196 countries pledge to try and save planet Earth

It was a momentous historical occasion in Le Bourget, Paris, earlier this week. On Dec. 11, 196 countries signed an agreement at the 21st Annual UN Climate Change Conference pledging to help slow down carbon emissions.

The central clause of the agreement vows to lower “the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”.  The necessity of a pledge such as this is blatant — if the temperature rises over 2 °C, it will cause more wildfires, flooding, crop failures, food shortages and diseases worldwide.

The agreement will determine which technologies, capacity building techniques, and finances will help mitigate climate change the most effectively. There is also is a pledge by developed countries to help developing countries gain access to appropriate resources to help in the lowering of emissions. The exact resources have yet to be determined.

Participating countries will determine their own personal emission targets by 2018, and by 2020 each participant should have created a concrete plan to carry out those targets. Countries will meet again in 2023 to determine if their plans have been effective. They will then meet every five years to report and review their progress.


There is an emphasis on transparency in the agreement. Each country is required to submit a bi-annual inventory report of relevant emissions and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases. The reports will be further assessed by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), which oversaw the Kyoto Protocol.

Developed countries will also work towards raising and providing $100 billion U.S. per year to help developing countries tackle carbon emissions.

The agreement to contribute $100 billion annually to help developing countries is a new strategy for climate change.  It unites the countries in a collaborative effort to make a difference and allows developing countries to progress with the rest of the world in an eco-friendly manner. Many criticisms have arisen because the $100 billion term was only mentioned in the preamble to the agreement and the actual amount of global aid remains to be determined.


The focus on reducing climate emissions is a central focus in the accord, as is this new found emphasis on helping developing countries reach their target climate goals. Global citizenship has finally been put on the table and the sheer number of countries that signed the agreement reflects a growing change in international attitudes and growing diplomacy towards climate change.

The inclusion of 196 countries in the world highlights the fact that climate change is an issue that nullifies economic bias and world hierarchies. Instead, it unites every person on the planet and redefines the importance of global citizenship.

Canada has thrown its support behind the agreement. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change said after the conference that she was encouraged to see so many Canadians in Paris. “This is the spirit we now need to bring back home so that we can tackle climate change together,” she said. “I cannot stress enough how important it is that every Canadian take part in this effort. Climate change is the challenge of our generation. Together we can do this.”

Understanding and acknowledging the connection between climate change and several globalized social issues is a step in the right direction, and recognizing these relations could lead to great change. And we can only hope that it isn’t too late to save the beautiful planet earth.

Featured image: Betrayal By Mario Sanchez Nevado


Stop what you are doing and watch Lisa Kudrow’s character slam sexism in politics on the show Scandal

Sexism is still very real for a lot of women everywhere in their lives, but we’ve come to forget that it hurts even women who are leaders and politicians.

In a speech on the TV show Scandal that appears to have been ripped directly from Hillary Clinton’s diary, Lisa Kudrow slams the culture of sexism that still exists for female politicians in everything from the men they run against to the media that covers them.

Watch the clip and let us know what you think, does Kudrow’s character hit the nail on the head or what?


Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Jon Stewart skewers Ford over his latest comments about female genitalia

It didn’t take long for Ford’s outburst about female genitalia — in which he managed to degrade not only a woman who once worked for his office and his wife, but women everywhere — made it down to the late night talk shows in the USA.

Check out what Jon Stewart said about Ford’s latest outburst on the Daily Show and let us know what you think: if you think smoking crack, deriding minorities, defaming gays isn’t enough to ask Ford to step down, are his comments about women enough?


Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

This infographic sums up everything wrong with the Scarborough subway debate

Subways for Scarborough! LRTs for the city! Accessible transit now!

Why does it seem like, despite all the time that has passed since the death of Transit City we are having the same debates now that we did when David Miller was in office? Why does it seem that, with every passing day and every subway bandwagon jumped on by every politician at every level of government, the simple facts of the matter are being swept under the rug in favour of vote pandering?

Toronto Tweeter Ev Delen (@EvDelen) shows us the cold hard facts in this infographic.

Get ready for the most simple representation of everything wrong with the Scarborough subway debate — and everything wrong with the politicians pushing for subways.





It all seems pretty simple now, doesn’t it?



You can follow Ev Delen on Twitter at @EvDelen.

You can follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.


What David Price’s GO station blow-up says about the integrity of the Mayor’s office

If not this, then what?

In the wake of a temper tantrum at a GO Transit station by David Price, Mayor Rob Ford’s director of logistics and operations, the Mayor has done everything in his power to pretend such issues are not occurring on his watch.  However, he may have slipped up when responding to an inquiry from a publication with which he rarely finds himself at odds. I speak; of course, of the Toronto Sun. Veteran Sun City Hall beat journalist Don Peat questioned the Mayor regarding the internal investigation by GO Transit and Metrolinx into Price’s actions. That prompted something of a peculiar response. The Mayor stated, “It’s actually no one’s business what happens in my office. I take care of the people that work for me and they do a great job, as you see.”

That hardly sounds like the candidate I recall demanding “respect for taxpayers” a mere three years ago.

Amid rising property taxes and an ever expanding budget, the Mayor signed David Price, his former high school football coach to handle much of his political outreach to the tune of approximately $125,000 per year at the taxpayers’ expense. As a matter of comparison Norm Kelly, Deputy Mayor of Toronto and elected Councillor from Ward 40, will be paid approximately $102,000 for his service to the City. If this is not the business of Torontonians – those who pay Mayor Ford’s and Mr. Price’s salaries – than I am not sure what else could. To suggest otherwise would be; dare I say, a demonstration of disrespect for the taxpayer.

More to the point; it is comments such as these from the Mayor that harkens back to the scandal-plagued days of the previous federal Liberal government. Mayor Ford and his staff have clearly developed an overwhelming sense of entitlement. It appears as though they truly believe that the rules do not apply to them. It appears as though they have forgotten that they work for the citizens of Toronto and not the other way around.

What will this mean come October 2014?

While I still believe that the Mayor would beat a polarizing candidate on the left in a one-on-one race, it is this sense of entitlement that could challenge the Mayor on the right and encourage conservative councillors such as Karen Stintz and Denzil Minnan Wong to challenge the Mayor. Given the Mayor’s propensity to spending money the City no longer has, perhaps it is challenges such as these he should be worrying most about.


Follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanAGlass.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.


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