Vulnerability to extremes of heat has risen in every region of the world. In 2017, an additional 157 million people were exposed in heatwave events, compared with 2000. That means that the average person now experiences 1.4 additional days of heatwaves per year. This enervating exposure to extended extremes of heat imposes a global cost. National economies – and household budgets – lost 153 billion hours of labour in 2017, because of sweltering days and torrid nights: this is an increase of 62 billion working hours – more than three billion working weeks – since the turn of the century. The rise in extremes of heat means that more people than ever are potentially at risk of heatwave-related conditions: among them heat stress, cardiovascular illness and kidney disease.
Climate News Network 4th Dec 2018 read more »
David Attenborough reminds us that more important issues exist than Brexit. The language used by Sir David Attenborough when he addressed the latest United Nations summit on climate change in Poland this week was stark. Climate change, he warned, is our greatest threat in thousands of years. He warned the political leaders assembled before him: “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” As apocalypses go, the one he foresees for our planet relegates the economic consequences for these islands of even the hardest of Brexits into footnote territory. What’s some single-digit shrinkage in UK GDP when set against mass extinction of the living world? Yet economic upheaval is what preoccupies our political classes, especially here. There are no backstops in Sir David’s nightmare. Just the start of nothingness. Where, I wondered as I listened, are we g oing to find the political leadership on climate change when it is preoccupied with trade wars and the pursuit of sovereign economic advantage?
Times 5th Dec 2018 read more »
UN climate change conference 2018: what needs to happen to keep warming below 1.5C. The path to 1.5°C requires that the world achieve zero emissions before 2050. It is imperative, therefore, that we stop burning fossil fuels, known as mitigation. However, our present trajectory suggests we’re not on track. COP24 can’t take its eye off this ball –- there is no long-term plan that doesn’t include zero fossil-carbon emissions. The scientific consensus is that we need to reach “net zero” CO₂ emissions by 2050. But to tack closer to a scenario of 1.5°C warming, COP24 should set this target for 2035.
The iNews 3rd Dec 2018 read more »
Action to fight global warming is coming whether world leaders like it or not, school student Greta Thunberg has told the UN climate change summit, accusing them of behaving like irresponsible children. Thunberg began a solo climate protest by striking from school in Sweden in August. But more than 20,000 students around the world have now joined her. The school strikes have spread to at least 270 towns and cities in countries across the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the US and Japan. “For 25 years countless people have come to the UN climate conferences begging our world leaders to stop emissions and clearly that has not wor ked as emissions are continuing to rise. So I will not beg the world leaders to care for our future,” she said. “I will instead let them know change is coming whether they like it or not.” “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago,” she said. “We have to understand what the older generation has dealt to us, what mess they have created that we have to clean up and live with. We have to make our voices heard.”
Guardian 4th Dec 2018 read more »