Category Archives: climate change

Global Trends

The Directorate of National Intelligence offers these trend indicators for 2025.

*Economic Growth Fueling Rise of Emerging Players
In terms of size, speed, and directional flow, the transfer of global wealth and economic power
now under way—roughly from West to East—is without precedent in modern history.
This shift derives from two sources.
First, increases in oil and commodity prices have generated windfall profits for the Gulf states and Russia.
Second, lower costs combined with government policies
have shifted the locus of manufacturing and some service industries to Asia.

*Growth projections for Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRICs) indicate they will collectively match the original G-7’s share of global GDP by 2040-2050. China is poised to have more impact on the world over the next 20 years than any other country. If current trends
persist, by 2025 China will have the world’s second largest economy. (source: page vi)

*Existing multilateral institutions—which are large and cumbersome and were designed for a different geopolitical order—will have difficulty adapting quickly to undertake new missions, accommodate changing memberships, and augment their resources.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)—concentrating on specific issues. (source: page xi)

*Whether global institutions adapt and revive—another key uncertainty—also is a function of leadership. Current trends suggest a dispersion of power and authority will create a global governance deficit. Reversing those trend lines would require strong leadership in the international community by a number of powers, including the emerging ones. (source: page xii)
Resource:
DNI Open Government

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Organic Rooftops

Rooftops around the World

What a splendid breath-enhancing addition to the city of Washington the new Czech Embassy will be! Here, the ‘e’ in  eDiplomacy also means environment.

Museums and post office administrators see the logic of cutting heating and cooling costs with roof top gardens and lawns that reduce solar impact.  Quebec is moving forward with plans to green the roof of the Beaux Arts Museum.

In New York City, the USPS created a rooftop garden at a processing facility. Shanghai’s General Post Office, a vast marble renovated showcase for  postal services and museum exhibitions, offers a manicured rooftop garden overlooking the Bund.

Mexico City received a greening boost a few years ago when a popular mayor advocated turning rooftops into gardens. Now, a city once known for air pollution is making positive steps towards cleaner air by installing more gardens on rooftops.

The perception in some circles is that the U.S. lags behind progressive European and Asian countries. This green roof industry site suggests the U.S. needs to learn from other countries.  But local governments in the U.S.A. are requiring that buildings are built or retrofit with green roofs.  Atlanta, Georgia is a green leader, retrofitting a green roof on City Hall in 2003.

What is your government doing to enhance the environment by establishing or retrofitting rooftop gardens?

Food Diplomacy

 

The United States is promoting community gardening to enhance global relations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture promotes community gardens around the world by providing skilled agronomists and master gardeners to local communities.  This You Tube video discusses rooftop gardens and community vegetable gardens.

Some  gardens are hands-on projects in the U.S.A. like the people’s garden on the grounds of the White House or the garden on the National Mall.

 And other gardens are established in foreign countries through U.S. Embassy liaison with the Department of Agriculture.

Seoul’s People’s Garden initiative is growing well.   On Saturday April 10th,  a celebration of the 2010 People’s Garden project at the Ambassador’s residence attracted more than 150 Korean and American volunteers including 61 children.  

Volunteers celebrated spring in Seoul by digging in the earth and planting dozens of vegetable and flower seedlings.  After the planting spree volunteers ate grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. 

By the harvest celebration later this year they’ll feast on grilled vegetables produced in the garden.

The Washington Post reported on the garden created U.S. Embassy in Seoul.