Scientists warn :
Earth's sixth mass extinction event is under way.
The National Academy of Sciences has published a report showing a massive decline in insect populations, across the world. Scientists are not given to hyperbole, since they have always to back up their findings with facts. This makes it more concerning to all of us when they call the loss of wildlife “a biological annihilation” that represents a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation”.
Although this dreadful news was reported in the Guardian in July 2017, there is no significant concerted worldwide attempt to resolve this threat to our future. Climate change is not the main culprit here, and for a fuller explanation, see this article.
China is now the biggest emitter of carbon, followed by the US and the EU as a whole, then India, Russia, and Japan. Oil use continues to grow. What else do we know? America has its sights on the Arctic for further oil exploration which threatens the destruction of a large wildlife reserve. Then what must we do? To limit global warming to the Paris agreement goal of 1.5C, CO2 emissions would need to decline by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero by around 2050. The U.N. reports on Implementation by countries - What we must do, indeed !.
As the Conference of Parties (COP24) in Poland comes to the end of its first week of climate discussions, it has emerged that environmentalists from outside the country are being denied entry - for a variety of reasons. There is one person, however, who will be listened to, and who was invited to speak at the opening of the conference. Let us hope the leaders of all countries have ears open for this:
In a recent study carried out by McGill University, it was found that human activity is causing the ocean floor to dissolve rapidly. Noting that the seabed has a critical role in neutralizing the acidity of the water, the simulations created by the research team showed that this process was threatened by the rising temperatures resulting from human activity on the planet.
See this report from the BBC to get a fuller picture of the tragedy. A tsunami warning system needs detection, interpretation and communication in order to work properly. After this disaster, Indonesia will surely want to put a better system in place, so that thousands of lives may be saved.
Four days from now, on September 12th 2018, the New Carbon Economy Consortium (NCEC) takes an important step, in holding its first Business Task Force workshop. Pulling together universities, national (USA) labs, NGO's and leading industries, this ambitious enterprise is ready to kickoff a number of innovative projects. Their aim is a carbon-removing economy, and as they state : "The Consortium seeks to establish the contours of a new carbon economy built on the necessity for carbon removal to address climate change and the premise that transforming carbon can create a prosperous environment and economy. Global demand for energy, food, products, and manufacturing can be met with novel products and innovative technologies, all while making our agriculture and urban systems more resilient." Head to downtown San Francisco for this event.
On the 7th August, the Washington Post reported on the California wildfires joining together - to form what has become known as The Mendocino Complex Fire. This is now the largest fire recorded in this state, which is the most populous as well as the third largest in America. As of the 7th August, the fire has burned through 283,800 acres. It will get worse before it gets better.
Think of the noxious fumes rising uncontrolled into the sky - they have their own contribution to make to global warming - where is the science to cope with this?
Australian wildfires have destroyed homes and killed cattle - news which was reported by Reuters in March this year. They have caused extensive damage in rural areas of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW). The fires, believed to have been sparked by lightning, were fanned by dry, hot winds as temperatures reached 41 degrees Celsius (106 F) throughout a single day.
In July, it is America that is suffering the effects of the extreme temperatures, aided by high winds, which has caused havoc along much of the west coast of the country. NASA reports just one of these fires taking 2000 personnel to bring it under control. The situation is worse in California, where over 2700 people are fighting one of the wildfires which has driven many thousands from their homes.
"Climate change is continuing to unfold,” said Anthony LeRoy Westerling, (a professor of management of complex systems at the University of California).
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has committed $80 million to climate change adaptation projects in these three countries. A spokesman for the UN says "climate action is critical to advancing and securing development gains." The Green Climate Fund, established within the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, exists to help developing countries in their climate change projects. More information is given on the GCF website.
The Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund has awarded a grant to the Chinese Community Development Partnership, starting in March or April 2018.
The money is to help in reducing carbon emissions, and in tackling fuel poverty within the Chinese community in Glasgow. Climate change projects which are community-led have a considerable chance of success. More details can be found at this website.
Fuel poverty is to be seen across the U.K., with many bodies working together to resolve the problem. See this article by Energy UK.
This blog was started by the Monday Group - which was set up in April 2016. Each item contains a link back to its source, where more information can be found. Comments are welcome