The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


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Native Peoples Use Traditional Knowledge to Adapt To Climate Change

Rosalyn Lapier talks about how Native peoples are using traditional knowledge to adapt to climate change:

For those who do not spend time outdoors it may be difficult to fully appreciate the change that is occurring. But for those who live off the land, such as farmers, ranchers, and those with subsistence lifestyles, climate change is having a real impact. It impacts the health and well-being of countless Native peoples who rely on gathering plants for both medicinal and edible purposes. More importantly, climate change impacts the spiritual life of Native peoples.
But we are adapting. The Blackfeet, similar to other tribes, schedule their ceremonial activity according to seasonal cycles. But with the cycles destabilizing, we now need to adjust each year to the volatile weather. For example, the Blackfeet conduct their Thunder-pipe ceremony at the sound of the first thunder which marks the return of rain. At the ceremony, serviceberries (Amelanchier alnifolia) are planted to celebrate the renewal of life. Traditionally, first thunder occurred in spring. The first thunder now happens much earlier in the year, sometimes even in the winter when it is unwise to plant in Montana.
The Blackfeet are now in the process of adapting and evolving to what some environmentalists call a new Earth. The TEK I learned from my grandmother is from the old Earth. However it still has value and the Blackfeet will continue to find new ways of gathering plants, new methods of identifying changes in our weather, and ways to further our traditions. Climate change will continue to affect the Blackfeet’s environment, ultimately impacting our lifestyle and spiritual life. But as we learn new TEK practices, we will be able to work better with nature and continue the process of transferring our “new” Traditional Environmental Knowledge to the next generation.

You can find the full article and video here.


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My Two Favorite Eco-Feminists

At the recent International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative Summit, Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva discuss their decades of work devoted to protecting nature and saving future generations from the dangers of climate change. A renowned primatologist, Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons. An environmental leader, feminist and thinker, Shiva is the author of many books, including “Making Peace with the Earth: Beyond Resource, Land and Food Wars” and “Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace.”

Interview: Part 1

Inteview: Part 2

 


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Native tribes’ traditional knowledge can help US adapt to climate change

New England’s Native tribes, whose sustainable ways of farming, forestry, hunting and land and water management were devastated by European colonists four centuries ago, can help modern America adapt to climate change.

That’s the conclusion of more than 50 researchers at Dartmouth and elsewhere in a special issue of the journal Climatic Change. It is the first time a peer-reviewed journal has focused exclusively on climate change’s impacts on U.S. tribes and how they are responding to the changing environments. Dartmouth also will host an Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Working Group meeting Nov. 4- 5. Continue reading


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Women Uniting to Save the Planet

Jensine Larsen writes about her experience at this year’s International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit.

‘Women everywhere are claiming power and linking networks to restore the Earth and address climate change. They are harnessing digital media and in-person convenings to accelerate the movement, operating as an immune system to boost the Earth’s resilience.’
It was that moment on stage when Jane Goodall turned to Vandana Shiva and said, “We should start working together,” and without a beat Vandana replied, “Yes, Let’s!”
Watching two legends of the environmental movement linking up before my eyes was more evidence of a wider phenomenon I am increasingly witnessing around the world, and that was ever present at this week’s International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit.
It is becoming clear to me that women everywhere are taking action for the planet into their own hands. They are throwing down the gauntlet to claim power and link networks to restore the Earth and address climate change. They are harnessing digital media and in-person convenings to accelerate the movement, operating as an immune system to boost the Earth’s resilience.

 


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Earth’s “Deep Time” to Predict Future Effects of Climate Change

The Science Codex blog reports on a new study that highlights how information from past episodes of rapid change in the Earth’s history provide a valuable tool in predicting how climate change will affect our ecosystems:

“Climate change and other human influences are altering Earth’s living systems in big ways, such as changes in growing seasons and the spread of invasive species,” said Alan Tessier, program director in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Environmental Biology, which co-funded the research with NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences.
“This paper highlights the value of using information about past episodes of rapid change from Earth’s history to help predict future changes to our planet’s ecosystems.” Continue reading


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Agribusiness advocacy organizations work to block “time-tested” strategies to increase crop yields in drought conditions

The New York Times has a great piece by Gary Paul Nabhan on the threat posed to our food supply by the heat wave now blanketing the Western States:

People living outside the region seldom recognize its immense contribution to American agriculture: roughly 40 percent of the net farm income for the country normally comes from the 17 Western states; cattle and sheep production make up a significant part of that, as do salad greens, dry beans, onions, melons, hops, barley, wheat and citrus fruits. The current heat wave will undeniably diminish both the quality and quantity of these foods.
What’s more, when food and forage crops, as well as livestock, have had to endure temperatures 10 to 20 degrees higher than the long-term averages, they require far more water than usual. The Western drought, which has persisted for the last few years, has already diminished both surface water and groundwater supplies and increased energy costs, because of all the water that has to be pumped in from elsewhere.

This will undoubtedly increase food prices, affecting consumers still stressed by the economic downturn.  And while farmers can count on crop insurance to defray their losses, “such assistance is merely a temporary response to a long-term problem.”  Nabhan notes that there are “dozens of time-tested strategies that our best farmers and ranchers have begun to use. ”  The problem is that “several agribusiness advocacy organizations have done their best to block any federal effort to promote them, including leaving them out of the current farm bill, or of climate change legislation at all.”


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Earth’s temperature rising at rate of four Hiroshima bombs of heat every second.

 `Earth`s temperature rise equals four Hiroshima atomic bombs`

India’s Zeenews reports an alarming new statistic:

Melbourne: Earth’s temperature has been rising at the rate of four Hiroshima bombs of heat every second, says climate scientists.

John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow from the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland , said that humans are emitting more carbon dioxide than ever into atmosphere, the Courier Mail reported.

He said that all the heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere meant that Earth has been building up heat at the rate of about four Hiroshima bombs every second.

Cook asserted that about 90 percent of global warming was in the oceans, which acted like a natural thermometer, along with changes in land, ice and animal species.

Distributions of trees are shifting to cooler regions like the poles or mountains, and animal species have responded to global warming by mating earlier in the year.