Climate

This week, the International Panel on Climate Change reported that a 1C rise in global temperature since pre-industrial times (defined as 1850-1900) was already being felt in the form of floods, droughts, forest fires and heatwaves. The original plan to limit the rise to “well below” 2C by 2100 is no longer a viable insurance policy; we should instead aim for no more than 1.5C by 2030. The 12-year survival plan would mean “unprecedented changes” to the way we liv e, according to the IPCC. It would affect land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities. “The next few years are probably the most important in our history,” said the panel’s Debra Roberts. This landmark statement recommending a 1.5 C threshold – particularly as we seem to be heading for a 3C rise by 2100 – should have prompted days of analysis and political hand-wringing. Instead, the international silence was deafening. Perhaps this reflects the growing parochialism in politics. At a time when national sovereignty is being invoked with angry pride, there is little political bandwidth for a massive problem that is global in nature. Global warming, which transcends borders, is an inconvenient truth for those looking to reimpose them. Climate change denial, no longer a credible political position, has given way to climate change indifference.

FT 11th Oct 2018 read more »

Huge reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment. In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and pulses. The research also finds that enormous changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying the planet’s ability to feed the 10 billion people expected to be on the planet in a few decades. Food production already causes great damage to the environment, via greenhouse gases from livestock, deforestation and water shortages from farming, and vast ocean dead zones from agricultural pollution. But without action, its impact will get far worse as the world population rises by 2.3 billion people by 2050 and global income triples, enabling more people to eat meat-rich western diets.

Guardian 10th Oct 2018 read more »

Independent 10th Oct 2018 read more »

The UK’s obligations in response to this week’s warnings from the UN over global warming will be controversial and politically fraught, taking the country into “uncharted territory” and testing the political consensus on climate change, the its top climate adviser has warned. The government will have to regulate industry and intervene in the market in ways that will prove controversial in parliament, predicted Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). He is charged with advising ministers on how swift and how deep cuts in emissions should be and how they can be achieved, and his committee will start work on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) advice shortly. “We will be challenged as never before,” he said. “We will be scrutinised as never before. We must stick up to that scrutiny. We will be forcing politicians to make hard decisions. We will be testing the political consensus [on climate change].” He said reducing emissions by the amounts needed would “require answers that the market unfettered will not deliver”. “It will be fascinating to see how parliament reacts to the long-term target,” Stark said, in an interview that took place before the IPCC’s findings were formally published but after accurate leaks had indicated its findings. “It will be a real test of how parliament has changed in the last 10 years. The political environment will be more difficult. Parliament is more divided.”

Guardian 10th Oct 2018 read more »

Jeremy Leggett: This week’s UN warning of climate chaos: is the total world rewrite they say we need doable? An analysis in 10 pictures and charts.

Jeremy Leggett 10th Oct 2018 read more »

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Published: 11 October 2018