Displaying items by tag: Climate change
Crews are currently battling 120+ fires. ‘Leave now' warnings have gone to homes and dozens more are at ‘Watch and Act’ level. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and over a million hectares consumed. A water-bombing helicopter crashed in gusty conditions. Pray for the farmers who have lost entire crops and farm infrastructures. Ask God to comfort residents told to evacuate immediately and now fearful of what they will return to. Pray for stamina for the crews fighting fires and those patrolling smouldering zones. Pray for the police to have wisdom and discernment as they contend with looters impersonating firefighters to gain access to empty homes. The deputy prime minister dismissed talk of climate change as the concerns of ‘raving inner-city lefties’, adding, ‘We've had fires in Australia since time began’. See also
From the vanishing Solomon Islands to the burning Amazon rainforest, mothers speak up from danger zones. Alice, in Brazil, fears for her two-month-old son: ‘It is hotter than when I was a child, and I don’t know how it will be when he grows up. There is more pollution, he’s already having breathing problems. I am privileged to live in this paradise, but I look around today and fear that we are losing it.’ Baby Rafsan lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the most overpopulated city in the world. His mother said, ‘We fear for our futures but not enough to quit using cars to save the climate'. By 2050 one in seven people will be displaced by rising sea levels - that’s 18 million people. Bangladesh will not exist in 100 years if carbon dioxide emissions remain the same. ‘My baby should not be wearing a mask’, said a mother in Delhi.
Italian authorities have closed roads and evacuated mountain huts after experts warned that part of a glacier on Mont Blanc could collapse. About 250,000 cubic metres of ice are in danger of breaking away from the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak. The mayor of the town of Courmayeur said global warming was changing the mountain. The Mont Blanc massif, with 11 peaks above 4,000m, is Western Europe's highest mountain range. Experts say it is impossible to predict when the glacier could collapse, as it goes through a period of major change due to climate factors. Earlier this month, dozens of people took part in a ‘funeral march’ to mark the disappearance of the Pizol glacier in north-east Switzerland. It has shrunk to a tiny fraction of its original size, losing 80% of its volume since 2006. See also ‘USA: UN general assembly’ in this week’s world section.
Ninety heads of state attended the annual UN general assembly this week. Every September kings, presidents and prime ministers fly to New York City and attend the UN headquarters. The top priority at its 74th General Assembly is the world's climate emergency. Country leaders were told not to speak without ‘concrete and transformative plans’ to halt rising global temperatures, achieve carbon neutrality and cut carbon emissions by 45%. But VIPs with proposals only had three minutes to speak. Then the UN will collate speeches and brainstorms into a report. Angela Merkel attended the climate summit, but skipped the rest of the week. Donald Trump skipped the climate summit and attended different sessions. How concrete the summit results will actually be is unclear. Meanwhile an angry Greta Thunberg told global leaders, ‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?’ See
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered an address to lawmakers at France’s national assembly. But some right-wing MPs chose to stay away, saying that to fight climate change ‘we need scientific progress and political courage, not apocalyptic gurus’, and ‘Don't count on me to applaud a prophetess in shorts, a Nobel Prize for Fear.’ Greta noted that some lawmakers had not attended and said, ‘That's fine. We are, after all, just children. You don't have to listen to us. But you do have to listen to the scientists, unite behind the science.’ On 25 July, she released a music track calling for civil disobedience while ambient instrumentals provided background music that would appeal to teens. See
As host of the G20 leaders’ summit, Japan has drafted a weak statement on climate action, in a bid to keep the US onside. This follows a G20 executive decision last week in which all countries but the US reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris agreement. Japan is trying to build consensus with the USA, as they are negotiating a trade deal. But other G20 members, including the EU, are expected to push for more ambitious language at the expense of US endorsement. Japanese campaigners are organising protests to coincide with the G20's opening on 28 June. One of them accused President Shinzo Abe of being ‘full of hot air’ when it comes to his pledges on climate action. Also, on 26 June 12,000 people gathered in London to pressurise politicians to tackle global climate change more urgently. See
Western and central New South Wales faces a water crisis within months unless it rains. The Murray-Darling basin in south-eastern Australia has two rivers (Murray and Darling) draining 1/7th of Australia’s land mass. They expect 10% reduced water entitlements in Australia’s most significant agricultural area. In 114 years of record-keeping, 2019 is among the driest years and it is getting worse. The NSW government sent 13 representatives to towns to discuss their water supplies and assess the impact of the prolonged and severe drought on businesses. Burrendong Dam is at 5.9% capacity and even with water restrictions, will be empty within 12 months. There is no ground water to be accessed by bores. Authorities are considering building emergency pipelines. The Bureau of Meteorology has put Australia on an “El Niño WATCH. Meaning a 50% likelihood of El Niño developing. Meanwhile India focuses on acute water challenge in major cities. See
For the first time in recorded history, Mozambique has been hit by two cyclones in one season. Category 4 Kenneth arrived six weeks after Idai killed 600+ people with flooding. Kenneth killed at least 41 people and destroyed thousands of homes across northern Mozambique. Ibo Island was particularly hard hit, receiving food aid only six days after Kenneth destroyed thousands of homes. The human cost of the disaster is only now being revealed. The UN described reaching Ibo as ‘incredibly difficult’. Initial estimates are that 90% of structures were damaged. ‘If somebody hasn’t lost everything, he’s a lucky guy because no-one has escaped,’ said a motorcycle taxi driver. Almost everybody lost their belongings. The World Food Programme said that Kenneth dumped twice as much rain as Idai, nine inches, or about a quarter of the average annual rainfall for the region - again raising concerns about climate change. See
A retired parole officer in his eighties was among climate change protesters arrested on 25 April, after climbing on top of a train in London’s rush hour. Extinction Rebellion want politicians to realise that climate change is actually a ‘climate crisis’. The following are twitter suggestions by environmentalists for transformation: cancel Heathrow expansion and impose graduated taxes on frequent fliers; insulate UK's draughty housing stock; and make electric cars work. They say the Department for Transport is failing to deliver a vitally important charging network as part of its long-term climate plans. Other suggestions are: get farmers to cut emissions, and start widespread rewilding so that trees can capture CO2; stop tax breaks to North Sea oil and gas; ban fracking; and bring back cheap, effective onshore wind power. Many said if we really want to tackle climate change we should be going as fast as we can, not setting arbitrary target dates like 2050.
16-year-old climate change warrior Greta Thunberg has spoken to the Pope, parliaments and MEPs about species extinction, deforestation and ocean pollution. She is not alone in her action against global warming. For two decades David Attenborough has warned of the dangers. He now says that scientific evidence proves that if we do not take dramatic action within the next decade, we face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies. Since 15 April, Extinction Rebellion protesters have been disrupting cities globally in 18 countries, calling on governments to introduce stricter climate change measures. They said, ‘Prosecution for criminal damage allows us to take this strategy into the courts, providing an opportunity to tell them that, without an urgent and radical change, the consequences for humanity and life on earth are likely to be catastrophic.’ See