26/08/2019

Greening Your Life Is All Very Well – But Only A Global Climate Strategy Will Fix This

The Guardian*

The blaze in the Amazon shows the need for a green Marshall plan to allow poorer parts of the world to benefit from low-carbon tech 
Illustration: Matt Kenyon
Judging by the latest opinion polls, the public is ripe for some green austerity. Ipsos Mori says that 85% of Britons are concerned about climate change, with 52% admitting they are very concerned. These are the highest figures since the pollster started tracking opinion in 2005. Given the spate of extreme weather-related events, and the pictures of the torching of the Amazon rainforest, such concern is both logical and predictable. In this country, the climate deniers have been put to flight.
What the polls don’t show is whether the public is willing to translate this concern into action; whether similar levels of concern are present in less prosperous parts of the world; and whether it is possible to translate individual concerns into collective political action. Here, the message is a lot more mixed. The furore over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private jets are a case in point. People don’t like being lectured to, particularly when those doing the lecturing fail to live by their own ethical code.
Emmanuel Macron wants the future of the Amazon rainforest to be top of the agenda at the meeting of the G7 he is hosting this weekend in Biarritz, but this is an empty gesture. There is not the remotest possibility of the G7 doing anything to rein in the activities of Brazil’s rightwing president, Jair Bolsonaro. Indeed, Macron’s own experience shows how hard it is to translate a desire to curb carbon emissions into practical action. The French president said making driving more expensive was a price worth paying in the fight against global heating but faced nationwide protests from the yellow vest movement. For the gilets jaunes, the immediate threat to their livelihoods mattered more than the long-term threat posed by the climate crisis.
What Macron failed to grasp was that winning this battle first means winning the battle for hearts and minds, not least by countering the impression that tackling global heating is a luxury only the better off can afford or that going green means being miserable. The success of the UK’s 5p plastic bag levy is a classic example of how nudge economics can work. Plastic bags have not been banned: consumers simply have to think about whether they are actually prepared to pay for one. The message is that consumers respond to signals: it is not always necessary to ban things.
Despite receiving a bloody nose, Macron is right when he says the climate crisis is a global problem requiring a global response. But securing international agreement is not going to be easy, in the main because the biggest increases in emissions are coming from countries where governments put a higher priority on poverty reduction than they do on safeguarding the environment.
Sales of meat and dairy products are rising fast in China because rapid growth means households can afford fridges. In the grand scheme of things, that matters a lot more to global heating than universities banning beef from their canteens.
‘China and India have much lower rates of car ownership than countries in the west, but as they grow richer their new middle classes will inevitably seek to emulate western consumers.’ Photograph: Xavier Galiana/AFP/Getty Images
China and India currently have much lower rates of car ownership than countries in the west, but as they grow richer their new middle classes will inevitably seek to emulate western consumers.
The number of cars per thousand people are as follows: the US, 811; the UK, 471; China, 179; India, 22.
There are 2.8 billion people in China and India. Do the maths. Africa accounted for one in five of the world’s live births in the 1990s, but by the end of the next decade it will be one in three. Demand for energy will soar as the population rises.
All of which makes the case for a global green Marshall plan to finance the transfer of low-carbon technology to poorer parts of the world look pretty compelling. The US pumped billions of dollars into the reconstruction of western Europe after the second world war to secure markets for US exporters and to discourage the spread of communism.
Enlightened self-interest is required again today. If rich countries provided the financial resources to transfer low-carbon technology to the poorer parts of the world, there would be three clear benefits to the west: lower carbon emissions, fewer economic migrants and bigger markets for green goods.
Donald Trump is no Harry Truman and US participation in a green Marshall plan will have to await a change of personnel in the White House. But Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading Democrats in the presidential race, is a fan.
However, even as we wait for international agreement, there are low-hanging fruit to be picked. About one-sixth of carbon emissions in the UK come from residential property, largely as a result of old-fashioned and inefficient central heating. It represents a bigger contribution to global heating than meat-eating or flying.
A drastic cut in carbon emissions from homes requires two things: better insulation and the replacement of gas-fired heating with the latest technology – heat pumps and hydrogen boilers. This will not be cheap; few households have the money to pay for the new kit, and making them pay for it through higher energy bills would be unpopular.
The independent Committee on Climate Change said putting hydrogen boilers and electric heating into every home would cost tens of billions a year, and if this is to happen quickly – as it should – the government will have to foot the bill.
It could do this in two ways: by taking advantage of historically low interest rates to float green bonds – something the German government is planning – or by channelling money created by the process known as quantitative easing into environmental projects.
Retrofitting homes so that energy does not leak out of badly insulated walls and roofs means lower energy bills and the prospect of well-paid, secure jobs in every part of the country – and would make public engagement with the climate crisis easier to sustain.

Larry Elliott is the Guardian’s economics editor

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Climate Change Evacuation Planning Needs To Start Now, Urges Scientists

ABC ScienceNick Kilvert

From Bangladesh to the Philippines and the low-lying islands of the South Pacific, the impacts of climate change for many people around the world are going to get much worse, very soon.
Some people will become stateless, and will need to find homes in new countries, while others will need to relocate within their own borders.
Researchers writing in Science today argue that it's time to begin preparing the retreat of people living in regions that will become uninhabitable due to climate change.
By preparing now we can manage retreat in as equitable a way possible, and minimise paternalism and disruption to culture, according to author AR Siders from the Disaster Research Centre at the University of Delaware.
"People need to think about it right now," Dr Siders said.
"We've already seen examples of when hazards happen, it is unorganised and it causes more harm than it needs to."
Average global sea level will rise by up to 77 centimetres by the end of the century if warming is kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to IPCC predictions.
If warming reaches 2C, that is likely to be around 10 centimetres higher, displacing around 10 million more people worldwide.
According to the IPCC, we're on track to hit 1.5C of warming between 2030 and 2052 at our current rate.
Extreme weather events, saltwater incursion and bushfires are also expected to displace people in the near future.
Extreme weather events, saltwater incursion and bushfires are also expected to displace people in the near future.
Gold Coast highest tides, 2018 (Coastal Risk Australia 2100)
Gold Coast highest tides, 2100 (Coastal Risk Australia 2100)
But we need to start small, and get the fundamentals right, Dr Siders argued.
"Some places absolutely will require cross-border relocation and managed retreat, but in other times we're talking about relocation from one Australian community to another — so dealing with people who are on the coast in a vulnerable place, or they're too near to bushfire risk," she said.
"It's really also a conversation about where we should build as well as how should we build."
Like most scenarios though, prevention is better than cure.
While it is widely thought to be too late to avoid warming of at least 1.5C, Griffith University adaptation scientist Johanna Nalau said we can avoid building in areas we know will become uninhabitable in the future.
"We have a lot of population on the coast. The smart thing would be to start having these discussions when it comes to building new infrastructure and investment," Dr Nalau said.
Coastal regions like Miami in the US are already starting to see property values drop as houses get harder to insure, she added.
Part of our retreat strategy needs to manage the relocation of people currently living in low-lying areas in ways that don't leave them financially destitute.

Developers 'not paying for the recovery' after disasters
Parts of coastal Australia will eventually have to be abandoned.
(ABC News: Rachel Pupazzoni)
But there are competing interests between property developers and house buyers.
Developers currently suffer no consequences when poorly planned housing developments are hit with foreseeable natural disasters, Dr Siders argued.
"It's a challenge of who has the incentive to build and who bears the risk. Developers can come in and build and then they're gone before the next flood comes," she said.
"They're not living through the flood, they're not dealing with the harms, they're not paying for the recovery afterwards.
"That's left on the people who actually live there or the taxpayers who are funding that recovery and mitigation for the next disaster."
There has been some effort in Australia already to limit coastal development.
Future climate conditions and their potential impacts have been discussed for development to varying degrees in different parts of Australia for the last 10 years or so, according to Dr Nalau.
"We have been trying to develop more robust planning practices in different states, to make new investments and new infrastructure on the coast to better withstand impacts from climate change," she said.
But as was made clear at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu last week, many in the South Pacific fear they will soon lose their countries.
In that case, Australia will be one of the countries in the region that people will be likely looking to resettle in.
Planning for that eventuality, whilst also reducing emissions now, could help make that transition easier and more equitable.
"The question at the moment from a Pacific Island viewpoint is, why is Australia opening new coal mines...as these will accelerate climate change globally, with severe consequences to Australia and all other countries," Dr Nalau said.

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A Vision Of The World Acting On Climate Change – Imagine

Live Trading News - 


Nearly 1.5m students around the world walked out of school on March 15 2019 to protest about the failure of the world’s governments to tackle climate change. The young climate strikers are forcing climate change onto the news agenda but researchers have warned that without a way to mobilize their passion in the long-term, the momentum they’ve generated for climate action could be lost.
In this first issue of Imagine, we asked academics how the strikes can translate into long-term impact. One researcher proposes directly channeling the energy of young people into climate action with a national service for the environment. Others tell us how youth enthusiasm can play an integral part in changing climate policy around the world – and what it all means for tackling this huge issue.

What is Imagine?
Imagine is a newsletter from The Conversation that presents a vision of a world acting on climate change. Drawing on the collective wisdom of academics in fields from anthropology and zoology to technology and psychology, it investigates the many ways life on Earth could be made fairer and more fulfilling by taking radical action on climate change.

Imagine Newsletter


Climate change and the state of the planet
  1. Global temperatures are on the rise.
Temperature history for every year from 1880-2014. NOAA National Climatic Data Center
  1. The US bears an extraordinary responsibility to respond to the climate crisis
    – Says D.T. Cochrane, Lecturer in Business and Society at York University, Canada. The country produces an ‘excessive amount of emissions’ and has an unequal share of resources.
  1. Business as usual is not an option
MCC 

A national service for the environment
Michelle Bloor, Principal Lecturer and Environmental Programme Manager at University of Portsmouth, argues that a volunteer force of conservationists could offer experience and training to young people and ensure there are eager applicants for the vital work of helping the world’s species and habitats most threatened by climate change.Young people could get on the act straightaway, from replanting mangrove swamps in Vietnam and helping reintroduce beavers in Scotland to measuring coastal pollution in Senegal.
Bloor groups the work a national service for the environment could cover into four categories:
  • Data collection by surveying wildlife abundance or measuring water quality in lakes and rivers, volunteers could help scientists understand how ecosystems are changing.
  • Green construction restoring wooded habitat could absorb carbon and create corridors which connect pockets of wildlife in fragmented habitats. Large-scale construction projects could involve volunteers working on habitat highways – green corridors which help wildlife cross road networks.
  • Species reintroduction helping ecosystem engineers, such as beavers, return could help the process of expanding natural habitats. These animal recruits could create new dams and lakes, which provide new opportunities for more species to thrive.
  • Reforestation humans have cut down three trillion trees since the dawn of agriculture –around half the trees on Earth. A mass reforestation effort would need plenty of volunteers worldwide, something a youth volunteer force could supply. In the UK, increasing total forest cover to 18% could soak up one third of the required carbon emission cuts needed by 2050, according to the 2008 Climate Change Act.
Change in the forest and woodland cover of England over the last 1,000 years. DEFRA, Author provided
  • National service for the environment – what an army of young conservationists could achieve. A conservation army of millions was active in 1930s America.
    The idea of enlisting millions of young people in conservation work is not new. It has origins in a public work relief program from the 1930s. During the depths of the Great Depression and while the Dust Bowl ravaged rural America, US president Franklin Roosevelt implemented a series of reforms as part of the New Deal to implement a more sustainable land policy and revive economic growth. One of those reforms was the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). It enlisted 3m young men who planted over two billion trees on more than 40m acres of land between 1933 and 1942. Their aim was to repair ecosystems throughout the US with hundreds of projects in forestry and conservation.
A company of CCC youths in Texas, 1933, with segregated African American volunteers on the far right. University of North Texas Libraries,CC BY-ND
A national service for the environment would see individuals taking a direct role in mitigating climate change, but there is also an emerging political project aiming to capitalise on public support for action.

Radical climate action is now a feature of mainstream politics
The Green New Deal– an ideological heir to Roosevelt’s plan – is energizing debate on climate action in the US. Endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and numerous 2020 presidential candidates, the Green New Deal is a plan to enact a ‘green transition’ in society and the economy within the next ten years. The idea has attracted worldwide attention, including in the UK, where members of the Labour Party are urging the party’s leadership to adopt a similar plan as policy.

What is the Green New Deal?
The Green New Deal is a proposed series of reforms with three broad aims:
  • To eliminate greenhouse gas emissions
    from energy, transport, manufacturing and other sectors of the economy within ten years.
  • To create full employment
    in the manufacture of clean energy infrastructure and other essential work.
  • To redistribute wealth and tackle social and economic inequality.
Rebecca Willis, Researcher in Environmental Policy and Politics at Lancaster University says the Green New Deal is already changing the terms of the climate action debate.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveils the Green New Deal resolution.
De-carbonation to become a zero-carbon society
What would de-carbonation involve? The Green New Deal entails shifting electricity generation from coal and natural gas to wind, solar, hydroelectric and other zero-carbon technologies.
  • Cars and trucks
    running on petrol and diesel would likely need replacing with mass public transport options powered by green energy.
  • Private vehicles
    would need to use batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Air travel
    would also need to use electricity for short flights and advanced zero-carbon fuels for longer journeys.
  • Electric heating
    in our homes, schools and places of work.
The carbonation process may require an emergency mobilization effort akin to that seen in World War II. Because, according to Kyla Tienhaara, Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment at Queen’s University, Ontario, the scale and speed of carbonation needed today cannot be delivered by carbon taxes alone.

America can afford a Green New Deal – here’s how
  • Will people lose jobs because of the Green New Deal?
    The Green New Deal resolution guarantees full employment, but Fabian Schuppert, Lecturer in International Political Theory and Philosophy at Queens University Belfast, believes its promised changes to the economy would have immediate consequences for workers in many industries which rely on fossil fuels.
  • Job losses in sectors such as coal mining and manufacturing
    These could erode popular support for a Green New Deal and harm the plan’s commitment to a just transition, he argues. A just transition is a commitment to ensure the costs of a transition from fossil fuels – such as tax rises and redundancies –aren’t forced on working people. Schuppert suggests that introducing a universal basic income–a guaranteed payment to everyone in society without means-testing– would help cushion the initial shock of a green transition by providing people with support while they look for new jobs or training. In the long run, he argues, it could have broader social effects:
  • A Green New Deal will aim to kick-start manufacturing – can it be done without supercharging carbon emissions? Think4photop/Shutterstock
  • Green New Deal: universal basic income could make green transition feasible
  • Does the US have the money for a Green New Deal?
    This is arguably the question most often asked of the Green New Deal.Edward Barbier, Professor of Economics at Colorado State University, says it does and has some suggestions :
  • Pass a carbon tax
  • This will help raise money to pay for a transition to a green economy and also help spur that very change.
  • Redirect subsidies currently given to fossil fuel companies
  • Those subsidies are estimated to be around US$5 trillion a year globally, 6.5% of global GDP.
  • Raise taxes on the highest-earning Americans
  • America can afford a Green New Deal – here’s how
  • In an article for CNN, economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University also argued that the Green New Deal is ‘feasible and affordable’.
But climate justice is still a grey area with the Green New Deal
While one of the central aims of the Green New Deal is to redistribute wealth and tackle social and economic inequality in the US, its impact on poorer parts of the world has perhaps been less discussed.
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University, says thatclimate justice must not end at the bordersof a country implementing a Green New Deal. Otherwise, he states, the Green New Deal may become ‘the next chapter in a long history of US industrial policies that have oppressed people’.
Táíwò believes there is a risk that a Green New Deal could spark a race for vast territory on which to build solar farms or grow biofuel crops. In the process, historic injustices could be perpetuated through ‘climate colonialism’, he says.

The UK, France and other European powers carved Africa
up among themselves in the late 19th century.
davidjl123 / Somebody500,CC BY-SA


How a Green New Deal could exploit developing countries
  • The contradiction at the heart of the Green New Deal
    Matthew Paterson, Professor of International Politics at Manchester University says that new infrastructure and redistribution proposed by the Green New Deal may boost carbon emissions.
  • The Green New Deal’s contradiction – new infrastructure and redistribution may boost carbon emissions
    Other academics like Joe Herbert, a researcher at Newcastle University, have argued that sustaining emission reductions in the long term can only be achieved by managed de-growth of the economy.
Economic growth and carbon emissions are tightly linked.



International Energy Agency
As the Green New Deal develops and its policy details are refined, its proponents may choose to adopt such novel ideas.
A national service for the environment in a Green New Deal
At such an early stage in the Green New Deal’s development as a political project, much of the discussion around it remains speculative. However, Rebecca Wills argues that it has already achieved something by reinvigorating the debate over climate action.

The Green New Deal is already changing the terms of the climate action debate
Michelle Bloor believes that including her vision of a national service for fighting climate change within the aims of a Green New Deal could help galvanise support for the latter, by providing an outlet for some of the enthusiasm of young people who have taken part in the climate strikes.Building a coalition for radical climate actionunder the Green New Deal is likely to lead the ongoing strategy of the project. Bloor believes that mobilising the growing youth movement is a good place to start.

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25/08/2019

The 1975, Jaden Smith, Billie Eilish & More Artists Fiercely Fighting Climate Change

Billboard

The 1975
Mara Palena
 Climate change isn’t an easy thing to write a song about, unless you’re into really depressing lyrics... And who needs those bad vibes? But there are some artists who are accepting the cold hard truth and stepping up to make a difference, whether it’s through music, donations or organizations. The most important thing is that they’re using their platform to raise awareness among their many followers.
The 1975 recently did this with their newest self-titled song from their upcoming 2020 album Notes On a Conditional Form, for which they enlisted teen activist Greta Thunberg, who gives a speech urging the world to “wake up” over the band's instrumentation. Jaden Smith has made it his goal to help with the Flint water crisis and even founded his own sustainable water company, Just Water. Additionally, Lil Dicky enlisted every A-lister there is to be featured on his track and animated music video for “Earth,” in hopes of garnering attention of fans everywhere.
Billboard rounded up the artists who are fighting to raise awareness.

The 1975


“We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis,” Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg says over a landscape of twinkling synths. “We need to call it what it is: an emergency.” The cut, released last month, comes from the band’s forthcoming 2020 album Notes on a Conditional Form and follows the pattern of all their previously released self-titled opening tracks. Thunberg’s speech is so clear and straight-forward and has such a deep sense of urgency, it’s hard to listen to it and not feel the need to take action.

Jaden Smith


Smith is the founder of Just Water. The water company began in 2015, but Smith had been stuck on the idea since the young age of 11, after seeing plastic floating in the ocean while surfing. It’s not purified tap water, which actually takes more energy; it’s spring water that is pumped from Upstate New York, a reliably plentiful source. Eighty-two percent of every bottle is plant-derived, resulting in a 74% reduction in carbon emissions compared to a standard water bottle.
Additionally, Smith made a huge contribution to the serious Flint water crisis in Michigan, by donating a mobile water filtration system in Ellen DeGeneres’ name. “This actual box is gonna be in Flint providing clean water for people on pretty much a weekly basis,” he explained when he appeared on the show.

Billie Eilish


In a recent interview with Netherlands radio station 3FM, around the 4:54 mark, Eilish revealed that the line, “Man is such a fool, why are we saving him?” from her song “All the Good Girls Go to Hell” is actually about mankind and global warming. “Why are we working so hard to save mankind when we should really be out here saving the planet, saving the world, saving animals?” Eilish explained. “We are literally the flu and the fucking world is this beautiful place that we’re ruining. Obviously that song is however you want it to be, but a lot of it is about global warming and the world being ruined by us.”
She went on to explain that while she’s guilty of using some products that aren’t good for the environment, she has always used metal straws and has never eaten meat her whole life.

Lil Dicky


Talk about using your fame for good. The rapper/environmentalist decided to round up almost every celebrity on Earth and then write a song about it. Actually called “Earth,” the song features Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Zac Brown, Brendon Urie, Hailee Steinfeld, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Kevin Hart, Adam Levine, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Sia, Miley Cyrus, Lil Jon, Rita Ora, Miguel, Katy Perry, Lil Yachty, Ed Sheeran, Meghan Trainor, Joel Embiid, Tory Lanez, John Legend, Backstreet Boys, Bad Bunny, Psy and Kris Wu... phew! It also came with an enchanting animated video that has already reached more than 180 million views on YouTube alone, so needless to say, he succeeded in reaching a large group of people.

Grimes

Grimes has been teasing her highly anticipated follow-up to 2015’s Art Angels for quite some time and here’s what we know so far: It’s called Miss_Anthropocene which, according to the artist via an Instagram post, “is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth’s Geology and ecosystems including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change.”
She continued to explain: “Climate change is something I’m only ever confronted with in a sad/ guilty way…. Reading news and what not… so my goal is to make climate change fun (lol..??)…. uhhh… (I mean, everybody loves a good villain... re: the joker, Queen Beryl).. so maybe it’ll be a bit easier to look at if it can exist as a character and not just abstract doom.”

Beyoncé
Beyoncé advocated for the environment back in 2017, when she filmed a heartfelt message in the wake of natural disasters in India, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands and the U.S. for the Hand in Hand Telethon. “Natural disasters take precious life, do massive damage, and forever change lives,” she said. “The effects of climate change are playing out around the world every day.”

Jack Johnson
Johnson does way more than just make surf music and ride waves -- he’s been a strong activist on more than one occasion. Here are just a few of the things he’s supported in the past: Bring Your Own Bottle for plastic-free July, World Oceans Day and World Environment Day, among many other movements.

Sean Paul, Sir Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow & more


Back in 2015, several artists came together to record the song and video “Love Song to the Earth.” Other artists who were included are Jon Bon Jovi, Fergie, Colbie Caillat, Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis, Johnny Rzeznik, Krewella, Angelique Kidjo (a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), Kelsea Ballerini, Nicole Scherzinger, the late Christina Grimmie, Victoria Justice and Q’Orianka Kilcher. “Looking down from up on the moon/ It's a tiny blue marble/ Who'd have thought the ground we stand on/ Could be so fragile,” they sing.

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Brazil's Climate Change Sceptic Government Says Warnings About The Fires Consuming The Amazon Are 'Sensationalist,' 'Hysterical,' And 'Misleading'

Business Insider - Sinéad Baker

A composite image showing fires in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state in August and Brazilian President Jail Bolsonaro in January 2019. AP/EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images/Business Insider
Key Points
  • Brazil’s government is calling warnings about the record fires in the Amazon “sensationalist,” and claiming the fires are not an international problem.
  • Brazil’s government has ministers that reject climate change, and its president, Jair Bolsonaro, has advocated using the rainforest for industrial activity.
  • The equivalent of three football pitches worth of the Amazon is currently burning every minute, spurring international leaders to call for actions to save the rainforest.
  • But Bolsonaro called the fires an “internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries,” and rebuked calls from French President Emmanuel Macron for the issue to be discussed at this weekend’s G7 summit.
  • Other Brazilian officials are also dismissing concerns about the Amazon, but experts and activists say the government has allowed the destruction of large chunks of the rainforest for activities like logging and farming.
Brazil’s government is downplaying the record number of fires that have ripped through the Amazon this year, calling international warnings about the damage to the rainforest “sensationalist,” and “hysterical and misleading.”
The government is painting itself as the subject of an international smear campaign as activists and political leaders around the world urge action and decry state policies that have allowed increased clearing of the forest for farming and logging, which has likely been the source of many of the fires.
Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, accused French President Emmanuel Macron of trying to “make personal political gains in an internal matter” after the French leader called the fires an “international crisis.”
Macron called on Thursday for the fires to be discussed at the G7 summit of world leaders, which begins on Saturday.
“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days! #ActForTheAmazon,” he tweeted.
“I regret that Macron seeks to make personal political gains in an internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries. The sensationalist tone he used does nothing to solve the problem,” Bolsonaro tweeted in reply.
Macron received support from Canada’s Justin Trudeau. But he may not ultimately get support from US President Donald Trump or other leaders like the UK’s Boris Johnson at the G7.
Bolsonaro also accused Macron of having a “colonialist mentality” for suggesting that the issue be discussed at the G7. Neither Brazil, nor other Amazonian nations like Colombia and Peru are members of the group.
Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil on August 17. Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil on August 14. Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
Bolsonaro expressed frustration with other countries’ concern about the fires during a Facebook live on Thursday.
“These countries that send money here, they don’t send it out of charity … They send it with the aim of interfering with our sovereignty,” he said, Reuters reported.
António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations has also called for action to save the Amazon, while Ireland’s prime minister said he will try and block a trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur, a South American trade bloc, if Brazil does not take action to save the Amazon.
Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said: “Instead of spreading outrageous lies or denying the scale of deforestation taking place, we urge the President to take immediate action to halt the progress of these fires.”
INPE, Brazil’s space research centre, has detected more than 74,000 fires so far in 2019 – almost double the number recorded in all of 2018.
An aerial view shows a deforested plot of the Amazon near Porto Velho. Reuters
Bolsonaro’s response, and his insistence that the fires raging across the source of 20% of the world’s oxygen is a matter for only Brazil and other Amazonian countries, has been mirrored by other Brazilian officials.
Filipe Martins, one of Bolsonaro’s advisors, said the Amazon would be saved by Brazil and not “the empty, hysterical and misleading rhetoric of the mainstream media, transnational bureaucrats and NGOs,” Sky News reported.
Onyx Lorenzoni, Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, accused European countries of exaggerating the issue to harm Brazil’s commercial interests.
“There is deforestation in Brazil, yes, but not at the rate and level that they say,” he said, according to The Associated Press, which cited Brazilian news website globo.com.
In May, Bolsonaro fired the head of INPE, Ricardo Galvao, saying that the institution had exaggerated the extent of deforestation in the Amazon, and calling one of its reports a “lie.”
“We cannot accept sensationalism, or the disclosure of inaccurate numbers that cause great damage to Brazil’s image,” Bolsonaro said at the time.
Members of Suriname indigenous tribes pray for the protection of the Amazon and Brazilian indigenous tribes on August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Ranu Abhelakh
Despite his protestations, Bolsonaro said that Brazil does not have the resources to fight the fires itself.
“The Amazon is bigger than Europe, how will you fight criminal fires in such an area,” he told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters. “We do not have the resources for that.”
Some European countries had decided to withhold money meant to help protect the Brazilian rainforests as Brazil’s leadership appeared uncommitted to the project, according to the AP.
The fires have put a new spotlight on Bolsonaro’s policies after he pushed the opening of the rainforest for industrial activities like logging and farming.
A tract of Amazon jungle burns as it is being cleared by loggers and farmers in Novo Airao, Amazonas state, Brazil August 21, 2019. Bruno Kelly/Reuters
Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist at Brazil’s INPEtold CNN that about 99% of fires in the Amazon start by humans actions, “either on purpose or by accident,” and that the fires are often used to clear the land for industry.
Bolsonaro has also repeatedly pushed an evidence-free theory that NGOs have started the fires in order to make Brazil look bad.
On Thursday, he acknowledged that farmers may be starting fires.

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Scientists And Economists Are Warning The World's Governments That Climate Change Will Destroy Capitalism As We Know It

Business Insider -  |

A protester attends a demonstration under the banner "Protect the climate - stop coal" two days before the start of the COP 23 UN Climate Change Conference hosted by Fiji but held in Bonn, Germany November 4, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
According to a recent report by scientists at BIOS — an independent, multidisciplinary research unit launched in Helsinki in 2015 — there isn't much time left before we see the fall of capitalism as we know it today.
One economist at the Finnish unit, Paavo Järvensivu, told the BBC that "capitalism as we know it has, until now, depended on cheap energy".
Now, however, things may have to change.
According to Järvensivu, cheap energy has been the driver behind most of the growth we've seen in the past 200 years.
According to the expert, however, the era of cheap energy is coming to an end.
If we no longer have cheap energy, we can no longer sustain the sort of capitalism we've enjoyed thus far.

Markets are unable to find a solution to the problem
According to Järvensivu, the incidence of climate change is indisputable.
Due to the occurrence of climate change, many markets and states are turning their sights to energies that — for the time being — require more effort to produce and, yet, are less efficient.
Considerable effort will be needed to entirely cut out relationship and dependence on fossil fuels.
The BIOS Report indicates that global markets aren't able to provide solutions to the problem — those already put forward haven't been adequate to effectively tackle the issue.
For this reason, the report has called on nations to play a more prominent role in the battle against climate change, rather than just market - and this report isn't the first to endorse the notion that a number of those economic models currently dominating the geopolitical scene were put forward at points during which energy was in abundance.
They're currently not applicable the current upheaval we're experiencing.

We live in a scenario similar to that of the end of World War II
Järvensivu has detailed in the BBC report that we live in a period similar to that of Europe at the end of the Second World War.
"In the post-World War II period, societies rebuilt their infrastructures and practices; now we need something similar so that our economies and practices can operate without fossil fuels.
Capitalism as we know it has depended on cheap energy, according to economist Paavo Järvensivu. Shutterstock
The scientist considers that we have a margin of up to 30 years for this, although in any case it can be understood as an optimistic period that can only be reduced to 15 years."We have to start to see what the concrete tasks are: for example, how we are going to rebuild our energy systems and transport systems. Governments must find out how to do it and how to organize the economy," says the BIOS spokesman.
As a result of climate change, many markets are having to turn their sights to other less efficient energies. Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images
"The result must be production and consumption that provide decent opportunities for a good life, while drastically reducing the burden on natural ecosystems.
In early August, the UN warned that we will eventually need to alter our dietary habits and rate of meat consumption in order to reduce climate change.
BIOS' report also suggested that "dairy products and meat should largely give way to plant-based diets".
The report also explained that states and governments are the only legitimate agencies with the power and legitimacy to effectively put these changes into motion.
Järvensivu and the BIOS Report also suggested that "dairy products and meat should largely give way to plant-based diets". @fujifab12 / Instagram
When discussing the fact that a number of deniers of climate change have risen to power — including many members of the Trump administration — Järvensivu was quite clear on his stance.
"There has been increased airtime for populist movements offering 'easy' solutions," he explained, "which, in reality, are not easy solutions at all."
According to the economist, the rising prominence of governments denying climate change is, in part, down to the fact that "progressive parties haven't really been able to provide adequate answers on how to solve issues related to inequality as well as climate change."

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24/08/2019

Hydrogen’s Plunging Price Boosts Role As Climate Solution

Bloomberg | 

The cost of producing hydrogen gas with renewables is likely to plummet in the coming decades, making one of the most radical technologies for reducing greenhouse gases economical.
That’s the conclusion of an analysis by BloombergNEF, which said the most abundant element is likely to play a growing role in reducing pollution from power producers and industry.

The findings add to the potential for widespread use of hydrogen. While the gas has been hailed for decades as a carbon-free energy source, the cost and difficulty of making it has confined it mainly to niches like fueling rockets and helping upgrade blends of oil.
“Once the industry scales up, renewable hydrogen could be produced from wind or solar power for the same price as natural gas in most of Europe and Asia,” Kobad Bhavnagri, BNEF’s head of special projects, said in the report on Wednesday. “These production costs would make green gas affordable and puts the prospects for a truly clean economy in sight.”
If produced on a large scale, hydrogen could feed into a range of applications, fueling long-haul transport and steel-making and the manufacture of cement. Each of those industries requires the sort of energy hydrogen packs, delivering temperatures hot enough to melt metal and stone.
It’s those industries that are finding it difficult to remove emissions. Hydrogen also can also be stored, shipped, and used to produce electricity or fed into fuel cells that are increasingly appearing in cars and small power plants.
BNEF looked at how to generate hydrogen from renewable sources such as wind turbines and solar panels. It also examined how the gas that’s produced can be stored to provide energy at times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
Renewable hydrogen costs may fall to as low as $1.40 a kilogram by 2030 from the current range of $2.50 to $6.80, BNEF said in the report. That could slide further to 80 cents by 2050, equivalent to a natural gas price of $6 per million British thermal units. Gas in New York closed at $2.17 per million Btu on Wednesday. It last traded above $6 in 2014.
The most cost-efficient strategy would be to connect a hydrogen operation directly to both wind and solar energy sources. That would maximize the time the hydrogen plant could run as wind often blows when it’s not sunny and vice versa, according to the report. Countries where the renewable energy is expected to be more expensive, such as Japan, will face higher costs to produce green hydrogen.
Using a “fully optimized” system design, solar and wind can provide power to electrolyzers, which extract hydrogen gas from water, for as little as $24 a megawatt-hour by 2030 and $15 by 2050, according to BNEF.


Political Support
Lawmakers will need to support renewable hydrogen in order to spur advances and growth of electrolyzers in the years ahead, according to BNEF’s analysis.
About 3 gigawatts of electrolysis projects are currently underway to test new applications of hydrogen according to data from the International Energy Agency. Over the following decades, the amount of total capacity of electrolyzers could skyrocket 1,000 times that amount if a significant demand builds for renewable hydrogen.
Without political support, a hydrogen economy wouldn’t likely develop, leading to a slight rise in electrolyzers by 2050.


Look to China
Chinese manufacturers lead the way in low-cost manufacturing of hydrogen production equipment. Those companies mostly sell domestically and to markets other than Western Europe, Australia and the U.S.
While companies that experiment with hydrogen haven’t bought equipment from China, the country could show the way to a drastic decrease in production costs through a combination of increased scale, automation and moving production to countries with cheaper workers. By 2030, BNEF anticipates European and American manufacturers to catch up with Chinese prices.



Rising Demand
Many factors would have to come together to develop what BNEF calls a “hydrogen economy.” With government support, technological advances and increased scale, costs would come down and demand would rise.
Between now and 2030, demand would slowly grow from being basically non-existent today. Once costs come down after 2030, that demand would take off over the next couple decades, to reach as much as 275 million metric tons of renewable hydrogen per year by 2050.


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