Fear

These past days, fear was and is my quiet companion.
The kind of fear that is screaming in your head, silent for others but it echos in your head like an explosion.
Fear to loose someone that I love.
Not the loosing like in someone turn their back on me or like someone just change and move ahead. It’s the fear of loosing someone forever.
That this person isn’t longer around, not being well and happy, that this person will loose their life.

Again, I’m standing at this turning point. Cursing myself for not telling all the things I wanted to tell or doing the things that I wanted to do. Cause I thought it’ll be enough time later to do all of this.

And I recognize now that this fear is holding me for a long time now, for years and years where I’ve already lost too many people. Parents, friends and now my sister is in danger.
Thru the pain there is the fear…..right beside me…in the corner of my eye. Holds me tight, pinches the claws into my soul, tears me apart.
Hearts don’t break that easy, it’s more like tiny little cracks every time you loose someone.
Until your heart is completely shattered.

Do you ever feel the way like death doesn’t see you? That death is blind when it comes to you? You’re unconcerned when it comes to your life and health and still…..nothing happens.
It tortures you in the way of taking all those away from you that have a special meaning for you….leaves you alone….and the world is getting darker and darker.

But as long as the fear and the pain are my companions, as long as hope is too.

thatslothblog:

primatography:

Probably the most adorable photo I have ever taken.  This little guy was rescued by us at the Kids Saving the Rainforest wildlife rescue center in Costa Rica.  We just started a new branch to the organization devoted to sloths:  www.theslothinstitutecostarica.org  This little guy is only a day or two old…he’s got a long journey ahead of him!

teacup sloth
!!!

Aww, look at this adorable lil cutie😍❤️

thatslothblog:

primatography:

Probably the most adorable photo I have ever taken.  This little guy was rescued by us at the Kids Saving the Rainforest wildlife rescue center in Costa Rica.  We just started a new branch to the organization devoted to sloths:  www.theslothinstitutecostarica.org  This little guy is only a day or two old…he’s got a long journey ahead of him!

teacup sloth

!!!

Aww, look at this adorable lil cutie😍❤️

Today I stand in solidarity with the #PeoplesClimate marchers. Climate change is here and it’s time to take action. http://thndr.it/1tNbjw7

Today I stand in solidarity with the #PeoplesClimate marchers. Climate change is here and it’s time to take action. http://thndr.it/1tNbjw7

The human being is this Night, this empty nothing which contains everything in its simplicity – a wealth of infinitely many representations, images, none of which occur to it directly, and none of which are not present. This is the Night, the interior of human nature, existing here – pure Self – and in phantasmagoric representations it is night everywhere: here a bloody head suddenly shoots up and there another white shape, only to disappear as suddenly. We see this Night when we look a human being in the eye, looking into a Night which turns terrifying. For from his eyes the night of the world hangs out toward us.
G.W.F. Hegel
oxfamgb:

A hundred years ago today, the First World War was declared. It was meant to be “the war to end all wars”. 
A century later, Gaza, Syria and South Sudan (among others) are riven by war. Half of the world’s poor people live in countries that are fragile or suffering from conflict, and by 2030 it may be two thirds. 
We’re there every day in countries like these, working to end suffering and bring an end to conflict. 
REBLOG this post today if you believe that, like us, everyone has the right to live in a world free from war.

oxfamgb:

A hundred years ago today, the First World War was declared. It was meant to be “the war to end all wars”. 

A century later, Gaza, Syria and South Sudan (among others) are riven by war. Half of the world’s poor people live in countries that are fragile or suffering from conflict, and by 2030 it may be two thirds. 

We’re there every day in countries like these, working to end suffering and bring an end to conflict. 

REBLOG this post today if you believe that, like us, everyone has the right to live in a world free from war.

usasheeran:

Well this happened today…crowd couldn’t get enough! [X]

usasheeran:

Well this happened today…crowd couldn’t get enough! [X]

Sustainability is a necessary buzzword for any mega-event, but reality often falls far short.

Image

A man walks near the entrance to Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro. (Getty Images/Mario Tama)

Brazil is immersed in the World Cup, but its biggest test is yet to come. With the clock ticking down to August 2016, when Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympics, the country has big promises to live up to.

As part of its winning Olympic bid in 2009, Rio pledged to host “Green Games for a Blue Planet.” Specifically, the city of 6.3 million said it would use clean energy, clear the city’s clogged streets, preserve its natural spaces, and upgrade its “favelas”—poor neighborhoods full of ad-hoc infrastructure—to more-urbanized spaces with functioning utilities, public transportation, and other amenities.

But five years later, Rio is far from on track to meeting those lofty standards, and it appears near certain they won’t be met in time for the opening ceremonies.

The bid for the 2016 games played up the potential for overhauling Rio’s notoriously traffic-choked roads by adding trains, buses, and public bike-share programs. The highlight was to be a transportation ring of light rail and buses downtown and subways to connect to farther-off areas where some of the Olympic events will be held. Getting people out of cars would not only free up the streets during the games but would slash pollution.

Cost overruns and construction problems have either delayed or scuttled most of those projects. Last week, a report from the national auditing office found that nearly all of the public-works projects are behind schedule and the costs have increased between 7 and 122 percent above their original forecast. Some sites haven’t even broken ground, and construction at Deodoro, the venue which will host events like BMX biking and rugby, won’t start until later this year.

A more literal example can be found in Guanabara Bay, the site of the Olympic sailing competition. Rio had promised to clean up the water—which is fouled with debris, sewage, and even fish corpses—but Mayor Eduardo Paes conceded last month that goal wouldn’t be met.

The trend of broken promises is not new, and it appears likely to continue in upcoming Olympics and World Cups.

"I am sorry that we didn’t use the games to get Guanabara Bay completely clean, but that wasn’t for the Olympic Games—that was for us," he said.

During an April visit, International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates said during an April visit that the preparations were “the worst" he had seen.

Rio is far from the only host of an international sporting event to overpromise and under-deliver. The possibility that any such so-called mega-event could be sustainable is a long shot at best, but that hasn’t stopped countless cities from making the promise.

The optimistic environmental promises are a product of a misaligned incentive system. Countries’ hosting bids are greatly bolstered when they include major green pledges. But once the event is awarded, there are few, if any, consequences for countries if they don’t follow through.

"The IOC and FIFA understand that one of the big objections to these mega-events is that they destroy the environment, so they put in these requirements. But then what do they do?" said Jay Coakley, professor emeritus at University of Colorado (Colorado Springs). "They can’t enforce them. There’s no accountability after the fact."

Plus, he added, the high cost of building and hosting the events leaves little money in the end for projects that were extraneous to the games themselves.

"If the money hasn’t been allocated up front, what can happen is a city or region goes so deeply into debt and there’s so little money and energy left to complete those projects," said Coakley, who has studied the impact of mega-events. "Sustainability goals usually get shoved to the side. It’s difficult to have an event with the footprint of the Olympics and make any improvements that have a net sustainability impact."

The problem of unmet sustainability promises also plagues Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup, where all 12 host cities talked up varying degrees of improvements. As the $10 billion-plus preparations for the Cup ran increasingly behind schedule and over budget, attention turned away from legacy projects and onto triage for the stadiums.

The northern city of Natal, for example, completed just one of seven planned transportation upgrades and ended up nixing three entirely. A high-speed rail line between Sao Paulo and Rio that was to be functional during the Cup never even put out bids. And solar panels meant to power several stadiums never went up.

"Several of the promises made at the candidacy dossier will not be met," said Alberto Murray-Neto, a former member of the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

The trend of broken promises is not new, and it appears likely to continue in upcoming Olympics and World Cups.

In hosting the 2012 Summer Games, London promised the greenest Olympics ever through the use of clean energy and recycled materials, while also creating a monitoring system that could be used for future projects. Ahead of the Sochi Winter Games this year, Russia established new building codes.

The London games did successfully reduce emissions during construction and built a well-regarded transportation hub to promote public transit, but a reportfrom World Wildlife Fund and BioRegional said that organizers failed to do enough to meet their energy promises.

In Sochi, environmentalists said that Russia’s construction practices damaged the region’s natural ecosystems, and the Associated Press found an illegal landfill during construction—evidence that the games weren’t zero-waste as promised.

In 2022, Qatar will host World Cup in what is likely to be blistering heat, but the country has promised carbon-neutral air conditioning thanks to an “absorption chilling” process that relies on solar power.

The fact that Rio won’t meet all of its goals, however, doesn’t mean the whole event will be an environmental wash for the city. Rio already relies heavily on hydroelectric power and plans to integrate more solar into the Olympics operations. The city has invested in improving its water and sewage systems, and stadiums were designed to naturally reduce their energy consumption by taking advantage of natural light and incorporating solar power. At least 70 percent of the Olympics infrastructure will be used after the 2016 games are over, such as the conversion of the Olympic Village to condos.

Contrast that with the “white elephants,” or the stadiums and structures that sit unused and take up land, like the barren Birds Nest in Beijing or the 2004 Olympic Grounds in Athens—which sit abandoned to weeds and stray dogs. (There is concern that several Brazilian World Cup stadiums could end up empty and unused in cities without soccer teams.)

Still, most analysts see the biggest gains from the so-called legacy projects, the long-lasting urban upgrades that could fulfill Paes’s promise that the games would overhaul the city. The construction delays mean that the city may fall short of the successful changes made after games in Barcelona or Tokyo, which used the 1964 games as a catalyst for a bullet-train system.

Those projects are a big selling point for both citizens and the world, and can be a way to justify the massive cost of hosting the games (remember, almost no city comes out ahead from the Olympics, even with the influx of tourists). But Brazil has seen massive unrest over the spending on the sporting events, which citizens say could be better used on health care or education.

But Murray-Neto, whose grandfather served in both the Brazilian Olympics Committee and the IOC, said using the money to cover routine costs squanders not just the potential but the promise of the Olympic games.

"I think that Olympism [is] the union of sports, culture, and environment," he said in an email. "Therefore, I see it as an obligation of the Olympic hosting city to, among other … things, improve its environmental conditions. Not only for the games, but as a legacy for the city."

New city to house up to 200,000 people, thousands of hectares of forest being cleared

Like eerie ghosts of the trees and animals driven away, thick clouds of smoke and dust rise over Wele-Nzas Province in Equatorial Guinea. 


More than 8,000 hectares of rainforest are under threat as the nation builds a new $600 million capital city from scratch. Called Oyala, and also known as Djibloho, the city is expected to be completed by 2020 and house up to 200,000 people — about an eighth of the entire population of the entire country. 

Forests are being cleared at a rapid clip to make room for gleaming new office towers, apartment buildings, houses and highways in Africa’s third largest energy producer, where oil and gas revenues have fed the frenzy of construction. 

The motivation behind the construction of the new capital seems to come solely from the wish of the Equatorial Guinea’s current president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, to reside in a more secluded, secure area, far away from the coast and the risk of attack from those opposed to his administration. 


A road is carved out of the forest in the soon-to-be new capital city of Oyala. Photo by Mehlauge. 

Oyala will also include a new presidential palace, a parliament building, an opera house, a cathedral and a five-star hotel with 400 rooms. Photographs show long cuts in the dense rainforest, suggesting wide avenues, along with twin 150-meter (500-foot) suspension bridges crossing the Wele River. A new six-lane highway, dubbed the “Avenue of Justice,” and a golf course have already been carved out of the virgin forest. 

The city will be situated in the remote eastern portion of the country, approximately 125 kilometers (75 miles) from the coast. Every nail, brick and tile is imported. The funds needed to build the city are coming from the sale of 1.7 billion barrels of oil reserves. 

Since the administration of President Obiang announced plans to build Oyala as the new capital city, the construction has been at the center of a political tug-of-war between environmentalists, political opposition and some powerful business interests. 

According to Dr. Placido Assomo, an environmental scientist wih Harvard Universiy who is based in the current capital city of Malabo, the construction of the lavish city is an ecological calamity. 

“The rainforest, which seemed infinite only a few years ago, is now facing the prospect of extinction,” Assomo said. “Grim scientific prognoses have come to pass in the form of disasters like the unthinkable droughts and floods in some parts of the country.” 

A drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Drills inhabit Equatorial Guinea and are regarded by the IUCN as the highest priority African primate. Photo by Grendelkhan.
A drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. Drills inhabit Equatorial Guinea and are regarded by the IUCN as the highest priority African primate. Photo by Grendelkhan.

Assomo said the construction of Oyala is one of the most grandiose and expensive construction projects in all of Africa. He added that what is happening in Wele-Nzas is the biggest backslide the country could ever imagine in regard to environmental policy. 

“For me, this is like something out of the science-fiction classic ‘Dune,’” Assomo said. “We were expecting to be given a comprehensive program that will at least stop further deterioration to the environment by the government, but nothing came. This is a test case, a litmus environmental test for the government.” 

The fight over the construction of the city has stoked the age-old struggle over development versus conservation in Africa. Many African countries face increasing international pressure to protect their forests from deforestation as they provide vital habitat for innumerable species, and their sheer scale affects global climatic conditions. 

However, while the forests of Wele-Nzas Province have high local and global value, many people in this region are impoverished and their livelihoods are based on agricultural and forest resources. The destruction of forest may have profound impacts on the Equatoguineans’ lives. 

“In this country, forests cover roughly 98 percent of our total national land area, providing services and sustenance to hundreds of thousands of Equatoguineans,” Assomo said. 

According to Assomo, keeping these forests intact and undeveloped not only prevents dangerous carbon dioxide emissions, but it also protects the homes and livelihoods of tens of thousands of indigenous people. 

“The forest is our supermarket, where we find everything, wood for building our houses, thatch for our roofs, sticks to make arrows, fruit and animals for our food,” said a Bubi traditional leader who lives just a few kilometers north of Oyala. “And it’s all getting farther and farther away because the construction is killing the forest near our village.” 

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 1.6 million hectares of Equatorial Guinea is forested. The country currently has 203 million metric tons of carbon stocks in living forest biomass. The forestry sector contributed $87.3 million to the economy in 2006, representing approximately 0.9 percent of the GDP. 

According to data from Global Forest Watch, Equatorial Guinea lost 1,200 hectares of forest in 2006. Since then, the rate of deforestation has been increasing, reaching a high of 7,400 hectares in 2011. While this may seem small compared to some other countries with annual forest cover losses in the millions of hectares, this reduction still had significant impacts. According to the FAO data, 20.6 percent of Equatorial Guinea’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2011 came from land-use change and forestry activities. 


Oyala is located in the far eastern portion of the Equatorial Guinea. Since construction began, nearly 1,000 hectares of forest has been cleared for its construction. Many more thousands are expected to be felled — including as-yet intact forest — to make room for the city proper, as well as for construction of residences in the outlying areas. Map courtesy of Global Forest Watch. Click to enlarge. 

Between 1990 and 2010, Equatorial Guinea lost an average of 11,700 hectares of forest, or 0.6 percent, per year. In total, between 1990 and 2010, the country lost 12.6 percent of its forest cover. This is set to increase after completion of the new city. 

The country is located in a region of high biodiversity, and is home to 194 species of mammals, 418 birds, 91 reptiles, and 3,250 plants. Many of these are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country. Of the 194 mammal species, 12 are listed as Endangered by the IUCN, as are four species of birds, two species of reptiles, and one species of amphibian. Six species of plants are threatened with extinction. 

These endangered species include Preuss’s monkey (Cercopithecus preussi) and the drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus), a species of monkey related to baboons and mandrills and which is listed by the IUCN as the highest conservation priority of all African primates. One of the primary causes of the dramatic declines in these species is habitat loss due to deforestation for development. 

Yet, despite the biological importance of its forests, Equatorial Guinea has no official protected areas. 

According to Assomo, vital forest habitat surrounding the new capital is expected to be degraded as more and more people move into the area. The country’s oil operations are also causing forest degradation from contamination, oil spills and wastewater discharge. 


The area surrounding Oyala consists of unbroken, lush forest, some of it untouched by development. At least 8,000 hectares (likely much more) is expected to be cleared to make room for the new capital. Photo by Mehlauge. 

The Minister of Fishing and Environment, Crescencio Tamarite Castaño, said his government must reconcile income generation with sustainability. 

"The rainforest is an enormous resource for us, and we are making every effort to preserve it and solve the problems as best as we are able," Castaño said. 

According to Castaño, environmental impact assessments were undertaken when construction of Oyala was being planned, and the government has taken into consideration ways to mitigate its impact. 

“Forests are part of our economic development and also we are a member of the UN and we take environmental issues seriously,” he added. 

Castaño said Oyala will be a purpose-built city, designed to respond to the needs of future inhabitants. But critics say its real function is to serve the needs of President Obiang, who is currently the longest serving non-royal head of state. 

Defending the construction of the new capital, Obiang described in an interview with the BBC how rebels had plotted a seaborne assault on his palace in the current capital. 

"We need a secure place for my government and for future governments,” he said. “ That’s why we have created Oyala, to guarantee the government of Equatorial Guinea.” 

While completion is still officially slated for 2020, that date may be extended due to setbacks. One such setback occurred when Obiang visited a recently constructed university building in Oyala and did not approve of the view from its windows. The building has since been moved. 


Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0702-zvomuya-gfrn-oyala.html#t394ss7MHSKT3FXs.99