With a cup of a native Finnish drink made from the flower of the fir tree, I sat down at Finland’s booth at the World Water Forum’s Exhibition Hall to learn about how the country has solved issues relating to the sustainable use of their waters. Finland has a unique position at the Forum in that it is one of the few countries to have plentiful reserves of fresh water, and whose total water use is only 2% of the total reserve. The country has been successful in protecting and managing their waters, and now feels like they are in the position to help other countries by teaching about best practices, particularly their experience in integrated water resources management and water and wastewater treatment. Finland is often at the top of the list for its environmental health, while the United States usually ranks around #50. This is due in large part to the country’s protection of land, how seriously it takes climate change, and how it responds to water pollution. As a student of public health and the environment, I was curious to learn more about Finland and their approach to such issues.
Dr. Yuei-An Liou is the Distinguished Professor and Director at the Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research at National Central University in Taiwan. He specializes in satellite remote sensing and atmospheric science and has published over 100 referral papers, and 200 conference papers. In this interview, Dr. Liou discusses one of Taiwan’s most serious water issues. Interview highlights include the discussion of:
One of Taiwan’s largest water issues
How too much water can lead to serious problems
The steps Taiwan is taking to adapt to climate change
Have you ever heard about Game Theory, the Prisoner’s dilemma, or the Nash Equilibrium? Probably many of us, and –hopefully- the majority of the policy-makers around the world, studied this subject once. For me, the principle taught by this great subject is basically that if players of the game (namely policy-makers, CEOs, etc.) act in the interests of the group, they are better-off than if they acted in their interests alone (Nash equilibrium). But what happens if not all of those players act in the interests of the group? Then the ones who did, will presumably be worse-off than if they would’ve acted in their own interests.
Laura Burger reports from the International Environment House in Geneva where two short documentaries were screened, “When the Water Ends” and Carbon for Water, which focus on the subject of health, lack of clean water and climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa, Friday 28 October. Includes an interview with the CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen a venture that states to create life-saving products for the most vulnerable. Carbon for Water & The Life Straw – Interview with Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, CEO Vestergaard Frandsen by Studentreporter
“We are the 99%”. This is called out at the major financial hubs around the world – from the Wall Street in New York to the Paradeplatz in Zurich, occupied by people who are concerned about and unsatisfied with our economic system, ruled by institutions that control most of the wealth of the world. But what are the alternatives?
Laura Burger reports from the International Environment House in Geneva where two short documentaries were screened, “When the Water Ends” and Carbon for Water, which focus on the subject of health, lack of clean water and climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa, Friday 28 October. The United Nations launched a large Millennium Campaign in 2000. Eight goals were chosen to improve dramatically the state of the world by the year 2015. Today, increasingly more people have a sceptical view on this campaign. Four years are left, but the chances that any of the goals is met are very low.
Here’s the dirty secret behind my attendance at the World Resources Forum 2011: I caused 1.12 metric tons of CO2 emissions to come here from the US. (Roundtrip, all calculations from Carbonfootprint.com) Four hundred people have flown in from around the world for WRF2011; can we do enough good to outweigh our collective and individual carbon harms? From a personal carbon standpoint, flying is by far the worst thing I do to the atmosphere, followed by a distant 2nd of occasional driving. My estimated 2011 flying carbon footprint alone adds up to more than 6 metric tons. For comparison’s sake, the average U.K. citizen emits fewer than 10 metric tons of CO2 per year, and on average, each person in the world produces around 4 tons/year. How guilty am I of climate harm right now?