Prince Charles says Climate Change is the World’s greatest threat & calls for a green economic solution

The Prince of Wales has told leaders that the world is in the midst of a climate crisis, as he announced plans for his own environmental initiative.

 

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he called the effects of climate change the “greatest threats humanity has ever faced” and are “largely of our own creation”

 

The prince hopes his Sustainable Markets Council – which will bring together leaders from the public and private sectors, charitable organisations and investors – can help to identify ways to rapidly decarbonise the global economy.

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Citing his decades of campaigning, he said: “Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink, in trying to restore the balance, when we could have done? I don’t want to.”

He also called for a change in taxes to encourage consumers to make environmentally beneficial decisions.

“It is time to think about how we properly deploy taxes, policies and regulation in a way that catalyses sustainable markets.

“For a transition to take place, being socially and environmentally conscious cannot only be for those who can afford it. If all the true costs are taken into account, being socially and environmentally responsible should be the least expensive option because it leaves the smallest footprint behind.”

 

The prince was criticised by some for flying to the summit on a chartered plane, before making the two-hour car journey from the airport to Davos in a fully electric Jaguar car.

The royal also meet teenage activist Greta Thunberg in Davos

The 71-year-old Prince has been advocating environmental causes since before Thunberg, 17, was born.

 

Speaking to CNN after the meeting, he said: “She’s remarkable. She represents one of the main reasons why I’ve been trying to make all this effort all these years because, as I said, I didn’t want my grandchildren to accuse me of not doing something about this in time and of course there they are.

“All her generation, almost my grandchildren if you know what I mean, are all desperate because not nearly enough has happened – we’ve left it so late.”

Source: iNews

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2019 Major Events: The year the world woke up to climate change

2019, millions of people around the world mobilised in protest to highlight the dire emergency facing our planet. Could 2019 prove to be the year when talk turned to action on the climate crisis?

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Inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg

In 2019, the reaction to the ongoing climate crisis switched up another gear.

Greta chose to make a statement when she sailed – rather than flew – to a UN climate meeting in New York. Summing up the trajectory for many who have joined popular climate movements, she told chief environment correspondent Justin Rowlatt: “I felt like I was the only one who cared about the climate and ecological crisis… it makes me feel good that I’m not alone in this fight.” Inspiring millions who took part in mass protests during the course of the year in countries as diverse as Australia, Uganda, Colombia, Japan, Germany and the UK.

See the source imageThe UK’s Extinction Rebellion (XR)

XR made its point through non-violent direct action in 2019. The group, which aims to compel government action on climate change, occupied five prominent sites across central London in April 2019. Notably, they parked a pink boat in the middle of busy Oxford Circus bearing the phrase “Tell the Truth”.

This year also saw the UK’s Parliament – along with individual councils around the country – declare a climate emergency, granting what had been one of XR’s key demands.

See the source image‘Ring of fire’

In April, astronomers released the much anticipated first image of a black hole. This is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The picture was taken by a network of eight telescopes across the world and shows what was described as “the heavyweight champion of black holes”.

The 40 billion km-wide, spacetime-warping monster features an intense halo, or “ring of fire”, around the black hole caused by superheated gas falling in.

See the source imageLand and oceans under threat

Two major reports from the UN’s climate science body revealed in sharp relief the extent to which humanity is ravaging Earth’s land surface and her oceans. The first of these documents from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warned that we must stop abusing the land if catastrophic climate change is to be avoided.

The report outlined how our actions were degrading soils, expanding deserts, flattening forests and driving other species to the brink of extinction. Scientists involved in the UN process also explained that switching to a plant-based diet could help combat climate change.

The second report, dealing with the world’s oceans and frozen regions, detailed how waters are rising, ice is melting and species are being forced to move. As co-ordinating lead author Dr Jean-Pierre Gattuso said, “The blue planet is in serious danger right now, suffering many insults from many different directions and it’s our fault.” The authors believe that the changes we’ve set in motion are coming back to haunt us. Sea level rise will have profound consequences for low-lying coastal areas where almost 700 million people live.

See the source imageFar-out fly-by

On 1 January, Nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft made the most distant ever exploration of a Solar System object. Launched all the way back in 2006, it performed its primary task – a flyby study of the Pluto system – in 2015. But with plenty of gas still in the tank, mission scientists directed the spacecraft towards a new target, an object called 2014 MU 69.

MU 69, later dubbed Ultima Thule, and more recently Arrokoth, may be fairly typical of the primitive, icy objects occupying a distant zone of our Solar System known as the Kuiper Belt.

There are hundreds of thousands of objects out there like it, and their frigid state holds clues to how all planetary bodies came into being some 4.6 billion years ago.

Earlier this year, scientists presented details of what they had found at a major conference in Houston. They had determined that Arrokoth’s two lobes formed when distinct objects collided at just 2-3m/s, about the speed you would run into a wall, according to team member Kirby Runyon.

See the source imageGreenland’s record melt

In September, former UK chief scientist Sir David King said he was scared by the faster-than-expected pace of climate-related changes. One of the most shocking examples this year of the extreme events Sir David spoke of was surely the record ice melt in Greenland.

In June, temperatures soared well above normal levels in the Danish territory, causing about half its ice sheet surface to experience some melting. As David Shukman reported on his trip to the region, during 2019 alone, it lost enough ice to raise the average global sea level by more than a millimetre.

Underlining the rapid nature of the change, he returned to a glacier he had filmed in 2004 to find that it had thinned by as much as 100m over the period.

Greenland’s ice sheet stores so much frozen water that if the whole of it melted, it would raise sea levels worldwide by up to 7m. Although that would take hundreds or thousands of years, polar scientists told the American Geophysical Union meeting in December that Greenland was losing its ice seven times faster than in the 1990s.

Prof Andy Shepherd, of Leeds University, said: “The simple formula is that around the planet, six million people are brought into a flooding situation for every centimetre of sea-level rise.”

See the source imageRocks from space

While civilisation-threatening asteroids are a staple of the movies, the probability of a sizeable space rock hitting our planet is very low. But as the dinosaurs found out, the risk does increase with time. Some 19,000 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are being monitored, but many lurk undetected by telescopes, so there is always potential for a bolt-from-the-blue.

In March, Nasa scientists told the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) that a big fireball had exploded in Earth’s atmosphere at the end of 2018. The space rock barrelled in without warning and detonated with 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Luckily, the rock blew up over the sea off Russia’s remote Kamchatka Peninsula. But an outburst that size could have had serious consequences had it occurred nearer the ground, over a densely populated area.

Then in July, an asteroid the size of a football field buzzed Earth, coming within 65,000km of our planet’s surface – about a fifth the distance to the Moon. The 100m-wide rock was detected just days before it passed Earth.

Meanwhile, two robotic spacecraft have been examining different NEAs close-up. Scientists working on Japan’s Hayabusa mission reported that their asteroid, Ryugu, was made of rubble blasted off a bigger object. And the US Osiris-Rex spacecraft detected plumes of particles erupting from the surface of its target, Bennu.

See the source imageElectricity ‘Dirty secret’ boosts warming

The gas sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) isn’t a household name. But as the most powerful greenhouse gas known to science, it could play an increasingly important role in discussions about climate change.

As environment correspondent Matt McGrath reported in September, levels are on the rise as an unintended consequence of the boom in green energy. The cheap, non-flammable gas is used to prevent short circuits and fires in electrical switches and circuit breakers known collectively as “switchgear”.

As more wind turbines are built around the world, more of these electrical safety devices are being installed. The vast majority use SF6.

Although overall atmospheric concentrations are small for now, the global installed base of SF6 is expected to grow by 75% by 2030. Worryingly, there’s no natural mechanism that destroys or absorbs the gas once it’s been released.

See the source imageReigning supreme

Quantum computers hold huge promise. The “classical” machines we use today compute in much the same way as we do by hand. Quantum computers promise faster speeds and the ability to solve problems that are beyond even the most powerful conventional types. But scientists have struggled to build devices with enough units of information (quantum bits) to make them competitive with classical computers.

A quantum machine had not surpassed a conventional one until this year. In October, Google announced that its advanced quantum processor, Sycamore, had achieved “quantum supremacy” for the first time. Researchers said it had performed a specific task in 200 seconds that would take the world’s best supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

IBM, which has been working on quantum computers of its own, questioned some of Google’s figures. But the achievement represents an important step towards fulfilling some of the predictions made for these machines.

Source: BBC News

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COP25 Climate Change: Major emitters disagree over UN deal

UN climate talks in Madrid enter their final scheduled day with divisions emerging between major emitting countries and small island states.

Negotiators are attempting to agree a deal in the Spanish capital that would see countries commit to make new climate pledges by the end of 2020.

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But serious disagreements have emerged over how much carbon-cutting the major emitters should undertake.

The talks have also become bogged down in rows over key technical issues.

Negotiators arrived in Madrid two weeks ago with the words of the UN secretary general ringing in their ears – António Guterres told delegates that “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon”.

Despite his pleas, the conference has become enmeshed in deep, technical arguments about a number of issues including the role of carbon markets and the financing of loss and damage caused by rising temperatures.

Source: BBC News

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EU to spend over £12bn on satellites to track CO2 emissions across the globe.

Europe will press ahead with a network of satellites to track carbon dioxide emissions across the globe.

They will be developed out of a new European Space Agency (Esa) budget agreed in Seville, Spain.

Artwork: Space Rider

Research ministers on Thursday approved a package of proposals worth some €14.4bn (£12.3bn/$15.9bn) over the next five years.

As well as the new CO2 monitoring system, the funds will also pave the way for missions to the Moon and Mars.

It should be stated that Copernicus is a joint venture between Esa and the EU, with the latter covering 70% of the overall costs. Brussels’ contribution to the expansion programme has yet to be determined.

“There is today about €6bn (£5.1bn) foreseen as part of the [EU] budget for space. And we look forward to completing the constellation with the recurring [satellites] which are to be paid for by the EU along with, of course, their operation,” explained Esa EO director, Josef Aschbacher.

Across the entire Space19+ budget request, the top contributing countries were:

  • Germany – €3.3bn (£2.8bn), which is a 23% share of the total budget
  • France – €2.7bn (£2.3bn), which is an 18.5% share
  • Italy – €2.3bn (£1.8bn), which is 16%
  • UK – €1.6bn (£1.4bn), which is 11.5%

The UK’s subscription after this meeting will rise from €355m (£304m) per year to €440m (£377m) per year.

Source: BBC News

 

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Climate Change: Greenhouse gas emission breaks new record

Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases once again reached new highs in 2018.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the increase in CO2 was just above the average rise recorded over the last decade.

Levels of other warming gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, have also surged by above average amounts.

Since 1990 there’s been an increase of 43% in the warming effect on the climate of long lived greenhouse gases.

The WMO report looks at concentrations of warming gases in the atmosphere rather than just emissions.

The difference between the two is that emissions refer to the amount of gases that go up into the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels, such as burning coal for electricity and from deforestation.

Concentrations are what’s left in the air after a complex series of interactions between the atmosphere, the oceans, the forests and the land. About a quarter of all carbon emissions are absorbed by the seas, and a similar amount by land and trees.

Using data from monitoring stations in the Arctic and all over the world, researchers say that in 2018 concentrations of CO2 reached 407.8 parts per million (ppm), up from 405.5ppm a year previously.

This increase was above the average for the last 10 years and is 147% of the “pre-industrial” level in 1750.

Source: BBC News

 

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Climate Change: Global flood emergency crisis

Global flood emergency, evacuation, disruption, destruction of properties and even death has been seen all over the world in Europe, Asia, African etc

Europe

UK – Evacuations After Heavy Rain and Floods in Northern and Central England. 8 November, 2019. Parts of northern and central England saw around a month’s worth of rain on 07 November, 2019. Rivers in South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and most of the north of England. Rescuers pull a boat through floodwater in Fishlake, Doncaster

Italy – Parts of the Italian city of Venice have been left under water after the highest tide in more than 50 years. The waters peaked at 1.87m (6ft), according to the tide monitoring centre. Only once since records began in 1923 has the tide been higher, reaching 1.94m in 1966. People wade through water in St Mark's Square

 Asia

India – Monsoon floods hit more than 25 million people in S. Asia By Robin Gomes More than 25 million people are hit by flooding due to the torrential monsoon rains in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Myanmar, with more than half a million people displaced, according to humanitarian groups collaborating with United Nations agencies. Death toll rises to more than 660 in South Asia. Severe floods and lightning kill at least 666 across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan as monsoon takes its toll.

Japan – At least nine people are reported dead as Japan recovers from its biggest storm in decades. Typhoon Hagibis triggered floods and landslides as it battered the country with wind speeds of 225km/h.

Africa

Mozambique – The floods in Mozambique, one of Africa’s poorest countries, have already destroyed 5,756 homes, affecting 15,467 households and 141,325 people.

Central African Republic – More than 6,000 people have lost their homes to flooding in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Heavy rains have worsened the plight of residents following the outburst.

South Africa –  Durban floods; Seventy people died in floods that ravaged parts of the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa’s southeast, local authorities said.

Global Initiatives and actions are required to address one of the critical issues of our time.

 

New beetle named after climate activist Greta Thunberg

A newly discovered species of beetle has been named after young climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Nelloptodes gretae bears little resemblance to its namesake – it is less than 1mm long, and has no wings or eyes.

The insect does, however, have two long pigtail-like antennae.

Scientist Dr Michael Darby said he chose the name because he was “immensely impressed” by the Swedish teenager’s environmental campaigning.

N. gretae was first found in Kenya in the 1960s by William Block, who donated his samples to the Natural History Museum in London in 1978. It has been held in one of the museum’s collections since.

Dr Darby was studying this collection when he came across the then-nameless species

By naming the beetle after Ms Thunberg, he said, he “wanted to acknowledge her outstanding contribution in raising awareness of environmental issues”.

It has now been formally named in the Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine.

Dr Max Barclay, the museum’s senior curator in charge of beetles, said the name was apt because “it is likely that undiscovered species are being lost all the time, before scientists have even named them, because of biodiversity loss”.

“So it is appropriate to name one of the newest discoveries after someone who has worked so hard to champion the natural world and protect vulnerable species,” he added.

Source: BBC News

The New Global Economic Reality

The global economic reality has been playing over the last decade under the watch of economic and political institutions, leaders  and experts with almost all getting it wrong and being a victim of their own superficial intellectual prowess.

Over the years we have seen global economic melt downs, political uncertainty, poverty surge, increase civil unrest, mass migrations and alarming rate of unemployment in most countries. In all of these the very few that control the means of productions, wealth and in leadership position both economically and politically are better off and untouchable. This has lead to the economic and political elites to directly or indirectly ignore, neglect and insensitive to the plight of the majority working class and thereby prioritised and protect their collective interest. All the working class get is their collective interest reduce to mere numbers, indexes and promises that does not translate to reality on ground rather a subjective representation of the wealth and growth of the very elites.

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In all of these we find ourselves in a situation were economic experts and politicians cannot be trusted and as such the very foundation of all economic institutions and national economies is threatened with uncertainty, exploitation and corruption.

Protestors hold signs behind Fuld as he takes his seat to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in Washington

To provide a solution which seems to be ever becoming difficult as the years go by, we must first look back to how we got here. As an environmentalist, energy consultant and financial specialist with little economic background, I am not an economic or political expert but from my knowledge of global economy and events believe that the aggressive pursue and quest for globalisation and international dominance economically and politically which eventually lead to the gradual erosion of national interest and sovereignty is the root cause of the situation we find ourselves today.

globalization2

In the heart of the process of achieving globalisation and international dominance or recognition leaders of economic and political entities resulted in the use of any means necessary to achieve its aim. Unregulated greed, insensitivity, intolerance and corruption became the order of the day under the guise of free economy, free market, free trade creating an uncontrolled economic bubble, credit economy and political opportunist which eventually resulted in economic collapse, credit crunch, civil unrest, conflict, wars and terrorism.

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The new global economic reality is therefore one that will revert the wheel of globalisation and international relations and foster protectionism, nationalism and national sovereignty as a priority. The success of this new global reality will depend on individuals and nations to strike a balance  in addressing and protecting domestic economic realities with maintaining and promoting international relationships that is base on mutual respect and benefits for all interest groups. This is definitely going to be almost an impossible undertaking but today’s reality that will require lots of hard work and time especially to bridge the gap between rich and poor, revert the ever increase revolution of the working class that are the core victims of globalisation and international politics and to create an economy that benefits the majority, not the privilege few.

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All this will come down to individuals and nations getting the balance between production and consumption of food, energy and services in a way that works and benefit the majority of people. This is were we have to go back to the basic principles of demand and supply, production and consumption, goods and services, not forgetting the common denominator which is the people and the environment (land, air and water).

Written by Dennis Bebo TA DenEco.co.uk