Archive for category Sustainability
Mexico’s lower chamber has recently passed legislation that could make Mexico the second nation in the world to pass comprehensive national climate change legislation. On Wednesday the lower house passed the “General Law on Climate Change”. This could have major benefits for the economy of Mexico and could bring new hope to a country who’s largest export commodity comes from it national oil company PEMEX. The bill must be passed before the congressional session adjourns at the end of the month and to be passed must have senate and presidential approval. This seems likely in the Senate considering they passed their version of the bill in December.
In effect the bill:
-Will require the whole country to reduce its carbon emissions 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2050.
- Establish goals for increasing electricity generation from renewable sources, with a goal of 35% of electricity generation coming from renewable sources by 2024.
-Establish the National Institute of Ecology as the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change.
-Establish a climate fund and request the Ministry of Finance, among others to develop a system of incentives that favors renewable energy by 2020
-Establishes a national emissions registry and mandatory emissions reporting
Though the bill does not mandate the creation of a domestic greenhouse-gas emissions trading system it does enable it. This essentially is the idea government would provide economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) predicts if were to do so Mexico would achieve its goals at low cost and significant profit and attract international investment. The EDF says it would be able to do so if the system were to include an absolute carbon cap set near their current target and allow trading both domestically and in international markets. Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology have found that smart mitigation action could trigger a 5 percent incremental GDP growth, and create 3 million additional jobs, distributed among the poorest sectors of the population.
Mexico is the 11th largest emitter of global greenhouse gases and hosted the latest summit on Climate Change in 2010 in Cancun, Mexico. The summit in Cancun and previously in Copenhagen seemed to have produced few and loose results. The biggest challenge to global progression into the green economy is its lack of profit compared to those of large emission emitter economies. If Mexico can induce a profitable green economy it may act as a model for other developing nations or produce competitive investment into green technology from other nations.
According to the Arizona Sonora News Service, in 2007, Arizona ranked 15th of 50 states for childhood obesity, with 30.1%-35% of children suffering from obesity. Not only is childhood obesity a problem for the state of Arizona, but also within the state’s Hispanic population. The obesity rate of Hispanics in Arizona is at 31.4%, which is higher than the national rate of 28.7%. While there can be many factors that lead to obesity, one of the main causes is a poor diet.
Community gardening in Arizona has become popular in South Tucson as a means to combat the issue of obesity, and it also helps to foster a stronger sense of community. Some groups that have been teaming up to help foster these community gardens are Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), the House of Neighborly Service (HNS), the Primavera Foundation, and Ochoa Elementary School. Together they have joined to create the Tucson Garden Network, which aims to strengthen the already existing community engagement, and promote partnership with the residents.
“Josefina Ahumada, a board member for the [HNS], said the gardens are a crucial part in working toward the larger picture of promoting a healthy community.” (Adler). She added that community gardens also benefit the community because the residents will have immediate access to food. This will be especially beneficial for new members of the community who have recently emigrated who may have to default to fast food because they are busy with work or adjusting to the American lifestyle. Ultimately, Ahumada adds, “We want to give people alternatives. We are trying to provide opportunities for residents and organizations within the community to get involved and make a difference.” (Adler).
President Calderon emphasized spreading Mexico’s recent economic development to the poorest regions of the country. In a speech which marked the beginning of the second phase of the Water Forever Campaign (Programa Agua para Siempre), Calderon hailed the campaign as successful because of its differences from other social welfare programs. It is a system in which the solution comes from society rather than the government. The campaign is part of the Calderon Administration’s greater National Development Plan (Plan Nacional de Desarollo).
The program requires collaboration from the states of Oaxaca, Puebla and Guerrero; the governors of each state were present at the speech. The efforts of these programs which comprise the National Development Plan all attempt to ameliorate the gaps between the rich and poor in Mexico, which in public relations material for the campaign is called one of the most dangerous threats to society (aztecnoticas.com.mx). The Water Forever Campaign also attempts to highlight the exploitation of Mexico’s precious natural resources including water and forest by previous generations. Calderon explained that people should never have to emigrate because of a lack of resources, which can be prevented if government and society take steps towards sustainability now.
An impending water shortage in Mexico is cause for concern says Calderon.
The “water stress” problem is resulting in lower levels of drinkable, available water similar to those of North Africa. The individual water consumption of the average Mexican is threefold compared to that of the last decade, though Calderon also attributed this to the rapid and continuing industrialization process in Mexico.
To address the water shortage issue, Calderon’s administration is confronting the problem as a national security issue.
All of these calls for water consumption reduction come after a report released by a team of academics, government officials, businessman and civil groups called the Water Agenda 2030. The problem is not simply with wasteful consumption however but also with unsustainable means of obtaining water. 15% of water is obtained in a way that is unsustainable and damaging to future consumption. The Water Agenda 2030 is being presented as a social agreement between the government and society for austerity measures in water consumption.
A frigidly cold winter in northern Mexico has created a major corn shortage. A frost hit the northeast region earlier this month. The principal growers of corn are the states of Sinaloa and Sonora. Sinaloa provides much in the way of white corn which forms the basis for the tortillas that are a staple of the Mexican diet. Weather of this nature is highly unusual and the region has not experienced frost since 1956.
Also destroyed by the frost were fields of toamatoes, peppers, eggplant and cucumbers. For Sinaloa, this means a loss of about 15 million pesos creating insecurity about the livelihood of the people there. Sinaloa and Sonora have high populations of people who have immigrated from Southern Mexico to these regions looking for work. With a large population and food shortage, government officials are also concerned about rapid inflation in food prices. The Ministry of the Interior declared a state of emergency for 15 municipalities in Chihuahua, 59 in Sonora, 11 in Sinaloa and 21 in Durango. In addition 40 million pesos have been allocated by the Natural Disasters National Fund to help provide food and other necessities to the population.
`En 14 años se han registrado más de cinco mil 600 muertes de personas de centro y Sudamérica
NUEVO LAREDO, TAMAULIPAS.- Al menos un migrante muere al día al intentar cruzar a Estados Unidos en busca de trabajo y de una mejor vida para su familia, ante la pobreza y la escasez de empleo en su tierra natal, señalan estadísticas de las Casas del Migrante…`
`MEXICALI, Baja California(PH)
Por considerar que han actuado sin integridad y ante la falta de honradez al realizar su trabajo, ocho agentes de la Policía Ministerial del Estado, adscritos a Mexicali y un Agente del Ministerio Público de Tijuana, fueron cesados de la institución, informó el director estatal de Asuntos Internos de la PGJE, Abel Galván Gallardo.
En últimos 75 días, la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) ha cesado ha 23 funcionarios públicos, por diferentes motivos, entre los cuales destacan la falta de probidad y honradez al realizar su trabajo, deficiencias en su labor y estar vinculados a actividades ilícitas…`
La “lucha contra el narco” es utilizada por las autoridades mexicanas para justificar la creciente militarización del país. Sin embargo, organizaciones sociales y de derechos humanos sostienen que “la guerra real es contra los de abajo” y denuncian que los numerosos abusos y violaciones de derechos humanos forman parte de planes de contrainsurgencia…`
Author Kurt Andersen’s new book, Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America, examines the economic, political and cultural opportunities to be found in the wake of the financial crises. In this excerpt, the fourth of five pieces to appear on TIME.com, he argues that open borders and innovative immigration policy are critical to America’s rebound…
No other nation on earth assimilates immigrants as successfully as the United States. There are those who argue that we can no longer afford to open our doors so wide, but in fact precisely the opposite is true. Beyond giving sentimental, self-flattering lip service to our history as “a nation of immigrants,” the sooner we can agree on a coherent and correctly self-serving national immigration policy — that is, to encourage and enable as many as possible of the world’s smartest and most ambitious and open-minded people to become Americans — the better our chances of forestalling national decline.
CONTINUE READING http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1914738,00.html
By TIM PADGETT / JUAREZ Thursday, Apr. 23, 2009
Pedro Rojas is the sort of wealthy Mexican who’s usually in control of his world. “I don’t panic or scare easily,” says Rojas, a business owner and rancher from the Mexican border city of Juárez. But last year narcos, or drug traffickers, moved into his upscale neighborhood–punks in cowboy attire and sparkling pickup trucks buying expensive homes. Rojas and his neighbors were awakened at night or horrified in broad daylight by assault-rifle fire and the screaming of tires as cars raced away after kidnappings. One afternoon, local children watched as a pickup rammed down the door of a house, sparking a gun battle that left four people dead in the street. Out at Rojas’ ranch, the situation was worse. The drug gangs, whose trafficking route for marijuana, cocaine and heroin passes near a cluster of haciendas that includes Rojas’, demanded protection money from the ranchers. When they balked, the gangs burned down the ranch houses, then abducted and executed one of Rojas’ best friends.
Since then, the gangs have dumped the severed heads of other victims in front of suburban town halls. So Rojas (not his real name, which he asked to be changed for security reasons) took his family across the Rio Grande to live in an apartment in El Paso, Texas. “I feel fearful, impotent,” he says. Worse, he adds, is the realization that the police in Juárez not only are incapable of stopping gangs but are “working with them. Our police institutions have been overrun by narcos. Changing that will take many years and some very big cojones.” (See pictures from the streets of Juarez.)…