy of maximizing individual benefits is an illusion. If Westeros lose the war against the white walkers there will be no throne for Cersei or anyone to sit in.

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Blog, Enviroment, National Politics

Renca: Attacks From the Brazilian Government Put Reserve At Risk


by Vera Ceccarello and Tatiana Massaro

“You do not know me and you’ve never seen me. You live in a distant land.”

(Davi Kopenawa, Yanomamishaman)

During the final months of 2017, the Amazon has once again taken center stage of debates in the media and in civil society. The trigger was a decree from the interim government of Michel Temer that would allow the private initiative to explore an area of 46 thousand square kilometers known as Renca (National Reserve of Copper and Associates) – First Decree 9.147, August 28, 2017 [i][1]. The urgent character of the decree and the lack of dialogue with the population spawned massive controversies among government, environmentalists, the indigenous population and people worried about preserving the Amazon forest. Faced with several outrage demonstrations, the Brazilian government backtracked and suspended the decree on September 2018 during 120 days from this date (Second Decree 9.159, from September 26, 2017, revoking the first one) [ii][2].

renca

Caption: Fig. 1. Part of RENCA (National Reserve of Copper and Associates)

Source: IPAM. (October 25, 2016). Retrieved January 27, 2018  (iii)[3].

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Blog, Enviroment, National Politics

How the Political Crisis is Threatening Brazil’s Sustainable Goals


*Photo credit: Ana_Cotta | Photo Title: S.O.S Amazônia

By Rodrigo Rosa, Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University.

Since 2013, Brazil’s political turmoil has produced anxiety and drawbacks on the political and economic arenas. The instability caused by the political brawl is jeopardizing the environment and threatening the country’s long-term sustainability ambitions. Recent events are going against the commitments made in the international negotiations during the COP 21[1] in Paris in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gases emissions within next decades.

Last June, Congress approved a legislative bill to reduce 600 thousand hectares of protected areas in the Amazon and other natural preserved areas in Brazil, which is equivalent to four times the area of the city of Sao Paulo.

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Enviroment

Counting our blessings – and destroying them


by Isabela Messias

Brazil is a blessed country. We have no hurricanes, no earthquakes, no harsh winter. We have the largest tropical forest in the world, the Brazilian Amazon, which amounts for around 5 million square kilometers, and hosts an unparalleled biodiversity[i]. Moreover, Brazil also has 12% of the world’s freshwater, more than the European or the African continents. It is fair to say that when it comes to natural resources, we are an extremely lucky country. But we are ruining it. Little by little, with years of neglectful environmental policies, we are ruining it.

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