Monthly Archives: March 2014

Climate change a threat to security, food and humankind – IPCC report

A United Nations report raised the threat of climate change to a whole new level on Monday, warning of sweeping consequences to life and livelihood.

The report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change concluded that climate change was already having effects in real time – melting sea ice and thawing permafrost in the Arctic, killing off coral reefs in the oceans, and leading to heat waves, heavy rains and mega-disasters.

And the worst was yet to come. Climate change posed a threat to global food stocks, and to human security, the blockbuster report said.

“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC.

Monday’s report was the most sobering so far from the UN climate panel and, scientists said, the most definitive. The report – a three year joint effort by more than 300 scientists – grew to 2,600 pages and 32 volumes.

The volume of scientific literature on the effects of climate change has doubled since the last report, and the findings make an increasingly detailed picture of how climate change – in tandem with existing fault lines such as poverty and inequality – poses a much more direct threat to life and livelihood.

This was reflected in the language. The summary mentioned the word “risk” more than 230 times, compared to just over 40 mentions seven years ago, according to a count by the Red Cross.

At the forefront of those risks was the potential for humanitarian crisis. The report catalogued some of the disasters that have been visited around the planet since 2000: killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in Australia, and deadly floods in Pakistan.

“We are now in an era where climate change isn’t some kind of future hypothetical,” said Chris Field, one of the two main authors of the report.

Those extreme weather events would take a disproportionate toll on poor, weak and elderly people. The scientists said governments did not have systems in place to protect those populations. “This would really be a severe challenge for some of the poorest communities and poorest countries in the world,” said Maggie Opondo, a geographer from the University of Nairobi and one of the authors.

The warning signs about climate change and extreme weather events have been accumulating over time. But this report struck out on relatively new ground by drawing a clear line connecting climate change to food scarcity, and conflict.

The report said climate change had already cut into the global food supply. Global crop yields were beginning to decline – especially for wheat – raising doubts as to whether production could keep up with population growth.

“It has not become evident in some parts of the world that the green revolution has reached a plateau,” Pachauri said.

The future looks even more grim. Under some scenarios, climate change could lead to dramatic drops in global wheat production as well as reductions in maize.

“Climate change is acting as a brake. We need yields to grow to meet growing demand, but already climate change is slowing those yields,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor and an author of the report.

Other food sources are also under threat. Fish catches in some areas of the tropics are projected to fall by between 40% and 60%, according to the report.

The report also connected climate change to rising food prices and political instability, for instance the riots in Asia and Africa after food price shocks in 2008.

“The impacts are already evident in many places in the world. It is not something that is [only] going to happen in the future,” said David Lobell, a professor at Stanford University’s centre for food security, who devised the models.

“Almost everywhere you see the warming effects have a negative affect on wheat and there is a similar story for corn as well. These are not yet enormous effects but they show clearly that the trends are big enough to be important,” Lobell said.

The report acknowledged that there were a few isolated areas where a longer growing season had been good for farming. But it played down the idea that there may be advantages to climate change as far as food production is concerned.

Overall, the report said, “Negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts.” Scientists and campaigners pointed to the finding as a defining feature of the report.

The report also warned for the first time that climate change, combined with poverty and economic shocks, could lead to war and drive people to leave their homes.

With the catalogue of risks, the scientists said they hoped to persuade governments and the public that it was past time to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to plan for sea walls and other infrastructure that offer some protection for climate change.

“The one message that comes out of this is the world has to adapt and the world has to mitigate,” said Pachauri.

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March 31, 2014 · 1:13 pm

Homemade pizza

Varasano’s Pizza by Jeff Varasano. His blog can’t get any more comprehensive. I will eventually read through it.

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March 31, 2014 · 10:45 am

BP raises estimate of Lake Michigan oil spill

Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for 7 million people in Chicago and the suburbs, has been contaminated by 39 barrels or 1,638 gallons of oil. The Whiting refinery in Northwest Indiana is America’s seventh-largest refinery. It processes heavy Canadian oil from the tar sands region of Alberta.

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March 30, 2014 · 12:51 pm

Yuzu cubes

Yuzu cubes

After using a paring knife to quarter the yuzu, push the flesh into a strainer resting in a bowl, smash it with a rolling pin, then finally squeezing the last of the juice out with your hand.

Cubes can be dropped into, oh, I don’t know, pints of Yona Yona Ale, sautès. for dressings. when I get my hands on some peppers (とうがらし), I will make my own yuzu kosho.

I’m half done, so maybe fifty yuzu gets you two small trays, but they are extremely concentrated flavor-wise.

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March 30, 2014 · 11:43 am

Making yuzu juice

This is therapeutic:


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Eco-friendly music festival script writing – Part 4


You are writing three conversations about an imaginary music festival that focusses on being green.
Make sure that each conversation has 3 points of learning about the environment. Put those points in dark green font.

Format each conversation in your Music Journal like this:
Conversation #1:
Jack: Hey, this band is really groovy!
Jill: Sure is. They are my favorite band in the world.
Jack: Say, I’m getting hungry.
Jill: etc. etc.

Mr. Kozak

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Voyager’s Golden Disk


Cosmos is back! Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan‘s legacy continues with the help of Niel deGrasse Tyson.

Listen to at least three songs from the Voyager 1 golden disk.

In your MJ, make notes (in bullet point form) about the elements of music relating to each song
how the song makes you feel.
Also, see if you can tell me the main instrument and genre/type of music.

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Eco-Music Festival Site Requirements – Part 3

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Eco Music Festivals – Part 2


To make sure we know what exactly is a music festival, we should read and explore many different types of festivals (see the lists in the post before). Look at several of those websites to get a feeling for the size of the area needed, the number of audience members, the number of bands, the number of stages, camping areas, services, and what might make each festival unique (look at Burning Man…).

You should have several assignments finished:

1) Your Google Presentation slide
2) Your list of the top 10 things to bring to a music festival (Music Journal)
3) Three sentences about the Glastonbury Music festival, especially the clean-up (Music Journal)
4) The five ways energy is provided at the CO2PENHAGEN Music Festival, and a short explanation.
5) For Grade 9, look at pages 7 (list of stakeholders), 15 (greening solutions), 33 and 36 (eco music organizations) of the Singing a Greener Tune Report and make notes in your Music Journal.

The summative assessment will be to design a week-end festival of music to be as green as possible, with a map of facilities with explanations, and a summary of how you made the festival as green as possible.

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Eco Music Festival Design – Part 1


You need to research and pretend you are a consultant for a famous music group that wants to green up their tour. Here is a list of organizations to start your research:

Organizations or initiatives working with musicians and industry to promote environmental issues:

– 10:10 Campaign (UK)
– All At Once/Jack Johnson Initiative (USA)
– Artful Change (UK)
– Artists Project Earth (UK)
– Climate Neutral Network (UNEP)
– Fieldcore (International)
– Greenpeace (UK)
– Green Train Project (USA)
– Hard Rain Project (Global)
– MUSE Musicians United to Sustain the Environment (USA)
– MUSE Musicians United for Safe Energy (USA)
– Music for Acton (USA)
– Music for Relief (USA)
– Rock the Earth (USA)
– Save the Earth Artrock Auction (USA)
– WWF (International)

Who are the groups concerned with music?

– Musicians/Bands/Music Groups
– Record Companies/Record Labels
– Music Industry Organizations, including those focusing on the environment
– Festival and Live Music Event Producers
– Music venues
– Instrument and equipment manufacturers
– Audience
– Regulating, Licensing and Funding Bodies
– Solutions providers
– Tour Promoters and Managers
– Booking Agencies
– Sponsors
– Environmental campaigns and related NGOs
– Music Media Outlets

The following is a list of music festivals which have taken an active role in reducing the environmental impacts and/or in promoting environmental messages:

2000 Trees Festival, UK AIM Festival, Iceland Bestival, UK
Big Chill, UK
Big Day Out, Australia
Big Green Gathering, UK BluesFest, Australia
Bonnaroo, USA
Boom Festival, Portugal Burning Man, USA
Canal Street Festival, Norway Clearwater Festival, USA CO2PENHAGEN Festival, Denmark
Corinbank Festival, Australia Croissant Neuf Summer Picnic, UK
Das Fest, Germany
Download, UK
Electric Picnic, Ireland
Falls Festival, Australia Frequency Festival, Austria
Fuji Rock Festival, Japan Glastonbury Festival, UK Golden Plains Festival, Australia
Green Apple Festival, USA Greenfest, Australia
Hanoi Sound Stuff, Vietnam High n Dry Festival, Australia Hove Festival, Norway Ilosaarirock Festival, Finland Kokua Festival, Hawaii
Lake of Stars Festival, Malawi Latitude Festival, UK
Live Earth (international) Lollapalooza, USA
Lovebox Weekender, UK Lowlands Festival, Netherlands Meredith Music Festival, Australia
Meredith Music Festival, Australia
National Folk Festival, Australia Øya Festival, Norway
Paleo Festival, Switzerland Peats Ridge Festival, Australia Phish Festival, USA
Pink Pop, Netherlands Provinssi Rock, Finland Rainforest World Music Festival, Malaysia
Reeding/Leeds, UK Rheinkultur, Germany
Rock Party, Sweden Roskilde Festival, Denmark Rothbury Festival, USA ROTHBURY Festival, USA Ruis Rock, Finland
Sarawak Rainforest Festival, Malaysia
Shambala Festival, UK
South by Southwest, USA Southbound Festival, Australia Splore Festival, New Zealand Summer Sundae Weekender, UK
Sunrise Celebration, UK
The Big Tent Festival, UK
The Green Apple Festival, USA The Green Man Festival, UK Think Green-World Music Festival, USA
Waverock Weekender, Australia
Woodford Folk Festival, Australia
York Green Festival, UK

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