Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

De los diamantes al Coltán

Aunque para muchos ya sea un tema olvidado el tema del comercio ilegal de los diamantes sigue hoy en día. Como podemos leer en la página Ehowenespañol, escrito por Paulina Illanes Amenábar, el comercio ilegal de diamantes no fue reconocido oficialmente hastadiamantes 1 1997, cuando las Naciones Unidas sancionó a Angola, prohibiendo la venta o compra de diamantes del país. Las estimaciones muestran que casi el 20 por ciento del comercio de diamantes en Angola fue puesto a fines ilegales, en su mayoría para financiar conflictos del país. Sierra Leona se independizó de Gran Bretaña en 1961 y el presidente alentó la producción ilegal de diamantes para reforzar el apoyo. En 1991, estalló la guerra civil, y los diamantes del conflicto jugaron un papel importante. Los señores de la guerra trataron de hacerse con el control de las áreas clave de diamantes. Los combates tuvieron un saldo sangriento, con miles de mujeres violadas y tomadas como esclavas sexuales. Los niños fueron obligados a unirse a las milicias y más personas fueron asesinadas o masacradas. Hoy en día, continúan los combates en el Congo, con el comercio ilícito de minerales que alimentan la pelea. Read more of this post

Al Gore´s An Inconvenient Truth

Today I am going to talk about Al Gore´s film “An Inconvenient Truth”.descarga As Stefan Lovgren says in his article in the National Geographic, the message in An Inconvenient Truth, the movie starring former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, is clear: Humans are causing global warming, and the effects are devastating. Most scientists agree that the Earth is heating up, due primarily to an atmospheric increase in carbon dioxide caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum. (Stefan Lovgren for National Geographic News Updated May 25, 2006)

This film is a documentary (2006) about the global warming presented by the United State Vice President Al Gore. Premiering at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and opening in New York City and Los Angeles on May 24, 2006, the documentary was a critical and box-office success, winning 2 Academy Awards for Best Documentary Features. The film grossed $24 million in the U.S. and $26 million in the foreign box office, becoming the 9th highest grossing documentary film to date in the United Sates. (Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Last modified on 6 November 2013 at 18:59)

Through the film he discusses the scientific opinion on the climatic change using graphs, images, data etc. in order to make it easy to understand. Al Gore also shows the effects that the global warming will have in the future. The documentary shows evidences of why the global warming is an important issue. The idea of this film started when the producer of the film saw Al Gore´s presentation about the global warming, then they decided to adapt this into a film.

The scientific bases of the film:

Gore supports his thesis with the appropriate data which included: (these main point are takin from the Wikipedia the free encyclopedia)

  • The Keeling curve[1], measuring CO2 from the Mauna Loa Observatory.  It shows
atmosfera 1

atmosfera 1

how from 1960 the concentration on CO2 has increased on the atmosphere.

  • The retreat of numerous glaciers is shown in before-and-after photographs. Since 1850 the ice melting in the glaciers has affect animals´ way of life and their ecosystem. Sea level rise due to this retreatment.
  • A study by researchers at the Physics Institute at the University of Bern and the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica presenting data from Antarctic ice cores showing carbon dioxide concentrations higher than at any time during the past 650,000 years.[32]
  • Temperature record since 1880 showing that the ten hottest years ever measured in this atmospheric record had all occurred in the previous fourteen years.

The movie ends with the a little speech of Al Gore arguing that if we start acting in an appropiated way, the effects of the global warming can be reversed and that we can created less CO2 and plant more vegetation. These are the exact words of the end:

“Each one of us is a cause of global warming, but each one of us can make choices to change that with the things we buy, the electricity we use, the cars we drive; we can make choices to bring our individual carbon emissions to zero. The solutions are in our hands, we just have to have the determination to make it happen. We have everything that we need to reduce carbon emissions, everything but political will. But in America, the will to act is a renewable resource.” (Al Gore “An inconvenient Truth”)

My opinion:  I strongly recommend you to watch it as you will realize on the effect the human have in our world. It is very well done, it is easy to understand but at the same time the information it gives you is very deep. The film is full of images, graphs, tables etc. to make the understanding easier. Apart from this you will enjoy the film because it is very entretaining and makes you think about nowaday´s situation.

Glacier in 1973
Glacier in 1973
Gacier 2008

Gacier 2008

References:

Marina Estancona


[1] The Keeling curve: It is a graph which shows the change in CO2 concentration on the Earth´s atmosphere.

SOS Virunga

Mountain gorilla, Rwanda

Mountain gorilla, Rwanda

As we can read in the oficial page of the National park, Virunga National Park is a 7800 square kilometer World Heritage Site that lies on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the oldest, most beautiful and most diverse national park on the African continent that and boasts savannas, lava plains, swamps, erosion valleys, forests, active volcanoes and the ice fields of the Rwenzori Mountains. The park provides a home to numerous species of wildlife, including 200 of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas and a small population of eastern lowland gorillas.

What happens in Virunga?

Virunga is at risk of becoming Africa’s newest oil field. When we heard UK oil company Soco might explore for oil inside Virunga. Some places are just too precious to exploit (we can read about this new project and how it would affect the environment in the web page of the WWF foundation which launched a campaign against this project). It’s got more than its share of wonderful wildlife – not just huge numbers of unique birds, but African icons like lions, elephants, hippos, chimps and the remarkable okapi. And a quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Soco’s plan to explore for oil isn’t the only threat to Virunga – civil unrest and wars have put pressure on local people, wildlife and resources on-and-off for years. But we believe oil exploration would bring a new and unacceptable level of risk for Virunga’s environment and communities.

The journalist John Vidal  wrote in The Guardian.com the folllowing article giving more detailed explanation about the SOCO firm:

Congo’s rare mountain gorillas could become victims of oil exploration.

“Congo has allocated oil concessions over 85% of the Virunga park but Soco International is now the only company seeking to explore inside its boundaries. This year Unesco called for the cancellation of all Virunga oil permits. Soco, whose board of 10 directors have wide experience with oil companies working in conflict areas including Exxon, Shell and Cairn, insist that their operations in Congo would be confined to an area in the park known as Block V, and would not affect the gorillas.”  (John Vidal “The Guardian.com”, Thursday 1 August 2013 09.26)

As I said before the WWF association  has launched a campaign against this destructive plan. If you want you can sign in the WWF Espain web page and make an aportation to this fight. http://www.wwf.es/que_hacemos/especies/sos_virunga/

Marina Estancona

 

References: