Tag archives for climate change

Is city life really that green?

Easy cycling is good, but not the whole story. Photo: Maqroll (CC: by-nc-sa)

Stockholm and other Swedish cities are often being pointed out as green and low emission. According to official figures, the average person in Stockholm emits only 3,75 tons of carbon dioxide per person and year, which is quite a lot less than the average Swede at 5,6 tons.

But earlier this year a joint report from Stockholm Environment Institute and a green think tank called Cogito pointed out a problem with these figures. As so often with statistics, they only describe one part of reality.

These statistics do measure the emissions from all activities taking place within the area of Stockholm. But they don’t count the CO2 emissions that are made to manufacture and transport all the things that the Stockholmers’ total consumption is made up of.

What the report has done is to calculate the total emissions of four Swedish cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Linköping.

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Swedish scientists: Remember the women when planning for a warmer climate!

Since more women than men are dependant on public transport, women are more likely to suffer from heatwaves at buses and underground trains. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/imagebank.sweden.se

Adapting to a warmer climate shouldn’t only include things like getting ready for floodings and droughts or securing the food system. We also have to think about how different groups are hit differently by climate change, says a new report.

One group which is particularly affected — and which happens to contain about half the population — are women. Research shows over and over again that a heated world will have more severe consequences for women, and this means Swedish local climate adaptation programs must take in a gender perspective in every step, this report argues.

For example a gender perspective is important when it comes to travel habits, safety and occupational health.
“Unless adaptation measures are carefully designed from a gender perspective they may contribute to preserving prevailing gender inequalities and reinforce women’s vulnerability to climate change”, the report writes.

So why are women more affected by climate change than men?

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Don’t let you brain fall asleep during summer

If you want to leave the hammock and dedicate a few sunny minutes to learning the latest about sustainability, a hot tip is to check out the Whiteboard Seminar videos from Stockholm Resilience Centre.

These are short, informal presentations done by researchers on a particular issue. Each last no longer than 10 minutes and the researcher can only use a whiteboard and a pen to present and explain the issue.
Why not create your own summer course?

Some of the latests seminars include:

Envisioning a sustainable future

Beyond Gross Domestic Product

What is systems ecology?

All the seminars can be found here.
Here’s a taste, where Senior Research Fellow Brian Walker gives a simple explanation to what the concept of resilience means:

 

A film that makes you laugh – and think

Just another ordinary sushi... Photo from the film Blue Marble Café.

Crisis, crisis, crisis. Climate change, crashing economies, oceans depleted of fish and other natural resources fading away under human pressure.
We certainly live in times of great changes, some of which can be quite hard to grasp. And usually culture is a good companion, that can help us process and understand what is going on around us.

But when it comes to the environment, I’d say that culture hasn’t really kept pace with the course of events. At least in Sweden, rather few theatre plays, films and books take on the subjects of climate change and resource scarcity.

But there are a few. When I went to the festival Uncivilised earlier this summer, I happened to talk to the film maker and actor Håkan Julander. Together with Björn Engström he has taken on the difficult task of making films about our time’s big crisis – with a sense of humour.
– We certainly need heavy, expensive film projects like “Home” and “The Planet” , but it must also be possible to make entertainment about these issues.We can joke about everything else, so why not his? he tells me.

One beer coming up! Photo from the film Blue Marble Café.

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Festivals that deal with the big issues

Festivals can be a good opportunity to step outside of the everyday bubble and think more freely. Entrance to the festival Ociviliserat (Uncivilised) this Saturday. Photo: Sara Jeswani.

“Welcome to the end of the world as we know it.”
Those words started the invitation to a festival which took place in Stockholm this past weekend. A festival called “Ociviliserat” (Uncivilised) may sound a bit apocalyptic, but this was not a crash course in how to survive in a bunker. Rather, it was a cultural response to the converging crisis the world stands before: the ecological crisis, global warming, a dwindling world economy… the list could be made very long.

Karin Bradley, Assistant Professor in Urban Studies, leading a talk with people who are constructing alternatives. Photo: Sara Jeswani.

When everything around us start to shake, we can’t just pretend that everything is fine and that things will be ok if we keep on with our current lifestyle, argues the Dark Mountain Project, which originally started in the UK, but which now has a Swedish branch. (English website here, the Swedish version here)

What we need, they say, isn’t more of the current civilisation that got us into these problems in the first way. So, if we don’t need more adverts, traffic jams, mass consumption or stress, what else is there? They propose something as simple – and difficult – as  new stories about our time that could help us understand what is happening, deal with our worries and move forward,

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