Posted by: Idioma Extra | December 12, 2010

Monday’s News

COP 16: Google Fights Climate Change, Highlighting UN Talks In Cancun


If we need creativity to combat climate change, Google is up for the challenge. Google Earth has created a series of tours and videos to address the issue of climate change in anticipation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16) occurring this week and next in Cancun, Mexico.

One featured video, “Coping With Climate Change” is even narrated by Kofi Annan. The video highlights people who are actively fighting climate change and those who already must cope with global warming. Annan offers concrete advice on ways to pursue a green revolution, focusing on groups like the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Other videos in the Google series include a 3D flight over tree canopies and an exploration of Mexico’s mangroves. Many of these presentations will be incorporated into workshops that Google is putting on at COP 16.

But Google is offering more than just videos. The Google Earth for Educators Community has created a website to help teachers educate their students. The Climate Change Educators Resource page offers tools to create lesson plans, plus downloadable Google Earth KML files.

This isn’t the first green initiative that Google has pursued. Google proudly touts efforts to compute efficiently, green its employees, and reduce its carbon footprint. They’ve even created a three-step program to become carbon neutral, which includes developing utility scale renewable energy that is cheaper than coal, known as RE<C. Dan Reicher, a key developer of RE<C, was recently hired by Stanford to head up an energy policy center, a hire that further emphasizes the green brains churning in the Googleplex.

Critics have questioned Google’s green initiatives in the past, citing that Google searches produce high electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. But with this newest addition to Google’s piling mound of green initiatives, the company is certainly making an effort to disprove its critics and demonstrate a vested interest in our changing climate.

Word of the Day

Pronunciation: \ˈgrēn\
Origin: Middle English grene, from Old English grēne; akin to Old English grōwan to grow
First Known Use: before 12th century
1: of the color green
2 a : covered by green growth or foliage <green fields>; b of winter: mild, clement; c: consisting of green plants and usually edible herbage <a green salad>
3: pleasantly alluring
4: youthful, vigorous
5: not ripened or matured <green apples>
6: fresh, new
7 a: marked by a pale, sickly, or nauseated appearance; b: envious 1 —used especially in the phrase green with envy
8 a: not fully processed or treated: as (1): not aged <green liquor> (2): not dressed or tanned
<green hides> (3): freshly sawed; b: not in condition for a particular use
9 a: deficient in training, knowledge, or experience <green recruits>; b: deficient in sophistication
and savoir faire: naïve; c: not fully qualified for or experienced in a particular function
10 a: often capitalized: relating to or being an environmentalist political movement; b: concerned with or supporting environmentalism; c: tending to preserve environmental quality (as by being recyclable, biodegradable, or nonpolluting)

More Vocabulary

Address: v. to deal with
Canopy: n.
also called crown canopy, crown cover, the cover formed by the leafy upper branches of the trees in a forest
Coal: n.
a black or dark-brown combustible mineral substance consisting of carbonized vegetable matter, used as a fuel
Greenhouse: adj.
relating to or caused by the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere that is caused by air pollution: relating to or caused by the greenhouse effect
Mangrove: n.
any of a genus (Rhizophora, especially R. mangle of the family Rhizophoraceae) of tropical maritime trees or shrubs that send out many prop roots and form dense masses important in coastal land building and as foundations of unique ecosystems
Tout: v.
to make much of

Love those Phrasal Verbs

Please check back tomorrow for Phrasal Verbs


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