October 2021 This is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada consisting of headlines with weblinks to published news articles and political analysis. Occasional commentary by the website publisher, Roger Annis, appears in square brackets [ ]. For preceding months, go to ‘News pages archives’ on the home page of A Socialist In Canada and use the drop-down menu. See also the feature articles on ecology and global warming that are listed in the website category ‘Environment‘ (listed on the main website page). Articles about the politics in Canada of the global warming emergency are listed in the ‘Canada newsroll‘ page of the website. To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. Headlines in red denote items published on the main news page of A Socialist In Canada.
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, October 2021
Dossier on Russia and global warming:
* On the Pacific Island of Sakhalin, Russia tests its battle plan for climate change, New York Times, Oct 19, 2021 President Vladimir Putin has long dismissed the threat posed by global warming. But fires, disasters and foreign pressure have prompted him to change course.
* How Russia is adapting to a warming Arctic. Report by New York Times, Oct 22, 2021
* Russia allows methane leaks at planet’s peril, feature article in Washington Post, Oct 19, 2021 …Methane is the second-most abundant greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. It accounts for roughly a quarter of global warming since the industrial revolution, according to NASA. It is the chief component of natural gas. Today, the second-biggest natural gas producer is Russia, followed by Iran, China, Canada and Qatar. The United States remains the world’s largest natural gas producer, bolstered by horizontal fracking in the Permian Basin across west Texas and eastern New Mexico. Scientists say that rapidly cutting methane “is very likely to be the most powerful lever” to slow the rate of warming, but they have also documented a disturbing and surprising spike in atmospheric concentrations in recent years that they have not yet pinned down…
* Speech by Russian president Vladimir Putin to Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, delivered on Oct 13, 2021, published on the website of the President of Russia …Of course, climate change is among the main factors determining the long-term development of the global energy industry. Russia fully understands the serious nature of the challenges in this area. We see and understand the threats and risks for all people, the whole world, as was just said, and for this country. In Russia, the average annual temperatures are increasing more than 2.5 times faster than overall global temperatures. In the past ten years, they have increased by almost half a degree, and Arctic temperatures are rising even more rapidly… Russia supports international initiatives to preserve the climate and is fulfilling its obligations. In the next few decades, we are set to ensure that the accumulated volume of net greenhouse gas emissions will be even lower than in the European Union. Colleagues, these are not empty words but a guide to action. I have said it before and I will say it again: climate conservation is a common goal for all humankind. Much work lies ahead of us. Undoubtedly, it is hard and demanding work involving a wide range of specialists, corporate executives, public associations and governments. At the same time, the climate agenda must not be ‘weaponised’ to promote the economic or political interests of individual countries. We all need to work to put together common to all of us, clear, fair and transparent climate regulation rules to be applied globally…
[The text of Vladimir Putin’s speech is followed by a lengthy and testy exchange with the moderator of the forum session, Hadley Gamble of the CNBC news/propaganda service in the U.S.]
Inaction on climate change imperils millions of lives warns annual report by The Lancet, Washington Post, Oct 21, 2021 Referencing: The 2021 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: Code red for a healthy future, annual report published by The Lancet, Oct 2021 (44 pages) read the report here in pdf format: Lancet Countdown 2021 report) …The 44 indicators of this report expose an unabated rise in the health impacts of climate change and the current health consequences of the delayed and inconsistent response of countries around the globe—providing a clear imperative for accelerated action that puts the health of people and planet above all else…
‘Production Gap Report’ by UN Environment Program and others details a world set to consume fossil fuels at full speed, Common Dreams, Oct 20, 2021 and read: report by CNBC, Oct 20, 2021 …The 2021 Production Gap Report shows that countries plan to produce about 110 per cent more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global heating…
French oil major Total knew about Climate threat from fossil fuels decades ago but denied it, Common Dreams, Oct 20, 2021 (read also: report in DeSmog, Oct 20, 2021) The French oil major Total (rebranded to TotalEnergies earlier this year) knew 50 years ago that fossil fuels threatened the global climate and responded by denying science in pursuit of profit, according to research published on October 20 in the peer-reviewed journal Global Environment Change…
There are no real climate leaders yet – who will step up at Cop26?, commentary by Greta Thunberg, published in the faux liberal-left The Guardian, Oct 21, 2021 …The denial of the climate and ecological crisis runs so deep that hardly anyone takes real notice any more. Since no one treats the crisis like a crisis, the existential warnings keep on drowning in a steady tide of greenwash and everyday media news flow…
World fossil production still far beyond 1.5°C limit, UN agency warns, The Energy Mix, Oct 20, 2021 …Global fossil fuel production in 2030 will still be more than double the amount that would match a 1.5°C climate pathway, according to the 2021 Production Gap Report due to be released this morning by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The study of more than 15 major fossil-producing countries, including Canada, found that key governments are planning to extract 240% more coal, 57% more oil, and 71% more natural gas at the end of this decade than would be consistent with the 1.5°C target in the Paris climate agreement, UNEP says, in an initial release distributed earlier this week…
In Australia, it’s ‘Long live King Coal’, New York Times, Oct 20, 2021 At a time when climate change and those who fight it demand that coal be treated like tobacco, Australia is increasingly seen as the guy at the end of the bar selling cheap cigarettes and promising to bring more tomorrow. The world’s third-largest exporter of fossil fuels is becoming known for refusing to clean up its act. With just days to go before a major UN climate conference in Scotland, Australia is one of the last holdouts among developed nations in committing to net zero emissions by 2050…
[‘Net zero’ is the latest and largest scheme to date of ‘delay and deflect’ in the face of the global warming emergency. The brazeness of the Australian ruling elite is evidenced by their refusal to even play that game. Instead, they are hell-bent on extracting, burning and selling all the fossil fuels they can get their hands on in the shortest possible time. What comes after that? Who cares? This is how governing fossil fuel death cults think and act in the age of global warming emergency. Some seek to ‘delay and deflect’ by prettying up their acts with ‘net zero’, expanding of ‘alternative energies’ and electric-powered automobiles’, etc. Others, quite simply, do not care.]
Nature’s dangerous decline is accelerating. Why? It’s us, by Andrea Vance, Stuff.co.nz, Oct 18 2021 ‘When you look at world rankings, and the proportion of threatened species, New Zealand is ranked worst in the world, number one.’–Livia Esterhazy, chief executive of WWF-New Zealand (This article is part of an ongoing print and video series by Stuff, an alternative news outlet in New Zealand. The series is titled ‘This Is How It Ends’.)
Biden regime’s ‘clean energy program’ likely to be dropped due to Democratic senator Manchin’s opposition, NBC News, Oct 16, 2021 The Clean Energy Performance Program is the linchpin of President Biden’s proposed climate change legislation. It is likely to be dropped from the Democrats’ spending bill because of opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., multiple sources have told NBC News. The sources say that the program will most likely be removed from the massive spending package known as the ‘reconciliation bill’ that Democrats plan without Republican support, but that negotiations are ongoing and that no final decision has been made…
Related: Senator Manchin fumes after op-ed by Senator Bernie Sanders in West Virginia newspaper calls out obstruction of Biden regime’s ‘Build Back Better’ spending program. Report in Common Dreams, Oct 16, 2021
Plug-in automobiles are the future, but the electricity grid in the U.S. isn’t ready, Washington Post, Oct 16, 2021 …According to one study, the U.S. will need to invest as much as $125 billion in the electricity grid by 2030 to allow it to handle electric vehicles. The current infrastructure bill before Congress puts about $5 billion toward transmission line construction and upgrades…
Volunteering to fight dangerous wildfires for little pay was better than being in California’s cruel, violent prison system, op-ed commentary by Matthew Hahn, Washington Post, Oct 15, 2021 (Matthew Hahn served nine years in California prisons for burglaries, ending in 2012. He is a union electrician and meditation teacher who writes about his time in prison and issues related to criminal justice.)
U.S.-China cooperation: The only way to save the world from climate Armageddon, by Michael Klare, Tom Dispatch, Oct 14, 2021 (and widely re-published in other alternative media outlets)
[See a commentary on the above commentary here in the ‘Editor’s comments‘ page of A Socialist In Canada website.]
Full text of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech to the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, published by CGTN, Oct 12, 2021
[See a commentary on the above report here in the ‘Editor’s comments‘ page of A Socialist In Canada website.].
Related: U.S. absent as world met, discussed at UN Biodiversity Conference held in China, Common Dreams, Oct 15, 2021 …The U.S. did send a team of observers to this week’s meeting in China. They had no official say and could only observe…
Building a vision of the good life, book review by Jordan Fox Besek, Monthly Review, Sep 2021 Reviewing: Post-Growth Living: For an Alternative Hedonism, by Kate Soper, Verso Books, 2020, 225 pages
* Review of Kate Soper’s ‘Post-Growth Living’, published by the The Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (Britain), Sep 9, 2020
* Beyond the choke hold of growth: Post-growth or radical degrowth?, interview with Tim Jackson and Giorgos Kallis, published by the The Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, Feb 18, 2019
The rhetoric of climate ‘awareness’, by David Fernbach, originally published in Le Monde, translated and published in Verso Books Blog, Oct 14, 2021
Can the world’s most polluting heavy industries decarbonize?, by Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360, Sep 23, 2021 The production of steel, cement, and ammonia together emit about one-fifth of all human-caused CO2. Technologies are emerging that promise to decarbonize these problem industries, but analysts warn that big challenges remain before the processes can be cleaned up.
Biodiversity commitment at UN conference builds hope for ‘living in harmony with nature’, UN News, Oct 13, 2021 More than 100 countries on October 13 committed to develop, adopt and implement an effective post-2020 global framework aiming to put biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest. The Kunming Declaration calls on the States Parties to act urgently on biodiversity protection in decision-making and recognise the importance of conservation in protecting human health.
* The most important global meeting you’ve probably never heard of is happening now, New York Times, Oct 14, 2021 Countries are gathering in an effort to stop a biodiversity collapse that scientists say could equal climate change as an existential crisis
* Open letter by 166 civil society groups and advocates to world leaders ahead of COP 15 biodiversity conference: ‘Put human rights at the centre of environmental policy’, open letter dated Oct 11, 2021
* Convention on Biological Diversity (entered into force in 1993), Wikipedia
UN’s ‘COP 26’ climate summit to open in Glasgow on October 31, Associated Press, Oct 12, 2021
* Can the world move from talk to action at upcoming COP 26 conference?, by Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360, Oct 12, 2021
* Sea levels will rise; decisions at COP 26 confrence will determine how much, by Tim Radford, The Energy Mix, Oct 13, 2021
* Greta Thunberg is ‘open’ to meeting U.S. president at the UN Climate Summit, The Nation, Oct 13, 2021
* A guide to COP26 and why it matters, The Guardian, Oct 11, 2021
How electricity shortages might ‘accelerate’ China’s climate action, by Xiaoying You, Carbon Brief, Oct 13, 2021
Our underwater future: What sea level rise will look like around the globe, CNN, Oct 12, 2021 …A new study from Climate Central, with maps and visual images, shows that roughly 50 major coastal cities will need to implement “unprecedented” adaptation measures to prevent rising seas from swallowing their most populated areas…
Related: One quarter of critical infrastructure in the U.S.is at risk of flooding. It’s only going to get worse, Rolling Stone, Oct 11, 2021 The United States’ infrastructure is not prepared to withstand the effects of the climate crisis. At all. According to a new report from the First Street Foundation, a research and technology nonprofit, a quarter of the nation’s critical infrastructure — including hospitals, police stations, fire departments, utilities, airports, and critical manufacturing — is at risk of flooding…
Inside the massive and costly fight to contain the Dixie Fire in California this past summer, New York Times, Oct 11, 2021 ’15 years ago, a 100,000-acre fire would be the largest fire of your career. Now, we have one-million-acre fires. It’s hard even for us to comprehend.’ …In the past two years, California has found itself under siege from more large-scale fires burning with greater intensity than at any time on record. Giant blazes are tearing across the state with greater speed and frequency, destroying towns and sending smoke hurtling hundreds of miles away. Nine of California’s 20 largest fires have occurred since 2020, according to Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting agency…
Which countries are historically responsible for climate change?, by Simon Evans, published in Carbon Brief, Oct 5, 2021 (with interactive chart) Historical responsibility for climate change is at the heart of debates over climate justice. History matters because the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted since the start of the industrial revolution is closely tied to the 1.2C of warming that has already occurred.
Alberta’s ‘friendly oil’ is ‘by far’ the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in the world, according to Standard and Poor’s monitor, The Energy Mix, Oct 5, 2021
The price of living near the shore is already high. It’s about to go through the roof, Washington Post, Oct 1, 2021 As FEMA prepares to remove subsidies from its flood insurance, a new assessment says 8 million homeowners in landlocked states are at risk of serious flooding because of climate change
* Flooding and wreckage in Detroit from rain expose the city’s vulnerability to global warming, Washington Post, July 14, 2021 …Much attention has been given to the potential for climate-change-driven devastation in coastal cities from rising seas, but with storms intensifying, inadequate city infrastructure is being exposed, as seen in New York over the past week…
* Two reasons for the record-shattering rainfall of Hurricane Ida in New York City and the rest of the U.S. northeast, by Russ Schumacher (Colorado State U.), The Conversation, Sep 2, 2021
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, September 2021
Hundreds of thousands take to streets worldwide in ‘uproot the system’ climate strikes and protests, Common Dreams, Sep 24, 2021
Related: Young climate activists respond to Greta Thunberg’s call in first major ‘Fridays for Future’ strikes and protests of pandemic era, Washington Post, Sep 24, 2021 Young people around the world spilled into streets, city squares and local parks on September 24, following the call of Swedish teen Greta Thunberg for the first big, in-person, coordinated climate protests since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Thunberg was in Berlin, where the turnout was especially high and where voters are gearing up to select a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel in a national election on September 26…
‘Substantial infringement of civil liberties’ cited as court ends injunction against anti-logging protests at Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island, CBC News, Sep 28, 2021 and read: report in Vancouver Sun, Sep 28, 2021 …The judge’s decision says that due to police actions enforcing a six-month old injunction rrestricting protests, factors in favour of extending the injunction are outweighed by “the public interest in protecting the court from the risk of further depreciation of its reputation”… “It’s a massive precedent because it has implications for TransMountain (pipeline) and other projects,” said Patrick Canning, one of the lawyers arguing against an extension of the injunction…
Background: Federal police repression of protests against old-growth logging in British Columbia: ‘Someone is going to be seriously injured or killed’, special report in The Tyee, Sep 27, 2021 Lawyers, a doctor, a criminology professor and dozens of protesters are warning that RCMP enforcement on the frontlines of the Fairy Creek blockades could lead to serious injury or death. Protestors have set up camps and roadblocks in the area for more than a year to prevent licence-holder Teal-Jones from building roads and logging old-growth forests. More than 1,080 people have been arrested. Teal-Jones won an injunction in the BC Supreme Court in April barring road blockades or other efforts to stop its logging…
After Hurricane Ida, oil infrastructure in southern U.S. springs dozens of leaks, New York Times, Sep 26, 2021 When Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast with near 150 mile-per-hour winds on August 30, it left a trail of destruction. The storm also triggered the most oil spills detected from space after a weather event in the Gulf of Mexico since the federal government started using satellites to track spills and leaks a decade ago…
* Aftermath of Hurricane Ida shows the deadly risks of petrochemical production in a hurricane zone, Grist Magazine, Sep 2, 2021
* Toxic impact of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 is deeper than public told, Associated Press, Mar 23, 2018
Germany’s electric car program is about defending the profits of its auto giants, by Peter Schadt and Hans Zobel, Jacobin Magazine, Sep 26, 2021 Ahead of today’s German election, all the main parties have emphasized the need to green the auto industry. But the state’s strategic support for electric cars isn’t an attempt to save the planet — it’s about enhancing German capital’s supremacy over its foreign competition.
U.S. militarism’s toxic, planet-killing impacts on global warming policy, by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies, Common Dreams, Sep 22, 2021 Twenty years of Pentagon violence and waste should ring alarm bells inside the head of every American, warning us that we have allowed our government to spend trillions of dollars waging war while ignoring real existential dangers to our civilization and all of humanity.
China to end international coal financing after ‘profoundly important’ statement to UN General Assembly on September 21, by The Energy Mix, Sep 23, 2021
* Presidents of China and the U.S. announce separate steps to the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly in the name of combating global warming , Associated Press, Sep 22, 2021
* How the world’s coal-power pipeline has shrunk by three-quarters, Carbon Brief, Sep 14, 2021
New air quality guidelines by World Health Organization aim to save millions of lives from air pollution, media release by World Health Organization, Sep 22, 2021 Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to human health, alongside climate change, says WHO as it revises its air quality guidelines for the first time in 15 years.
Related: New air pollution guidelines by WHO recommend sharply lower limits, by Laura Corlin (Tufts University), The Conversation, Sep 22, 2021 Air pollution is the world’s fourth leading cause of death, contributing to about 13 premature deaths every minute. The gases and tiny particles can travel deep into your lungs, enter your bloodstream and damage your cells…
The cost of insuring expensive waterfront homes in the U.S. is about to skyrocket, New York Times, Sep 23, 2021
The anti-colonial politics of degrowth, by Jason Hickel, published in Political Geography, June 2021
New climate analysis shows near total global failure to meet 1.5°c targets, Common Dreams, Sep 15, 2021 A new analysis issued by Climate Action Tracker on September 15 (25 pages) reveals a near total global failure of governments to have climate action and targets on track for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels…
California’s disappearing salmon, feature essay in Washington Post, Sep 13, 2021 The drought, along with man-made impediments, has placed the state’s wild Chinook population at grave risk
* California builds a ‘Noah’s Ark’ to protect wildlife from extinction by fire and heat, Phys.org, Aug 27, 2021
* Welcome to the Pyrocene, by Steve Pyne, In These Times, Sep 12, 2021 Our society’s appetite for one kind of burning—fossil fuel combustion—has thrust us into a new Fire Age that is reshaping the Earth
Report: Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon, announcement by Indigenous Environmental Network and Oil Change International, Aug 31, 2021 (authors of the 20-page report)
* $40-million investment partnership by Suncor and eight Indigenous communities in Alberta tar sands pipeline is ‘a sign of more to come’, Globe and Mail, Sep 16, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Suncor First Nations partnership
* Natural gas firms and Nisga’a Nation unite on $55-billion fracked gas/liquefaction venture in British Columbia, Globe and Mail, July 19, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Nisga’a Nation support for fracked gas LNG
Ditch 90% of the world’s coal and 60% of oil and gas to limit warming to 1.5°C, report by three researchers at University College London, published in Nature, Sep 8, 2021 …In order to hold global warming at 1.5°C, we found that nearly 60% of global oil and fossil gas reserves will need to remain in the ground in 2050. Almost all of the world’s coal – 90% – will need to be spared from factory and power plant furnaces. Our analysis also showed that global oil and gas production must peak immediately and fall by 3% each year until mid-century…
Related: To meet goal of 2015 Paris accord, most of the world’s fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground, by Nicholas Kusnetz, Inside Climate News, Sep 8, 2021 A new study in Nature reports that oil, gas and coal production must begin falling immediately to have even a 50 per cent chance of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Limiting fossil fuel extraction to keep global warming below 1.5° C target, report by researchers at University College London, published in Phys.org, Sep 8, 2021 Nearly 60 per cent of both oil and fossil methane gas reserves and almost 90 per cent of coal reserves must remain in the ground by 2050 in order to keep global warming below 1.5° C, finds a study by UCL researchers. Global oil and gas production must decline by 3% annually until 2050 in order to reach the 1.5° C target…
Excerpt: …Concern is growing that temperature rises above 1.5°C are beginning to be seen as inevitable, or even acceptable, to powerful members of the global community. Relatedly, current strategies for reducing emissions to net zero by the middle of the century implausibly assume that the world will acquire great capabilities to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere… To achieve these targets [keeping global temperature rises below 1.5C while enhancing social equity], governments must make fundamental changes to how our societies and economies are organised and how we live. The current strategy of encouraging markets to swap dirty for cleaner technologies is not enough. Governments must intervene to support the redesign of transport systems, cities, production and distribution of food, markets for financial investments, health systems, and much more. Global coordination is needed to ensure that the rush for cleaner technologies does not come at the cost of more environmental destruction and human exploitation…
Alternative energies? Be careful with the energy you wish for, by Don Fitz, Green Social Thought, Sep 7, 2021 [This essay, its related readings and an introduction are compiled and re-published on the home page of A Socialist In Canada on Sepember 10, 2021.]
Farming without a support net, by Liza Gross, Inside Climate News, Sep 7, 2021 California’s sustainable farms offer lessons in climate resilience, but the agricultural system still favors industrial operations.
For North Carolina residents battling industrial hog farms, new threat of expansion looms from ‘biogas’ production, by Melba Newsome, Yale Environment 360, Sep 9, 2021
Carbon capture and storage: Greenwashing, subsidies and carbon pricing, by Will Dubitsky, published on his website Green Transition (Canada), Aug 29, 2021
Europe’s electric car revolution risks job loss backlash, unions warn, Reuters, Sep 6, 2021
How adding rock dust to soil can help get carbon into the ground, by Susan Cosier, Yale Environment 360, Sep 2, 2021 Researchers are finding that when pulverized rock is applied to agricultural fields, the soil pulls far more carbon from the air and crop yields increase. More studies are underway, but some scientists say this method shows significant benefits for farmers and the climate.
Nearly one in three Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer, Washington Post, Sep 4, 2021 Nearly one in three Americans live in a county hit by a weather disaster in the past three months, according to a new Washington Post analysis of federal disaster declarations. On top of that, 64 percent live in places that experienced a multiday heat wave — phenomena that are not officially deemed disasters but are considered the most dangerous form of extreme weather…
Ida deaths rise by 11 in New Orleans; Louisiana toll now 26, Associated Press, Sep 8, 2021
* Fossil fuel leaks, spills, flaring & chemical releases after Hurricane Ida may be worst ever recorded, interview with oil and gas industry investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Sep 8, 2021 (ten-minute interview, with transcript)
* Louisiana one week after Ida: Widespread power outages persist, death toll mounts, ABC News, Sep 4, 2021 (with video report)
* New Orleans begins voluntary evacuations as power outages continue, The Gambit, Sep 2, 2021 and read: report in Washington Post, Sep 3, 2021
* Residents in Ida-battered southeastern Louisiana brace for weeks without power, Washington Post, Sep 4, 2021
* Nearly one week without power, New Orleans is facing a ‘race with the clock’, New York Times, Sep 4, 2021 Forecasters are warning of dangerously high temperatures this weekend as 70 percent of the city remains without power after Hurricane Ida
At least 42 dead after Ida batters Northeast with record rain and floods, NBC News, Sep 1, 2021
* Hurricane Ida turns New York City into a front line of extreme weather supercharged by global warming, CNN, Sep 2, 2021 [Some 50 people died in the U.S. northeast due to Hurricane Ida, some of them drowning in their cars. Hundreds were rescued in New York City from flooded subway lines and basement apartments. Tens of thousands of people in New York City live in basement apartments, many in illegal circumstances. Eleven of them were killed by Ida.].
* Two reasons for the record-shattering rainfall from Hurricane Ida in the U.S. northeast (including New York City), by Russ Schumacher (Colorado State U), The Conversation, Sep 2, 2021
* Hurricane Ida shows the increasing impact of climate change since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, by Jack Rozdilsky (York U, Toronto), The Conversation, Sep 2, 2021
Russia has set an ambitious goal for reducing emissions by 2030, by Michael Oshchepkov, Climate Scorecard, July 11, 2021
Related: Russian government to develop a plan to cut carbon emissions to below the level of the European Union by 2050, Agence France presse, June 4, 2021
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, August 2021
In ten graphs, how to understand world energy use, New Scientist, Aug 4, 2021
The automobile industry’s takeover of the world: Interstate highways were touted as modern marvels. Racial injustice was part of the plan, Washington Post, Aug 17, 2021
The attack of the superweeds, New York Times, Aug 18, 2021 Herbicides are losing the war against weeds and agriculture might never be the same again Superweeds — that is, weeds that have evolved characteristics that make them more difficult to control as a result of repeatedly using the same management tactic — are rapidly overtaking American commodity farms, and Palmer amaranth is their king. Scientists have identified a population of Palmer amaranth that can tolerate being sprayed with six different herbicides (though not all at once), and they continue to discover new resistances. By now, it’s clear that weeds are evolving faster than companies are developing new weed killers..
Related: EPA bans ‘chloropyrifos’ pesticide linked to health problems in children, reversing Trump regime’s greenlighting of the poison. Report by Associated Press, Aug 19, 2021 and read: report in Common Dreams, Aug 18, 2021
Wildfires explode again in western U.S., fanned by turbulent winds, Washington Post, Aug 17, 2021
The inequities of electric vehicles, by Ashley Nunes, Financial Times, Aug 14, 2021 The road to hell is paved with charging stations. [Let’s see: Every liberal environmentalist and ‘ecosocialist’ in the world is touting electric vehicles as a key solution to the global warming emergency. Meanwhile, the ultra-conservative Financial Times hosts an article saying that EV’s will only serve the selfish interests of the wealthy. Who says the environmental left is wallowing in a crisis of outlook? Nonsense.]
Germany to see biggest surge in emissions this year since 1990, Associated Press, Aug 15, 2021
July 2021 was Earth’s hottest month on record, news release by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Aug 13, 2021
Built for mild summers, the Pacific Northwest is scorching yet again, New York Times, Aug 11, 2021 …During the earlier heat wave in June, about 600 more people died in Washington and Oregon than would have been typical … [British Columbia, Canada reported 570 ‘sudden deaths’ directly caused by the same ‘heat dome’ event, which lasted six days.].
[The above report in the New York Times fails to examine why residents of North American cities are so vulnerable to heat waves. The reason is simple–the real estate/construction/automobile/tourism industry nexus that built North American cities and continues to oversee urban expansion (sprawl) exists in order to maximize profits, not provide human comfort and welfare. Scientists have warned for decades of rising global temperatures due to rising greenhouse gas emissions to reach lethal levels. And what has been the response of industry and government? To delay and deflect degrowth solutions because of the belief there is more money to be made in continuing the status quo.]
Wildfires in Siberia, Russia are now bigger than all other fires in world combined, ABC News, Aug 12, 2021 …Greenpeace Russia estimates the fires have burned around 62,000 square miles [1.6 billion hectares, twice the size of Austria] across Russia since the start of the year. The current fires are larger than the wildfires in Greece, Turkey, Canada and the United States combined…
[Fires in Turkey have burned 681 square miles (176,000 hectares) this year, according to the European Forest Fire Information System. In Greece, fires have torn through 424 square miles, and in Italy, 403 square miles have burned, the organization said. Washington Post, Aug 11, 2021]
Is climate change the fault of ‘humanity’?, by Michael Roberts, published on his website, Aug 12, 2021
[Michael Robert is a widely read and respected Marxist economist in the UK. His analyses of the global warming emergency, as in this essay, are very insightful. But he stubbornly refuses to consider ‘degrowth’ as the social, economic and scientific path out of the emergency and into an entirely new stage of human development, which all agree needs to be socialism–a planned, social economy in which human needs and ecological balance govern societal decision-making. Instead, he posits green capitalist solutions, such as massive ‘green energy’ transition away from fossil fuels and massive public expenditure to develop ‘carbon capture and storage’ technology. In other words, there is no questioning in his writings of the vast excess in the relentless capitalist plunder of the Earth, and how to end that.
[Michael Roberts’ analysis of why capitalist plunder takes place and is unceasing is limited to the false, pseudo-Marxist view that competition between capitalists is what drives the incessant expansionism of the capitalist system. But it is a different form of competition which drives this expansionism. It is the competition between capitalists and the working classes over the social surplus produced by society. The capitalists seek maximum return on their capital, come hell or high water (literally). They constantly seek to cut wages and social benefits, and they shift their investments around the globe seeking the lowest costs for wage labour and natural resources. On the other hand, the working classes, due to their very conditions of life, are compelled to wage class struggle in common cause for the future of the planet and its inhabitants.
[The utopian ecosocialists fail to accurately and scientifically explain why it is that capitalism cannot resolve the global warming emergency. That’s because they do not understand the source of capitalism’s expansionist dynamic. Their explanations are reduced to crude interpretations of the role of competition between the capitalists. Here is how two ecosocialists in Australia mistakenly put it in a recent article arguing against degrowth: The competition between companies and even different capitalist powers for markets and resources means that this drive for profit is relentless and expansive. Therefore, capitalism also involves a continuous quest for economic growth. (end citation) Their belief that economic expansionism can be contained and controlled by ‘green capitalist’ measures leads them to reject the path of degrowth. Instead, they typically issue vague calls for capitalist governmens to ‘do something’. And if the governments fail to do so, then the working class will ‘scale up its response’, whatever that means. Is it merely a coincidence that leading ecosocialist writers live and write in the illusory conditions of abundance in the Western imperialist countries? Their analyses are evidently influenced by subtle or not-so-subtle wishes that material abundance such as they experience daily may continue whatever the consequences for society and the ecology of the planet.]
On South Carolina’s shore, condo deveopment has been rampant and owners now worry whether their buildings are safe, Washington Post, Aug 12, 2021
Thirteen things we have learned from the landmark IPCC climate report, by Adam Vaughan, columnist, New Scientist (UK weekly), Aug 9, 2021
* Bleak future feared for Asia’s disaster-prone poor after UN climate report, Reuters, Aug 10, 2021 …Asia-Pacific is the world’s most disaster-prone region and a record number of climate-related emergencies occured in 2020 affecting tens of millions of people, according to a Red Cross study…
* Mixed reaction to dire UN climate change report by governments and media across the world, Courthouse News, Aug 9, 2021
IPCC report warns of an ‘unimaginable, unforgiving world’ without drastic emission cuts, by The Energy Mix (Ottawa), Aug 9, 2021 Human activity is “unequivocally” producing a world of heat waves, wildfires, floods, sea level rise, and needless death and suffering, “it is more likely than not” that average global warming will exceed 1.5°C by 2040, and faster, deeper emission reductions will be needed to bring temperatures back below 1.5° by the end of the century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes in a landmark science assessment released this morning… Climate Action Tracker’s analysis of countries’ latest emission reduction pledges under the Paris Agreement show the world on track for 2.7 to 3.6°C of warming by 2100…
* Humans to blame for acceleration in climate change, says new report by IPCC, Globe and Mail, Aug 8, 2021 (with charts showing rises in global temperatures) …The IPCC report is the first of three documents designed to lay out the best available knowledge about climate change. A second report on climate impacts and a third on mitigation strategies are set for release in the first half of 2022. A final synthesis of all three reports to come in September of 2022, comprising the sixth global assessment of the state of the world’s climate organized by the intergovernmental panel since its creation in 1988. This report on August 9 sets the tone and scope for those that follow because it is tied to the physical behaviour of the atmosphere and its multiple cycles and interactions with other major components of the climate system such as the oceans, polar ice sheets and forests…
* UN report: Effects of climate change are even more severe than we thought, Axios, Aug 9, 2021 …Only rapid, steep and sustained greenhouse gas emissions cuts, down to net zero [sic] and eventually net negative values, can avoid exceeding 1.5 or 2°C (3.6°F) of warming over the longer-term, the IPCC report states. The world has already warmed by 1.1°C (2°F) relative to the 1850-1900 average…
* IPCC report on global warming: No part of the planet will be spared, by Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News, Aug 9, 2021 The new IPCC science assessment, coming before the COP26 meeting to take place in November, calls for immediate action and shows that this summer’s extremes are only a mild preview of the decades ahead.
* The water cycle is intensifying as the climate warms. IPCC report warns that means more intense storms and flooding, by Mathew Barlow (U. of Massachusetts, co-lead author of 2021 IPCC report), published in The Conversation, Aug 9, 2021
Background: What is the IPCC and what does it do?, Deutsche Welle, July 26, 2021
Ailing Earth can’t cope as human demands soar, says report in Bioscience journal, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, Aug 4, 2021
As 40 degree-plus heat wave descends on Spain, meteorologists warn that periods of extreme heat will become more intense and more frequent, El Pais (Spanish daily), Aug 12, 2021 …A spokesperson for Spain’s national weather agency Aemet says the number of heatwaves in Spain has doubled in the past ten years. “Human action is increasing heatwaves in frequency and intensity. In 30 years’ time, a summer like this will be considered cold,” he says. Over the next few days, thermometers in Spain will mark between 5ºC and 10ºC above average for this time of year…
Related news of heat and fires in Europe:
* Italy may have hit Europe’s hottest day on record as anticyclone ‘Lucifer’ sweeps in, CNN, Aug 11, 2021 [On August 11, Italy recorded the highest temperature ever in Europe, at 48.8C in Sicily. That compares to the 49.6C recorded in Lytton, southern British Columbia on June 29, the highest temperature ever in North America outside of extreme desert locations. The following day, a wildfire likely started by a train burned the town to the ground. Lytton lies on Canada’s main east-west freight rail line.].
* Why Italy is struggling to contain wildfires, Deutsche Welle, Aug 8, 2021
* Greece faces ‘disaster of unprecedented proportions’ as wildfires ravage the country, CNN, Aug 10, 2021 and read: two reports by Associated Press: Aug 8, 2021 and Aug 9, 2021
* Europe is burning: Four explanations, Deutsche Welle, Aug 8, 2021 Barely halfway through summer, the area burned by wildfires raging through the Balkans, Italy and the southeastern Mediterranean has already eclipsed yearly averages.
* Turkey’s wildfires expose inadequacy of Erdogan’s executive presidency, by Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor, Aug 5, 2021
Louisiana needs sand to rebuild its coast but abandoned oil and gas pipelines and infrastructure are blocking the way, Washington Post, Aug 9, 2021 …A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that oil and gas companies have been allowed to abandon 97 per cent of offshore pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico in place without penalty. The abandoned infrastructure poses environmental concerns, but it has also created another problem: The pipelines are blocking access to the sand that Louisiana and other gulf states desperately need to rebuild their coastlines in the face of rising seas…
Severe drought batters Kazakhstan, causing mass deaths of horses important to national diet and culture, Washington Post, Aug 9, 2021
Rapid growth of the U.S. wildland-urban interface raises wildfire risk, research paper by (multiple university researchers), published by PNAS, March 12, 2018 (PNAS–Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences–is the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences.)
Related story on wildfire: Knowing fire: A First Nation on the edge of British Columbia’s biggest wildfire says its knowledge is crucial to the fight, but was ignored as the blaze grew, interactive report by Emma Paling, photos by Evan Mitsui, CBC News, Aug 7, 2021
[Wildfires in western North America, southern Europe and so many other parts of the world beg the need for an end to the capitalist, industrial looting of nature that has been taking place for centuries. Massive industrial encroachment on nature–industrial sites, clearcutting of forests, pipelines, highways, damming of rivers and construction of related hydro-electric transmission lines–and the residential sprawl that follows can no longer be sustained. It was never rational or humane. Drawing back from this history of looting through the economic/social mechanism of degrowth is urgently needed. Firefighting resources should be directed towards the safety and preservation of First Nations (aboriginal) and Métis communities and historic lands. There, as elsewhere, planned management of forests–including essential practices as selective logging and prescribed burning–will thrive and further reduce fire danger. This all requires a societal transition away from capitalism and to socialism. This and so much more will lay the foundations for human, civilizational survival.]
Richard Lewontin, dialectical biologist and activist, dies at age 92, by Prabir Purkayastha, Newsclick (India), July 18, 2021 A Marxist, activist and scientist, Lewontin fought a lifelong battle against racism, imperialism and capitalist oppression. He is among the most influential scientists in the field of biology and evolution.
Scientists warn of Gulf Stream collapse leading to ‘climate catastrophe’ in North Atlantic, world, Global News (Canada), Aug 6, 2021
The fraction of the global population at risk of floods is growing, Nature magazine, Aug 4, 2021 Satellite imaging combined with population data shows that, globally, the number of people living in flood-prone areas is growing faster than is the number living on higher ground — greatly increasing the potential impact of floods.
This year’s summer of climate extremes is hitting wealthier countries, Associated Press, Aug 4, 2021
At int’l meeting on global warming, China responds to Western countries blaming it for the crisis. Report by Associated Press, Aug 3, 2021
[Governments and media in the West have been spoonfeeding their populations the propaganda theme of ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by this-or-that date. ‘Net zero’ is code language for ‘exporting our carbon emissions and emission counting’. This report by Associated Press goes one step further–dropping the word ‘net’ to claim that Western imperialist regimes are dedicated to ‘zero’ emissions by this-or-that date! The grim fact is that the capitalist regimes of the world have no plan and no intention or reducing their looting of the planet’s resources. Only a planned and socially just transition following ‘degrowth’ principles can achieve that–all the rest of the talk is just hot air.].
* China’s ecology, essay by the editors, Monthly Review, print issue of March 2021
* Fact check: Is China the main climate change culprit?, Deutsche Welle, June 30, 2021 (with extensive charts) China currently releases more carbon emissions than any other country — leading many to believe it bears the greatest responsibility for climate change. However, the situation is more complex than it seems.
* As China boomed, it didn’t take climate change into account; now it must, New York Times, July 26, 2021 China’s breathtaking economic growth created cities ill-equipped to face extreme weather. last week’s dramatic floods showed that much will have to change.
* China has opened a national carbon market; here’s why it matters, New York Times, July 15, 2021 China, the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas pollution, opened a national carbon emissions trading market on July 16, a long-awaited step aimed at fighting climate change. The market turns the power to pollute into an allowance that can be bought and sold, and is part of an array of policies that the Chinese government is putting in place as it tries to demonstrate its commitment to significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades… The program covers only coal and gas plants that supply power and heat; other industries may be brought into the market in coming years…
* China’s emissions trading scheme commences on July 1, 2021. Will it help tackle climate change?, by Hongqiao Liu, Carbon Brief, June 24, 2021
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, July 2021
China’s ecology, essay by the editors, Monthly Review, print issue of March 2021
[See other, recent analysis of China’s response to the global warming emergency further below on this website page. Use your website browser’s ‘Edit’ function and search using ‘China’.]
Critical measures of global heating reaching tipping point, study finds, The Guardian, July 28, 2021 and read: report in Common Dreams, July 28, 2021 A new study tracking the planet’s vital signs has found that many of the key indicators of the global climate crisis are getting worse and either approaching, or exceeding, key tipping points as the earth heats up. Overall, the study found some 16 out of 31 tracked planetary vital signs, including greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean heat content and ice mass, set worrying new records…
The race for electric vehicle production leads to risky deep-ocean mining, by Tatiana Schlossberg, Yale Environment 360, July 28, 2021 …Ironically, while critics worry about deep-sea mining’s environmental impacts, proponents are offering up the urgency of global warming and the need to transition to a clean-energy economy as the reason to press ahead. In a report published earlier this year, the International Energy Agency found that achieving net-zero emissions [sic] by 2050 would require six times more of certain minerals by 2040 than are being mined today…
Plan for ‘carbon capture’ pipeline network double the size of the existing oil pipeline system quietly gaining ground at U.S. Dept. of Energy, by Sharon Kelly, DeSmog, July 18, 2021 …The blueprint leaves open many questions about how the carbon would be captured at the source — a process that so far has proved difficult and expensive — and where it would be sent. Instead, it focuses on policies the federal government can adopt to boost CO2 pipeline construction…
Wildfires in British Columbia are now burning ten times more than in 1990s, by Barry Saxifrage, researcher and columnist, National Observer, July 27, 2021 This year’s wildfire season has exploded across British Columbia. The provincial government has declared a state of emergency. Hundreds of wildfires are burning and thousands of people are under evacuation order. One of those fires, the Lytton Creek wildfire, made international headlines when it burned the village of Lytton to the ground within hours of starting. That particular fire is still “out of control” and is threatening towns to the north. To illustrate the recent trend in wildfires and how this explosive wildfire year fits into it, I’ve created a series of charts using B.C.’s official greenhouse gas inventory and the latest wildfire statistics… Even more troubling, the amount of climate pollution being added to the atmosphere in BC is much greater than what this chart shows. That’s because it doesn’t include the massive and rising emissions from BC’s forests — both from human-caused climate impacts and logged wood. The government continues to exclude this climate pollution from its climate targets and policies. The reason given is that the forest is re-absorbing all that CO2 each year, meaning the forest and the wood logged from it is “carbon neutral”. But as I wrote in my last article, the government’s own data shows that forests stopped absorbing more CO2 than it emitted more than a decade ago…
[To date in 2021, some 300,000 hectares of forest land have burned in Britih Columbia. That’s many times higher than in all of 2019 and 2020 combined. The years 2017 and 2018 were record years, with 1.2 milion hectares and 1.35 million hectares, respectively, burned in total. (source)].
* Today’s wildfires in North America are taking us into uncharted territory, Scientific American, July 20, 2021 Data on 2,000 years of Rocky Mountain forest fires shows skyrocketing damage
* What I saw in Yosemite National Park was devastating, commentary in New York Times, July 22, 2021 …The evidence of our planet’s warming is all around us. But many of us have been able to comfort ourselves, if only slightly, with the knowledge that the more cataclysmic fallout is still a ways off, that it may be preventable. What I saw in Yosemite National Park feels like a wake-up call that’s come too late…
* The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is so large, it’s creating its own weather, CNN, July 20, 2021
[The Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, near the California border, is the third largest in the state’s history and is spurred by months of drought and last month’s blistering heat wave. It is the largest wildfire so far this year in the United States, having already burned more than 340,000 acres (138,000 hectares) of forest and grasslands. It’s one of at least eight large fires burning in Oregon and one of at least 80 burning across 13 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The climate crisis has made deadlier and more destructive wildfires the new normal.].
* Punishing summer heat dries out thunderstorms and fuels raging wildfires in U.S. West, updates on extreme weather and climate, in New York Times, July 20, 2021
Climate change will drive rise in ‘record-shattering’ heat extremes, by Ayesha Tandon, Carbon Brief (UK), July 26, 2021 A new study published in Nature Climate Change finds that the northern mid-latitudes are particularly vulnerable to record-shattering heat. This is exemplified by the recent heatwave over northwest U.S. and Canada, in which many long-standing temperature records were broken by as much as 5C.
The way out, by Caitlin Johnstone (Australian writer), Consortium News, July 26, 2021 What will it take for society to turn away from the path of extinction and begin working in collaboration with our ecosystem?
‘Advanced’ nuclear reactors? Don’t hold your breath, Scientific American, July 23, 2021 With little hard evidence, their developers maintain they’ll be cheaper, safer and more secure than existing power plants
Global warming emergency: Planning, not carbon pricing, is what’s needed, by Michael Roberts, published on his website, July 23, 2021
Climate crisis turns world’s subways into flood zones, New York Times, July 22, 2021 Swift, deadly flooding in China this week inundated a network that wasn’t even a decade old, highlighting the risks faced by cities globally.
Inside the race to rescue clues to Earth’s past from melting glaciers, New Scientist (UK weekly print magazine) June 16, 2021 Glacial ice records all manner of precious information about the planet’s environmental history, but it is melting fast. The Ice Memory project is scrambling to extract samples for posterity before it’s too late. read the article here in pdf format: Earth’s melting glaciers
Heat waves are dangerous. Isolation and inequality make them deadly, Washington Post, July 21, 2021 As they assess the toll of last month’s heat wave, Oregon officials say ‘social resilience’ is needed to cope with climate change and protect those most vulnerable
How the meat industry is climate-washing its polluting business model, by Caroline Christen, published by DeSmog, July 18, 2021
Rescue efforts ramp up in Germany as flood destruction spreads to east of country and Austria, Deutsche Welle, July 18, 2021
* Unprecedented rain and flood waters destroy towns and kill scores in Germany and Belgium, New York Times, July 17, 2021 and read: news report with live updates, New York Times, July 17, 2021
* Rescuers race to prevent more deaths from floods in Europe, Associated Press, July 16, 2021
* Global warming to bring more intense storms across Europe, EurekAlert!, July 16, 2021 Climate change is driving a large increase in intense, slow-moving storms, a new study by Newcastle University and the UK Met Office has found (EurekAlert! is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.)
* Climate experts shocked at severity of floods in Germany and Belgium, Common Dreams, July 16, 2021
* Extreme weather in the age of global warming, New York Times, July 16, 2021 The storm that brought flooding and devastation to parts of Europe is the latest example of an extreme weather event. More are expected.
European Union unveils tough climate rules, including taxes on foreign firms, Associated Press, July 14, 2021 and read: report by The Energy Mix, July 15, 2021 The European Union unveiled sweeping new legislation on Juy 14 to help meet its pledge to cut emissions of the gases that cause global warming by 55 per cent (from 1990 levels) over this decade, including a controversial plan to tax foreign companies for the pollution they cause…
* The EU’s new ‘Fit for 55’ emissions reduction plan puts energy poor in jeopardy, statement by Friends of the Earth Europe, July 14, 2021 ‘We really hoped the European Commission would live up to its promise of a Green Deal that leaves no-one behind, but instead this package gives energy-poor people a punch on the nose.’
* How marginalized communities in the southern U.S. are paying the price for ‘green energy’ in Europe (biomass from forest clearing). Interactive report by CNN, July 9, 2021 …To say cutting down trees and burning them for power is a renewable energy source feels counterintuitive and, in reality, it is. Burning wood is less efficient than burning coal and releases far more carbon into the atmosphere, according to almost 800 scientists who wrote a 2018 letter to the European parliament, pushing members to amend the current directive “to avoid expansive harm to the world’s forests and the acceleration of climate change.” …“I can’t think of anything that harms nature more than cutting down trees and burning them,” said William Moomaw, professor emeritus of international environmental policy at Tufts University. Yet by burning wood, European power plants can reduce their carbon footprint — at least on paper…
As China boomed, it didn’t take climate change into account; now it must, New York Times, July 26, 2021 China’s breathtaking economic growth created cities ill-equipped to face extreme weather. last week’s dramatic floods showed that much will have to change.
China has opened a national carbon market; here’s why it matters, New York Times, July 15, 2021 China, the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas pollution, opened a national carbon emissions trading market on July 16, a long-awaited step aimed at fighting climate change. The market turns the power to pollute into an allowance that can be bought and sold, and is part of an array of policies that the Chinese government is putting in place as it tries to demonstrate its commitment to significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades… The program covers only coal and gas plants that supply power and heat; other industries may be brought into the market in coming years…
* China’s emissions trading scheme commences on July 1, 2021. Will it help tackle climate change?, by Hongqiao Liu, Carbon Brief, June 24, 2021
* Fact check: Is China the main climate change culprit?, Deutsche Welle, June 30, 2021 (with extensive charts) China currently releases more carbon emissions than any other country — leading many to believe it bears the greatest responsibility for climate change. However, the situation is more complex than it seems.
Building solar farms may not build the middle class, New York Times, July 16, 2021 Some of the wealthiest companies in the world are investing in the green economy. But they’re not investing in paying union wages.
How promoting nuclear energy is the opposite of climate action, by Michael Nabert, published on his website page on Medium, July 14, 2021
* Ten reasons why climate activists should not support nuclear energy, by Simon Butler, published on Climate and Capitalism, June 23, 2021
* Editor of Jacobin publishes statement in favor of nuclear power. Commentary by Bhaskar Sunkara, in The Guardian, June 21, 2021 [Support of nuclear energy on the part of left-wing and other environmental thinkers is a sign of resignation before the juggernaut of the endless, mindless productivism of globalized capitalism. Such resignation is inevitable among those who refuse to countenance the imperative of degrowth. The latter is a strategy of class struggle for a radical reduction in the wasteful productivism of capitalism and to lessen and eventually overcome the great social and national equalities endemic to that same system.]
Will Russia’s forests be an asset or an obstacle in climate fight?, by Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360, July 15, 2021 New research indicating Russia’s vast forests store more carbon than previously estimated would seem like good news. But scientists are concerned Russia will count this carbon uptake as an offset in its climate commitments, which would allow its emissions to continue unchecked.
Heat wave roasts western U.S. as wildfires explode in size, USA Today, July 12, 2021 …In California, wildfire season is outpacing last year’s – the worst on record – according to the LA Times, based on data from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection… [British Columbia is escaping the worst of the new heat wave hitting the U.S. west. But 1,005 wildfires have burned 163,324 hectares to date in 2021; the province set wildfire records in 2018 (following 2017’s record year) with 2,117 wildfires that burned 1,354,284 hectares.].
* Amid mega-drought, U.S. gov’t expected to issue a first water shortage declaration along the Colorado River, NPR, July 13, 2021
* Soaring temperatures and wildfire threaten California’s power grid, Scientific American, July 12, 2021
* Extreme heat and cold kill five million every year, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, July 9, 2021
Record temperatures felt across the world, Deutsche Welle, July 9, 2021
Offshore wind energy industry in U.S. remains far short of long-awaited boom, Inside Climate News, July 8, 2021 There are only two offshore wind energy farms in operation in the U.S.
Related: Scotland’s Orkney islands are producing excess renewable energy and using it to diversity their economy, by Paul Brown, Climate News Network, July 2, 2021
Pacific North-west heatwave in late June 2021 shows climate is heading into ‘uncharted territory’, by Robert McSweeney, Carbon Brief, July 7, 2021
* Village of Lytton BC shocked the world’s meteorologists with record-high temperatures. Now a wildfire has burned it to the ground. Report in Globe and Mail, July 1, 2021 read the report here in pdf format: Lytton BC burned by wildfire
[Lytton set records three days in a row for highest temperatures ever recorded in Canada, topping out at 49.6C (121 F) on June 29. That surpasses the highest temperature ever recorded in Las Vegas. Nowhere else in the world north of the 37th parallel has ever been hotter in recorded times. That’s the border between Colorado and New Mexico or Utah and Arizona. The town and surrounding area has a population of some 2,000 and is located some 250 km north of Vancouver and 200 km inland from the Pacific Ocean.].
* Global warming has gotten deadly. It will get worse, Washington Post, July 3, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Global warming gotten deadly …Studies show the chance of a given tropical storm becoming a hurricane that is Category 3 or greater has grown eight percent every decade. The acreage of the U.S. West burned by wildfire is twice what it would otherwise be. The heat wave that struck the Northwest this week brought temperatures that were as much as 11 degrees above the previous all-time high. “The heat wave is well beyond what straightforward statistical analysis would suggest,” says Michael Wehner, a climate scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. “It’s well beyond what climate models suggest,but it happened.” …
* Historic heat wave in Pacific Northwest has killed hundreds in U.S. and Canada over the past week, Washington Post, July 1, 2021 [The Canadian province of British Columbia recorded 777 ‘sudden deaths’ during the six days of extreme heat from June 25 to 30. The average number of sudden deaths for that period in past years is 200.].
* Underpaid firefighters, overstretched budgets: The U.S. isn’t prepared for fires fueled by climate change, Washington Post, July 1, 2021 …Fire experts say the escalation of wildfires, fueled by climate change, demands an equally dramatic transformation in the nation’s response — from revamping the federal firefighting workforce to the management of public lands to the siting and construction of homes… On July 1, authorities across the Pacific Northwest and western Canada said they were investigating at least 500 suspected deaths from heat illness that occurred amid the week’s record-shattering temperatures…
* Montana is melting thanks to fossil fuel-addicted politicians, by George Ochenski, columnist, The Missoulian, June 30, 2021 (re-published in CounterPunch, July 1, 2021)
Drought hits the U.S. Southwest and New Mexico’s fabled canals, built by Spanish settlers, run dry, New York Times, July 12, 2021 The fabled irrigation ditches, acequias, that are a cornerstone of New Mexican culture, have endured centuries of challenges. …More than 77 percent of New Mexico is in severe drought, limiting pasture yields and stunting irrigated crops, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center…
Related: Once a rich desert river, the Gila struggles to keep flowing, Yale Environment 360, July 8, 2021 The Gila River was listed in 2019 by the advocacy group American Rivers as the nation’s most endangered river. It drains an enormous watershed of 60,000 square miles.
Alberta tar sands producers say it will cost $75 billion to achieve ‘net zero emissions’ and governments need to pay most of that. Report by Bloomberg News, July 8, 2021 …To achieve the goal announced last month of ‘net zero emissions’ by 2050 in Alberta oilsands production, about half of the emission cuts would need to come from capturing carbon at oilsands sites and sequestering it deep underground… [Tar sands industry production in Alberta emits nearly 70 million tons per year of CO2, some ten per cent of Canada’s total emissions.].
Related: Carbon capture and storage won’t work, says report out of UK, by Paul Brown, Climate News Network, Jan 14, 2021 One of the key technologies that governments hope will help save the planet from dangerous heating, carbon capture and storage, will not work as planned and is a dangerous distraction, a new report says. Instead of financing a technology they can neither develop in time nor make to work as claimed, governments should concentrate on scaling up proven technologies like renewable energies and energy efficiency, say researchers at the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research… It is a complex and expensive process, and many of the schemes proposed in the 1990s have been abandoned as too expensive or too technically difficult. Currently, there are only 26 CCS plants operating globally, capturing about 0.1% of the annual global emissions from fossil fuels…
At annual Austrian World Summit, Greta Thunberg rips into ‘climate theatrics’ of world leaders, Common Dreams, July 2, 2021 ‘Let’s be clear—what you are doing is not about climate action or responding to an emergency. It never was.’
China is declared officially malaria-free by World Health Organization, CNN, July 1, 2020