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05/06/2017

PREDICTING THE FUTURE. INVESTING IN CHICKENS AND STOVES.Tigana's community has settled on one particular option to fight higher temperatures and crop losses: Chickens.

With a bit of 'time travel', Malians prepare farms of the future

By looking north, can you visit your farm's future as climate change takes hold?

By Zoe Tabary

KOLONDIALAN, Mali, June 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Nouhoun Tigana, a farmer in rural central Mali, doesn't know for sure what the weather will be tomorrow - other than that it's likely to be blisteringly hot again.

"The heat is so bad now that we can't work between noon and 3 p.m.," he said, waving a skinny pigeon away from the chicken coop he is guarding.

Oddly, however, Tigana now has some idea of what conditions might look like 30 years from now in his village, near the southern fringes of Africa's Sahel zone.

That's because, with 30 other farmers, he last year climbed into a Jeep and headed off for a bit of "time travel": A visit to the Mopti region, to the northeast, that today has the kind of conditions experts believe Kolondialan can expect in decades to come as climate change takes hold.

"The idea is to get communities to learn from each other by visiting an environment that is similar to their own – so based on farming – but not identical in terms of climate conditions," said Bouba Traoré, a scientist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, one of the organisations piloting the "farms of the future" project in Mali.

"It's like they are visiting their 'future village', if temperatures were to continue to rise and rainfall to decrease," he added.

The initiative is part of the Building Resilience to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, supported by Britain's Department for International Development.

Kolondialan, like many villages in central Mali, is grappling with recurring periods of drought which destroy crops and make it increasingly difficult to work in soaring temperatures often reaching 45 to 50 degrees Celsius (113 to 122 degrees Farenheit).

Nouhoun Tigana guards a chicken coop in Kolondialan, central Mali, May 17, 2017. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Alex Potter

"But we can't sit here and do nothing. We have to find a way to get by," Tigana said.

The farmers are working on ways to adapt to the changing conditions, such as experimenting with new crops and trying to find additional sources of income beyond crop farming, to build their resilience to worsening harvest losses.

But making those efforts effective for the long run will require adapting not only to the tougher conditions being experienced now but the even harsher ones to come, experts say.

Over the past year, with the help of climate experts and an online weather prediction tool, Tigana and other local farmers have helped identify villages further north - such as Bankass and Koro - that are experiencing the kind of climate conditions Kolondialan could face in 30 years' time, mainly higher temperatures and less rain.

Men and women from Kolondialan and a nearby village have then traveled to visit them, to understand how residents there are coping with current weather.

After the visit, each of the project village has received a grant of 1 million CFA francs (about $1,700), which it can spend on any kind of adaptation effort its community groups decide on.

"We hope that by seeing how farmers have adapted to a hotter climate, for example through smarter farming techniques and new ways of sharing weather information, visitors will implement these innovations at home," Traoré said.

PREDICTING THE FUTURE

The online weather tool used by the farmers, called Climate Analogues and developed by agricultural research organisation CGIAR, allows users to locate areas whose current climate is similar to the projected future climate of their own area, based on precipitation and temperature data.

"Although they are only a few hundred miles apart, a village like Kolondialan in the Koulikoro region receives on average about a third less rainfall than Bankass in Mopti," said Traoré. "That makes a difference to what crops you can grow, and when."

Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, said that improving Sahelian communities' generally limited access to weather information is key. But even more important, he said, is placing it in the context of their lives, "so they can understand what's coming".

"Being confronted with the possibility that future climate conditions could be even more challenging than current ones is a good way to get communities to invest in resilience," he added.

INVESTING IN CHICKENS AND STOVES

Tigana's community has settled on one particular option to fight higher temperatures and crop losses: Chickens.

He stands in front of a group of men and women huddled together on a bright blue carpet.

"At the end of the month your household will get a loan of 50,000 CFA francs (about $85) for the next half of the year," he tells the crowd, which greets the information with a murmur of approval.

"We recommend you use this money to buy chickens, which we will help you raise so you can sell them at a profit at the market," he said.

The public meeting, chaired by Tigana, aims to share with the rest of the village the measures the village's community group have decided on after their "future village" visit to the Mopti region.

These include buying and fattening animals like chickens and goats before selling them at a higher price, as well as protecting maize harvests more effectively by hanging them in trees, out of reach of pests, livestock and floods.

The activities vary from one village to another, said Traoré, depending on the farmers' skills and the resources available.

02/06/2017

Prenez, par exemple, les dernières allégations disant que Trump divulgue des secrets aux Russes. Ce qui rend cette histoire dangereuse, c’est que de nombreux partisans de Trump sont déjà convaincus que les élites qui gouvernent les États-Unis ne se soucie

1agld1r.gifDes idiots dangereux


Par Paul Robinson – Le 17 mai 2017 -– Source Irussianality

À un moment donné, pendant la campagne présidentielle américaine de l’année dernière, le parti Démocrate a décidé qu’il jouerait la carte russe et accuserait Donald Trump d’être au mieux un idiot utile du Kremlin, au pire un agent russe. Les Démocrates ont ensuite transformé cette carte pour en faire quasiment la pièce maîtresse de leur campagne, répétant sans arrêt ces accusations. Je n’arrive pas à comprendre comment ils pouvaient penser que cette stratégie était la bonne, car elle ne fait que renforcer leur manque de lien avec les électeurs ordinaires américains, mais je suppose qu’après l’avoir répété si souvent ils ont fini par y croire.

Nous savons maintenant qu’après la défaite de Hillary Clinton, ses conseillers se sont réunis pour discuter de la façon de réagir à cette catastrophe électorale et qu’ils ont décidé que la meilleure option était de dire que c’était de la faute des Russes. Encore une fois, je n’arrive pas comprendre pourquoi, sauf peut-être que a) c’est devenu une question de foi, et b) cela leur a permis d’éviter d’avoir à examiner leurs propres faiblesses.

Depuis lors, le parti Démocrate mène une guerre sans fin contre le président Trump, en l’accusant, lui et ses proches, de relations prétendument douteuses avec la Russie. Des membres des services de sécurité et de renseignement sont complices et font fuiter à la presse toutes les informations pouvant aller dans ce sens afin de faire dérailler toute tentative de rapprochement entre les États-Unis et la Fédération de Russie. L’« État profond » (si vous croyez en une telle chose) y travaille dur.

Vous pourriez dire que « tous les coups sont permis, en amour comme à la guerre », et qu’il est tout à fait normal d’utiliser n’importe quelle arme pour attaquer vos adversaires politiques. Mais dans ce cas je pense que ces attaques sont non seulement, et ce depuis longtemps, complètement hors de toute réalité, et qu’elles font également preuve d’une irresponsabilité flagrante.

Prenez, par exemple, les dernières allégations disant que Trump divulgue des secrets aux Russes. Horrifiés par ce supposé abus de pouvoir, des officiers du renseignement anonymes ont divulgué ces secrets, avec l’aide du Washington Post, non seulement aux Russes, mais au MONDE ENTIER.  Personnellement, cela ne me dérange par tant que cela; ma propre courte carrière dans le monde du renseignement m’a persuadé que c’est un monde beaucoup moins important que ne le pensent les gens. Néanmoins, il est extraordinairement hypocrite que les critiques de Trump se plaignent de violations du secret d’État tout en enfreignant ce secret à une échelle beaucoup plus grande. Les ennemis de Trump l’accusent d’être irresponsable, mais qui est vraiment irresponsable dans ce cas ?

Ensuite – et je vais oser rendre le fond de ma pensée très clair – je suis fermement d’avis que c’est positif si les États ont de bonnes relations les uns avec les autres. Et il est particulièrement important que les États puissants le fassent. Qu’est ce qui est le mieux? Un monde dans lequel les grandes puissances sont en conflit les unes avec les autres ou un monde dans lequel elles s’accordent entre elles ? Évidemment, le deuxième choix. Ainsi, l’amélioration des relations américano-russes est une bonne idée. Lorsque Trump a déclaré cela pendant la campagne électorale, il avait tout à fait raison. Cependant, ses ennemis font le maximum pour obtenir le résultat inverse. Dans le but de saper leur président, ils font tout leur possible pour saboter les relations américano-russes. En d’autres termes, ils mettent en danger les intérêts de leur propre pays, et plus largement la sécurité du monde entier, car ils pensent que c’est un bon moyen pour obtenir un avantage politique national. Encore une fois, je pose la question : qui est irresponsable ici ?

Enfin, en cherchant à détruire Trump de cette façon, ses adversaires menacent l’ordre interne de leur propre pays. Une autre explication pour l’obsession de la Russie serait que les « Jamais Trump » ne recherchent pas tant un avantage électoral qu’une forme de « coup d’état rampant » ou de révolution de palais. L’espoir n’est pas tant de nuire aux perspectives électorales de Trump pour 2020 que de le forcer à démissionner ou le faire destituer. Dans le fond, ils essaient d’invalider le processus électoral.

Ce qui rend cette histoire dangereuse, c’est que de nombreux partisans de Trump sont déjà convaincus que les élites qui gouvernent les États-Unis ne se soucient pas de leurs intérêts et ont manipulé le système pour les écraser. Maintenant qu’ils ont finalement élu leur dirigeant, ils ne vont pas trop aimer le voir destituer d’une telle manière. Si cette tactique devait réussir, cela mécontenterait une grande partie de la population encore plus fortement qu’elle ne l’est déjà, et pourrait même, dans les pires scénarios, avoir des conséquences violentes (les milices d’extrême-droite sont déjà responsables de beaucoup plus de violence aux États-Unis que tout autre type de groupe politique). Les Démocrates et leurs alliés dans les services de sécurité et de renseignement jouent avec le feu. Encore une fois, qui est irresponsable ici ?

Parlant à Sotchi aujourd’hui, Vladimir Poutine a bien résumé l’affaire :

« Ils déstabilisent la situation politique aux États-Unis en utilisant des slogans anti-russes. Soit ils ne comprennent pas les dommages qu’ils font à leur propre pays, auquel cas ils sont complètement idiots, ou ils les comprennent tout à fait, et ils sont alors tout simplement dangereux et sans scrupules. »

Quant à moi, je pense qu’ils sont les deux.

Paul Robinson

Traduit par Wayan, relu par nadine pour le Saker Francophone

Trump rejects pleas of world leaders, Pope Francis and CEOs . France, Germany and Italy say agreement can’t be renegotiated.FranceWebSharing & MyNewsCenterNavigator

SRU-International Researech.gif

Trump to Exit Climate Pact as Allies Deride Call for Do-Over

Trump’s announcement spurns pleas from corporate executives, world leaders and even Pope Francis who warned the move imperils a global fight against climate change. His decision also drew an immediate condemnation from the leaders of France, Germany and Italy, who issued a statement insisting that the agreement was “irreversible” and “cannot be renegotiated.” The Japanese government described the U.S. move as “regrettable.”

Trump is kicking off a withdrawal process that will take years to unfold -- creating an opening for him to reverse course and injecting it as an issue in the next presidential election. Under the terms of the deal, the earliest the U.S. can formally extricate itself from the accord is Nov. 4, 2020 -- the day after the next presidential election. And Trump would have wide latitude to change his mind up until that point.

“The Paris accord would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty, impose unacceptable legal risk and put us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world,” Trump said. “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. We can’t build new coal plants, but China, India can.”

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh -- not Paris,” he said.

What Did Trump Just Do? The Paris Climate Withdrawal Explained

Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax,” campaigned on the pledge to exit the 2015 pact. White House legal advisers had warned that staying in the accord could undercut Trump’s efforts to rescind rules on power-plant emissions and fuel efficiency.

The agreement allows nations to adjust their individual emissions targets, with a goal of strengthening them over time. But there is no established mechanism that would prompt countries to renegotiate the entire accord. Negotiators built flexibility into the deal from the start, structuring the agreement so that individual countries could determine their own commitments -- without any punishment for failing to fulfill them.

“Apparently the White House has no idea how a treaty works,” Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told reporters in a conference call. She described Trump’s announcement as a “vacuous political melodrama.” 

 

Withdrawal would put the U.S. in league with just two other nations -- Syria and Nicaragua -- that are not participating in the agreement.

What Comes of Paris Climate Accord Without U.S.: QuickTake Q&A

Countries’ individual pledges vary widely. For instance, where the U.S. promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, China said it would only begin reducing its emissions by about 2030. And India said it would only reduce the carbon intensity of its economy, meaning the nation’s emissions could continue to rise.

For the best of our coverage on climate science and the future of energy, sign up for Bloomberg's new weekly Climate Changed newsletter.

The Paris accord was a signature achievement for Barack Obama’s efforts to combat climate change while president. Obama released a statement after Trump’s announcement saying the pact “opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale.”

“Even in the absence of American leadership -- even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future -- I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way,” Obama said.

As if to underscore that point, Bill Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh, tweeted that his city “will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”

Pope Francis Wrestles With Curia, Climate and Trump: QuickTake

Conservative groups and fossil fuel advocates quickly applauded Trump’s move.

“By not succumbing to pressure from special interests and cosmopolitan elites, the president demonstrated he is truly committed to putting America’s economy first,” Michael Needham, the chief executive officer of Heritage Action, said in a statement.

Coal executive Robert Murray praised Trump for “supporting America’s uncompromising values, saving coal jobs and promoting low-cost, reliable electricity for Americans and the rest of the world.”

As the richest nation and the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the U.S. is central to efforts to address global warming. The Vatican, European leaders and companies as diverse as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Microsoft Corp. had urged the president to remain in the pact, with last-minute appeals by Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk and Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook.

Both Musk and Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said they would resign from a presidential jobs panel as a result of Trump’s decision.

As World Edges Away From Coal, Trump Pledges Revival: QuickTake

Corporate leaders have warned of long-term economic consequences, arguing that a withdrawal would put the U.S. at a disadvantage in the global race to develop and deploy clean-energy technology. They argued a U.S. exit also risks a backlash against American products, raising the specter of consumer boycotts or carbon tariffs from the European Union, China and other nations.

Jeff Immelt, the chairman of General Electric Co., tweeted that he was “disappointed” with the decision, adding that "climate change is real," and the onus now falls on industry to lead.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, in his first tweet, said, “Today’s decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world.” JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon said in a statement that he “absolutely” disagreed with the withdrawal, but added, “we have a responsibility to engage our elected officials to work constructively and advocate for policies that improve people’s lives and protect our environment.”

Congressional Reaction

Congressional Democrats quickly condemned the decision on the Paris accord. 

Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, tweeted "Dear planet, we’re sorry. Please just hang on for three and a half more years and we’ll fix this. We promise."

Some Republicans also criticized the action. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, tweeted that she was “disappointed in the president’s decision,” because "climate change requires a global approach."

The debate whether to exit the agreement played out for months in the White House. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and chief strategist Stephen Bannon pushed for a exit. Those arguing to stay included Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, senior adviser Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Energy Secretary Rick Perry endorsed a renegotiation.

Ivanka Trump and Kushner, her husband, did not attend Trump’s Rose Garden speech.

The Paris accord is broader than any previous climate agreement. It calls for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in hopes of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above temperatures at the outset of the Industrial Revolution. That’s the upper limit scientists have set to keep climate change from hitting an irreversible tipping point, unleashing catastrophic floods, droughts and storms.

Dismantle Regulations

Trump has already moved to dismantle regulations and government programs to fight global warming. He ordered a review of fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks, which along with other vehicles are the U.S.’s largest source of greenhouse gases. And he set in motion a process to scrap the Clean Power Plan, which would have required utilities to slash their carbon-dioxide emissions. The EPA is also moving to rescind rules to prevent methane leaks.

U.S. climate efforts won’t completely cease just because Trump is walking away from Paris.

 
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