Tag Archives: climate change

Where do we go from here?

When the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recently published its most comprehensive and most drastic report on climate change to date, the president of the United States, Mr Barack Obama, called it a “call to action”. It remains to be seen if the leader of the biggest economy on the planet will live up…

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The intergenerational injustice of climate change

Scientists are getting more radical about climate change and its consequences for our descendants. In a recent edition of the New York Times, Dr Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University draws attention to the fact that the time is past when scientists could, with a good conscience, refuse to go further than state their considered…

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The day after the day before tomorrow

“If scientists were predicting the imminent return of the ice age I’m certain our response would have been more robust. ‘Global warming’ creates an illusion of a comfortable, warm future that is deeply appealing … ” The Weather Makers – The History and Future Impact of Climate Change by Tim Flannery (Allen Lane, Penguin, 2005)…

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COP19 – the cathedral and the bazaar

The people in suits want to talk and nothing will stop them from listening to the sound of their own voices. COP19, the global climate-change meeting, might seem far away in Warsaw, Poland, this week but like a massive weather system migrating the globe its impact will be felt in Africa for sure. Africa knows…

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Who are you calling radical?

The planet needs activism. It is being drilled, mined, excavated, pumped, and fracked more than ever before. Rivers are clogged with clingwrap, Simba packets, and toxic dyes; saturated with the run off from crops that are lathered in pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilisers. Forests are being wiped out: Even in the DRC where the Congo…

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The Arctic: Why you should give a damn

The Arctic is melting. The Arctic is thawing — reaching record lows this decade as Arctic temperatures are at their highest in the last 44 000 years. Climate change is heating our planet, and we could soon see ice-free summers at the North Pole. In their latest climate report, scientists around the world are more emphatic…

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The madness of capital

Last month the Associated Press reported that the income gap in the United States broke a new record in 2012, with the 1% grabbing a greater share of total household wealth than ever before in history. This news follows on the heels of the fact that the 1% not only captured all of the income…

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Our alien mother ship

I’d just watched the new Tom Cruise sci-fi about alien machines who invade the planet to suck up Earth’s resources. The movie has a happy ending, though: the alien mother ship is destroyed and Tom gets back to his rustic cabin, his family, nature. Like in most sci-fi’s, the planet is fought for and saved,…

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The truth about extreme global inequality

The crisis of capital, the rise of the Occupy movement and the crash of Southern Europe have brought the problem of income inequality into mainstream consciousness in the West for the first time in many decades. Now everyone is talking about how the richest 1% have captured such a disproportionate share of wealth in their…

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Postcard from a recovering China

Preparing to leave Beijing last week after a splendid fortnight’s rail tour of the two neighbouring (and confusingly named) provinces of Shaanxi and Shanxi, I was startled to find evidence of a very different China to the one that is often portrayed in mainstream English-language media – “never mind the quality, feel the growth!” What’s…

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