Climate Lingo 1: Isotherms. “We’re moving poleward baby!”

What is an "isotherm?" It is a line which represents an average temperature... as these graphs show...   "Isotherms" are important in climate science discussions because... Isotherms are moving...  and they are all moving exactly the same way, and that's poleward baby. They are moving at the rate of 100km/decade; or 10km each year. Fast … Continue reading Climate Lingo 1: Isotherms. “We’re moving poleward baby!”

Urban Security Planners – Meet Urban Designers… Take charge of the atmospherics…

With the ‘urbanisation’ trend in full swing globally, security and defence professionals are noting that this may mean less time in jungles and deserts, and more time in ‘urban terrain’. There are many implications of this: interface with civic agencies; how to protect the population; types of tactics and so forth. In understanding how to … Continue reading Urban Security Planners – Meet Urban Designers… Take charge of the atmospherics…

If sexual violence in conflict is a war tactic, let’s work out how to prevent & defeat it.

Last night I attended an introductory workshop on "Women, Peace and Security" (WPS) run by the UN Women's Canberra office. The 30 minute video: ‘Side by Side’ provides a great introduction to the issues. ‘Side by Side’ refers to the ideal vision that both men and women will work ‘Side by Side’ to solve this and … Continue reading If sexual violence in conflict is a war tactic, let’s work out how to prevent & defeat it.

People Who Plant Trees… from fictional film to reality

It is a very basic symbiotic relationship: Creatures and Trees. Creatures breathe oxygen and expel carbon dioxide; trees expel oxygen and breathe carbon dioxide. I have sometimes wondered, if the world mobilised a mass tree planting regime, how much carbon would that suck up? Could a worldwide, mega tree-planting 'backyard blitz' help much in addressing … Continue reading People Who Plant Trees… from fictional film to reality

“In the middle of chaos, a bright side”: Iraq Builders celebrates one year of repairing homes around Baghdad

Social media helping communities rebuild, good to hear such a positive story… “If you know the history of Iraq—and Baghdad especially—it goes through a dark phase and then rises again …[Iraq Builders] has helped 45 families in Iraq, but there are still 36 million Iraqi people. Some might say: What’s the point? The point is that we are doing what should be done during this period. We are refusing to be the broken circle in this chain of civilization from Babylon till now. We refuse to be the dark ages of Iraq.”

TED Blog

A team from Iraq Builders puts a new roof on a bombed-out home in Basrah, Iraq last August. Photo: Courtesy of Iraq Builders A team from Iraq Builders puts a new roof on a bombed-out home in Basrah last August. Photo: Courtesy Iraq Builders

If you happened upon a small park in Nasiriyah, Iraq, last June 28, you would have noticed a group of 15 people, fast asleep, with blue hard hats and orange vests nearby. This group was not homeless, nor staging some kind of occupation. They were volunteers from Iraq Builders who had traveled more than 350 kilometers to repair the badly damaged home of a family without the means to do repairs themselves. Since they didn’t have a place to stay for the night, they slept in the park.

“It was nothing,” says Elaf Mohammed Al-hijazi, who’s a doctor as well as the social media coordinator for TEDxBaghdad and the co-founder of Iraq Builders.

Iraq Builders started a year ago, out of a conversation Elaf Mohammed had with friend Zaid…

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