While it is undeniable that we are ramping up our actions against climate change, it is hard to deny that global warming is getting scarier every week. Here is a quick selection of horror stories I have collected this summer.
When one thinks of the Middle East nowadays, oil comes to mind. But with solar photovoltaic booming right now all around the region and beyond, this might not be the case in twenty or thirty years.
I particularly like Thomas L Friedman’s articles on climate and environmental issues. His book, Hot, Flat and Crowded is still one of my favorites. Now here comes a little gem of how climate change is wrecking even more the Middle East.
His article starts with these words : ” In the 1970s, I got both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in modern Middle East studies, and (…) at no time did environmental or climate issues appear anywhere in the syllabi of my courses.
” Today, you can’t understand the Arab awakenings — or their solutions — without considering climate, environment and population stresses. “
While reading Richard Branson’s latest book, Screw Business As Usual, I came across an interesting concept : the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. The term refers to the basic goods and services to sell to the poorest people.
To a report from the World Resources Institute quoted in Branson’s book, the Bottom of the Pyramid in Asia and the Middle East represent no less than 2.8 Billion people, with a total income of $3.47 Trillion.
Counting in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe, this amounts to a $5 Trillion market which can be addressed ethycally by companies.
To 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%. “
Here is my first Cleantechies post of 2013. It is about how 2012 was interesting in terms of global effort on climate change. I believe it is a good complement to the post I published last Wednesday. Here is the introduction : ” As a close observer of the energy and climate global scene since … Read more
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer with ten million barrels out of the 89 million consumed each day on Planet Earth. The consequences of this country having to import oil would be disastrous for our world economies.
This scenario could actually take place in less than two decades, according to Citigroup as Bloomberg and Grist report. Indeed, half of the electricity produced in the kingdom comes from oil and the demand is increasing rapidly.
This is explained by the massive subsidies given by the Saudi Aramco to local power companies that pay around $10 per barrel.
A Master’s graduate in International Law and Relations, Olivier Jacquemet blogs on Conflicts, Peace and Defence policies on his blog, www.echo-sierra.net. After several experiences, he is currently seeking employment.
As past summits, Rio+20 illustrates the lack of political will to invest in sustainable development, despite the fact that failure to finance and set up new ways of consuming will likely have a huge impact on ecosystems and societies.
Short term responses to economic and debt crises fill every available room on our leaders’ agendas.