Kevin Anderson, Alice Bows-Larkin, Democracy Now, November 21, 2013
A pair of climate scientists are calling for what some may view as a shocking solution to the global warming crisis: a rethinking of the economic order in the United States and other industrialized nations. Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows-Larkin of the influential Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in England say many of the solutions proposed by world leaders to prevent "runaway global warming" will not be enough to address the scale of the crisis.
The trend in annual damages from global disasters is rising and almost broke $200 billion in 2012, according to World Bank figures released Monday. And three-fourths of the losses are due to extreme weather. The report, which makes the case for greater global investment in climate resiliency and disaster risk management, found that worldwide losses from such events have been steadily rising since at least 1980.
It’s hard to imagine anyone who has done more to further our understanding of the impacts of climate change than Dr. James Hansen. After 46 years working a scientist and climatogolist for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Hansen wasn’t content to simply catalog the dangers facing humanity and our planet — he has been ringing the alarm bell. “On a blistering June day in 1988 he was called before a Congressional committee and testified that human-induced global warming had begun,” the New York Times wrote in a recent story about Hansen.
Looks like Fox News and Congress are becoming ever more intellectually isolated from the American people, perched together on a sinking island of climate denialism. Stanford University Professor Jon Krosnick led analysis of more than a decade’s worth of poll results for 46 states.
WARSAW, Poland — UN climate talks head into a tense final week Monday after the diplomatic effort to reduce global warming gases was hit by a series of setbacks, including Japan’s decision to ditch its voluntary emissions target. The two-decade-old negotiations have so far failed to achieve their goal of slashing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the planet. They don’t seem to be getting any closer after a tumultuous first week at this year’s session in Warsaw.
The earth is on fire. If that statement sounds alarmist, it's because you should be alarmed. Each month seems to bring new and more frightening proof of the effects of man-made climate change. But a new generation of activists is equipping itself with the cold, hard facts – and confronting the corporate arsonists who set the blaze.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford isn’t this country’s only global embarrassment; Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s appalling record on the environment and contempt for international diplomacy has also shamed Canada around the world. Though governments everywhere have handed over their national agenda to corporate interests, Harper’s conflation of the two has been total. His abject servitude to business, especially the oil industry, knows no bounds.
In 1494, Spain and Portugal were in serious competition over other peoples’ lands. This bothered the church, and Pope Alexander VI made it his duty to write up the Treaty of Tordesillas, which dictated that Spain was free to attempt to conquer lands west of an imaginary line on the Atlantic, and Portugal could attempt the same for all lands east of that line, essentially creating eastern and western hemispheres. A little more than two decades later, Spain’s influence in what it thought was a new world grew nearly as much as its avarice.
Last Thursday a record smashing "hellstorm" called Super Typhoon Haiyan tore across the Philippines leaving unprecedented destruction in its wake. For the second year in a row the Philippines find themselves at the annual United Nations climate conference pleading with the world to take effective action to halt the climate crisis that they say is punishing their nation. Last year at the UN climate conference in Doha, the Philippines were struggling to cope with the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha.
It seems these days that whenever Mother Nature wants to send an urgent message to humankind, it sends it via the Philippines. This year the messenger was Yolanda, a.k.a. Haiyan.For the second year in a row, the world's strongest typhoon, Yolanda, barreled through the Philippines, following on the footsteps of Pablo, a.k.a Bopha, in 2012. And for the third year in a row, a destructive storm deviated from the usual path taken by typhoons, striking communities that had not learned to live with these fearsome weather events because they were seldom hit by them in the past.