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The GOOD Guide to COP15: The Treaty

The Copenhagen Climate Treaty is a proposal for what an ideal vision of a COP15 agreement might look like. The treaty was drafted by...

The Copenhagen Climate Treaty is a proposal for what an ideal vision of a COP15 agreement might look like. The treaty was drafted by Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, IndyACT (the league of independent activists), Germanwatch, the David Suzuki Foundation, the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine, and experts from around the world. The prospective document was distributed to negotiators from the 192 attending nations with the hope that it would influence what happens at the conference. Here is a summary of the key points:The Copenhagen Climate TreatyThe window of opportunity for limiting climate change is closing, and unprecedented international cooperation and commitment is required. This treaty puts protection of the climate-and therefore the planet and its people-at its heart. We should expect and demand no less of our governments.Carbon budget:We need to keep the global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (and as much less than that as possible), which means staying within a maximum "carbon budget." Global emissions must peak between 2013 and 2017 and then decline to 1990 levels by 2020.Industrialized countries:The largest share of responsibility to stay within the global carbon budget rests with industrialized countries.They should take on binding commitments to reduce their own emissions and to support action in developing countries with finance, technology, and capacity building.As a group, they should commit to emissions reductions of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95 percent by 2050. They should also commit to gathering the minimum $160 billion per year needed in terms of public funding.So-called zero carbon action plans should be prepared by industrialized countries, outlining the actions needed to achieve emissions-reductions targets and show how support obligations will be met. These plans would be subject to international review and a strict compliance regime.Newly industrialized countries like Singapore, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia should also take on these binding commitments.Developing countriesWhile developing countries would not be required to take on legally binding targets for the moment, they should start to reduce emissions. As a group they should aim to limit their emissions to 84 percent above 1990 levels by 2020, and reduce emissions by 51 percent by 2050. The crucial transition to a sustainable development pathway that this will require should be supported by the industrialized world.Advanced developing countries such as China or Brazil should prepare low-carbon action plans, detailing how they will move to a low-carbon sustainable path, including adaptation strategies as well as a strategy to reduce deforestation where appropriate and outlining the support needed from the industrialized world. Adaptation funding needs to be massively scaled up, to at least $63 billion.


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The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.





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Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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