The medical case against climate change

Deniers stating that climate change is a threat for the distant future forget that air pollution from coal fired plants, industry and vehicle exhausts are just a huge threat to our present as well. 

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A massive drought strikes Brazil

In the land of carnavals, I had read that some festivities had been cancelled because of the lack of water, so I knew something was wrong in Brazil. In fact, it is the worst drought in 84 years ! 

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Pentagon acknowledges threat of climate change

It will become significantly harder for those who deny climate change in the United States to continue to do so after this. The US Department of Defense believes that global warming is a ” threat multiplier “

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Don’t say climate change, prefer ” climate crises “

Global warming could lead to more violence and warsTo a recent study, global warming could cause a 50 percent increase in violent conflict. Given that it has already sparked the matches of war in Darfur and Syria, one can be scared.  As the Guardian noted :

” A group of researchers have trawled the scientific literature and concluded from 60 studies, from Somalia and China to Colombia and the Middle East, that unusually warm weather generates more aggression and conflict.

” In parts of equatorial Africa, they suggest, every added degree of heat increases the chance of conflict between groups by 11 to 14%. “

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Hope for climate in Davos’ World Economic Forum

world economic forumLast week in Davos, Switzerland, took place the annual World Economic Forum. As the financial crisis of 2008 is drawing to an end, climate change is emerging as a key crisis that has to be addressed as soon as possible. To Reuters :

” Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, summed it up for any Davos doubters: “Unless we take action on climate change, future generations will be roasted, toasted, fried and grilled.”

Now this is some serious talk and I am puzzled that this didn’t end up making headlines on both climate specialized blogs or general news.

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Are our cities just too big to flood ?

Flood in BangkokThis was the question asked on the the Yale Environment 360 blog and I believe the timing is perfect as last year cities such as New York City, Manila and Bangkok got it by record floods. Now it is the turn of Jakarta.

The capital megacity of Indonesia now has water in its streets and people to evacuate because of another flood. Given that rising temperatures mean rising sea levels and more extreme weather, the threat is huge.

First in terms of people – as the majority of people will live in cities in 2050 and as 14 of the world’s 17 largest cities are located along coasts.

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7 ways climate change is worse than thought

New Scientist cover on climate changeIn case you would haven’t guessed : Climate change is here and it’s even worse than we thought. New Scientist proposes a compelling series of article showing that the IPCC predictions in 2007 were below what we are witnessing.

Here are the seven points of their argumentation : arctic warming, extreme weather, food production, sea level, planetary feedback, human emissions and heat stress.

If you want further nightmarish details, please have a look at Climate Progress’ take on the article. So are we doomed ? Nope, we still can act. But we got to act quick and big.

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Another year, another CO2 emissions record

The rise of the PollutionThis is getting really worrying. To the German renewable energy institute, global CO2 emissions rose by 2.5 percent in 2011. The IEA on its side saw a 3.2 percent increase. Global emissions are now 50 percent higher than in 1990.

This is taking place as respected organizations such as the World Bank, the IEA and the United Nations are calling for rapid and massive action. You can’t suspect these people to have an agenda or to have doubts about this.

So either country leaders around the world will finally heed the call or we are doomed to witness global collapse by 2030. It’s now or never.

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World Bank urges to ” turn down the heat “

World Bank : Turn Down the HeatEarlier this week, the World Bank published a new report called “Turn Down the Heat” with catastrophic figures, as to their projections, global temperatures could rise by 4°C by 2100.

As this venerable institution notes, this would have catastrophic consequences for the world’s poorest as extreme weather, decreasing crops quantities, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and rising sea levels will hit them the most.

This leads the World Bank’s President to state that ” We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today “.

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Hurricane Sandy, aka the Frankenstorm

Sandy hitting the United StatesUnless you have spent the week remote from civilization, you must have heard of THE event of the week : Disney bought the Star Wars franchise. Ooops, sorry, I meant : Hurricane Sandy, also known as the Frankenstorm.

All joking aside, the matter is tremendously serious as dozens died in the Caribbean and the United States. Billion of Dollars of damages will probably be recorded as New York and many other cities were flooded.

This hurricane broke the deafening climate silence of the US presidential election, or at least in the collective mind (but not for candidate Romney).

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Arctic ice 18 percent below previous records

We have seen it this year quite a few times : the arctic has been melting this year at an unprecedented rate to a never seen before low level. Indeed, the new low level is 18 percent below the previous record, which dated from 2007. This has led a scientist from Cambridge to believe that the … Read more

Americans connect the dots, demand action

Two recent polls are showing that change might soon take place in the United States. Climate Progress recently noted that 75 % of Americans support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and that 60 % support a carbon tax.

The same website mentioned shortly afterwards another poll showing that 63% of Americans say  their country should fight global warming regardless what other countries do. This represents an overwhelming majority…

As 80 percent of Americans have already experienced extreme weather events such as dramatic drought, tornadoes and floods, this is no surprise.

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