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One of the most important tasks Alice Greenwald has as president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is to educate and inspire a younger generation and make sure the heroism and sacrifices made that day in 2001 are never forgotten.
"If you think about 20 years, it is the span of a generation and there are tens of millions of young people, college age and younger, who were born after 2001. [Others] were toddlers, they were infants when 9/11 happened," she said.
"For those of us who witnessed 9/11 20 years ago, it's seared into our consciousness. We cannot ever not remember what our eyes saw. But for this generation, it's history to be learned," Greenwald told Reuters.
Ahead of this year's anniversary, the Museum and Memorial launched a new campaign and fundraiser called The Never Forget Fund, which will support educational initiatives to teach young people about the attack and the global aftermath.
Greenwald said the museum - located in lower Manhattan, close to where the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001 after being struck by two planes hijacked by Islamic militants - offers an important lesson to the younger generation about overcoming extraordinary hardship.
"This memorial, this museum tells a story about the best of human nature in response to the worst. And we need to remind this generation that they have the capacity for unity, for hope and for resilience when faced with challenges that you couldn't imagine and aren't yet prepared to deal with."
She added, "But you will rise to the occasion and if you come together, you will meet adversity and prevail."
"This was a seminal event in American and global history that happened here," said Greenwald. "And we can't renege on our promise of two decades ago. We will never forget." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: 9/11, USA, Memorial, Museum, Human Interest, Anniversary
A new report released Wednesday by the United Nations indicates extreme weather events have increased fivefold over the past 50 years, while the number of fatalities related to those events has dropped.
Officials from the U.N.'s weather and climate agency, the World Meteorological Organization, introduced the report during a briefing from the agency's headquarters in Geneva. The report shows weather-related disasters have occurred on average at a rate of one per day over the past five decades, killing 115 people and causing $202 million in losses daily.
Mami Mizutori, U.N. special representative for disaster risk reduction, told reporters she found the report "quite alarming." She noted that this past July was the hottest July on record, marked by heat waves and floods around the world. The study shows that more people are suffering due to this increased frequency and intensity of weather events.
Mizutori said 31 million people were displaced by natural disasters last year, almost surpassing the number displaced by conflicts. She said on average, 26 million people per year are pushed into poverty by extreme weather events. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the problem.
The U.N. disaster risk specialist said, "We live in this, what we call, the multihazard world, and it demonstrates that we really need to invest more in disaster risk reduction and prevention."
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said the good news in the report is that during that same period, fatalities related to these disasters dropped by nearly three times, due to early warning systems and improved disaster management.
But the study also shows that more than 91% of the deaths that do occur happen in developing or low-income countries, as many do not have the same warning and management systems in place.
The WMO officials said the economic losses associated with these disasters will worsen without serious climate change mitigation. Taalas said if the right measures are put in place, the trend could be stopped in the next 40 years. WMO called on the G-20 group of world economic powers to keep their promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: United Nations, Weather, Study, Economy, Disaster
TOKYO - U.S. climate envoy John Kerry met in Tokyo on Tuesday with Japan's top diplomat to push efforts to fight climate change ahead of a United Nations conference in November.
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi highlighted what he said was the importance of getting other major carbon emitters, especially China, to cooperate.
"China is the world's biggest carbon emitter and the number two economy as well, and it is extremely important that we encourage China to firmly fulfill its responsibility to match its place," Motegi told reporters after his meeting with Kerry.
Motegi added that he hoped Japan and the United States would lead global decarbonizing efforts at the U.N. conference to be held in Glasgow in late November, known as COP26, and beyond.
The United States is the second-largest carbon emitter. Japan is fifth.
Kerry was also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, as well as Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama.
Kerry arrived in Japan on Monday and will fly out on Tuesday evening to China for more climate talks — his second trip to the country during the Biden administration.
Kerry has called on global leaders to work together and accelerate actions needed to curb rising temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. He urged China to join the U.S. in urgently cutting carbon emissions.
Many countries have pledged to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050. Japan has promised to strive to reduce its emissions by 46% from 2012 levels, up from an earlier target of 26%, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. China has also set a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.
Suga has said Japan will try to push the reduction as high as 50% to be in line with the European Union.
In order to achieve that target, Japan's Environment Ministry is seeking a significant budget increase to promote renewable energy and decarbonizing programs. The Trade and Industry Ministry plans to use large subsidies to promote electric vehicles and wind power generation, according to a draft budget proposal for 2022.
The Trade and Industry Ministry, in its draft basic energy plan released in July, said the share of renewables should be raised to 36-38% of the power supply in 2030 from the current target of 22-24%.
During his Sept. 1-3 China visit, Kerry is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Climate, USA, Japan, Emissions
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA - A SpaceX shipment of ants, avocados and a human-sized robotic arm rocketed toward the International Space Station on Sunday.
The delivery — due to arrive Monday — is the company's 23rd for NASA in just under a decade.
A recycled Falcon rocket blasted into the predawn sky from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. After hoisting the Dragon capsule, the first-stage booster landed upright on SpaceX's newest ocean platform, named A Shortfall of Gravitas.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk continued his tradition of naming the booster-recovery vessels in tribute to the late science fiction writer Iain Banks and his Culture series.
The Dragon is carrying more than 2,170 kilograms of supplies and experiments, and fresh food, including avocados, lemons and even ice cream for the space station's seven astronauts.
The Girl Scouts are sending up ants, brine shrimp and plants as test subjects, while University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists are flying up seeds from mouse-ear cress, a small flowering weed used in genetic research. Samples of concrete, solar cells and other materials also will be subjected to weightlessness.
A Japanese start-up company's experimental robotic arm, meanwhile, will attempt to screw items together in its orbital debut and perform other mundane chores normally done by astronauts. The first tests will be done inside the space station. Future models of Gitai Inc.'s robot will venture out into the vacuum of space to practice satellite and other repair jobs, said chief technology officer Toyotaka Kozuki.
As early as 2025, a squad of these arms could help build lunar bases and mine the moon for precious resources, he added.
SpaceX had to leave some experiments behind because of delays resulting from COVID-19.
It was the second launch attempt; Saturday's try was foiled by stormy weather.
NASA turned to SpaceX and other U.S. companies to deliver cargo and crews to the space station, once the space shuttle program ended in 2011. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: SpaceX, Space Station, Robots, NASA
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