Climate change will force new animal encounters — and boost viral outbreaks

Modelling study is first to project how global warming will increase virus swapping between species.

Natasha Gilbert

Nature | April 28, 2022

Bats will have a large contribution to virus transmission between species in the future, a modelling study finds.Credit: Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty

Over the next 50 years, climate change could drive more than 15,000 new cases of mammals transmitting viruses to other mammals, according to a study published in Nature1. It’s one of the first to predict how global warming will shift wildlife habitats and increase encounters between species capable of swapping pathogens, and to quantify how many times viruses are expected to jump between species.

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Rising heatwaves ravage the Himalayas. Here’s why?

Down To Earth | April 25, 2022

On April 19, 2022, 117 fresh forest fire incidents were reported in Uttarakhand by the forest department. The fire season which began this year on February 15 has affected more than 1020 hectares of forest land including 725 hectares of reserved forest area. In just over a week from April 18 to April 25, there were 362 major forest fire reports from across India. More than half of them were reported from one mountainous state of Uttrakhand. But why is this happening? India had recorded its warmest March in 122 years and the mountain regions of India have been particularly affected by these heatwaves of 2022. Like the plains, according to IMD, the average temperature during the initial summer months has been at least 5-7 degrees above normal in hilly regions of the country. High-altitude places such as Badrinath and Kedarnath have been left with very little snow this year compared to a thick blanket of snow in the previous years. The Ladakh which has a minimum elevation of 2,550 meters is witnessing a heatwave. Drass a town in Ladakh is at an elevation of over 3,000 meters and is one of the coldest places in the country. It recorded 22.6 degrees Celsius in the month of April when the temperatures should not cross about 15 degrees celsius. In Himachal Pradesh, Una recorded 42.5 degrees Celsius, a departure of seven degrees Celsius from the normal, while Solan recorded 35.5 degrees Celsius, a departure of six degrees Celsius from the normal, according to IMD. This is unusual because the mountainous states in India are not prone to heatwaves. Himachal Pradesh for example has recorded 21 days of heatwaves since March 2022, which is only second after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The hot weather is attributed to the lack of rainfall due to the absence of active western disturbances over north India and any central system over the country’s southern parts. According to experts, The hot winds blowing in from Pakistan could also have been the reasons behind the unusually high temperatures in many Himalayan areas. IMD has also warned about the increase in temperature and the potential for more heatwaves in the mountain regions of the country. While heatwaves are increasing, what is even more worrying is that the number of extremely cold days in the Himalayas is decreasing putting extreme stress on glaciers and other water reserves of the region.


Climate change and wars

Michael Roberts Blog | April 09, 2022

As the ugly war in Ukraine drags on, with more lives lost and atrocities (apparently) committed, energy and food prices hit yet more highs.  The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the UN publishes a monthly global price index.  The FAO Food Price Index reached yet another record high of 159.3 points in March, up 12.6% from February.

FAO Food price index
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Bankers lie about fossil fuel finance

Despite promising cuts, the world’s biggest banks pour trillions into oil, gas and coal

Climate and Capitalism | March 31, 2022

The 13th annual Banking on Climate Chaos report exposes the stark disparity between public climate commitments being made by the world’s largest banks, and the reality of business-as-usual financing to the fossil fuel industry. To be blunt: when the big banks promised to cut funding to oil, gas and coal, they were lying.

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Six takeaways from IPCC AR6 Report: Long-term benefits of cutting emissions today outweigh costs

The report provides an exhaustive list of solutions across the energy, buildings, transport, land and industrial sectors which show that it is possible to cut emissions quickly and cheaply

Avantika Goswami

Down To Earth | April 04, 2022

Growth in greenhouse gas emissions has been driven mainly by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE Growth in greenhouse gas emissions has been driven mainly by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE

The United Nations’ climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the third instalment of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) April 4, 2022. The report prepared by the IPCC Working Group III (WG-III) focuses on the mitigation of climate change, ie, the solutions necessary to halt global warming.

The full report collates the latest scientific research from across the world and extends to thousands of pages. But a condensed 63-page summary, titled the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) captures the key highlights.

Here are six takeaways from the SPM:

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LNG, but not for rich world

Industrial countries need deep decarbonisation; they can’t re-invest in fossil fuels and call it clean & green

Sunita Narain

Down To Earth | March 28, 2022

I am at the annual meeting of energy business magnates and experts — perhaps the most important of all such events — held in Houston, Texas. CERAWeek, as it is called, has been held this year, after a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19.

It is the worst of times — the Russia-Ukraine war has just broken out; sanctions have been imposed; and energy prices are spiraling out of control. As I sit and listen to the oil and gas producers, I realise that I am seeing a tectonic shift in the global energy chessboard.

The fact is, the energy price hike before and during the war has brought back focus on the role of conventional oil and gas companies. They are buoyant about their role in the post-war energy scenario — from drilling and pumping for more oil and gas, to their role in the lucrative new markets in Europe.

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The Danger of Fossil Fascism

Understanding the growing combination of racism, climate science denial, and fossil fuel promotion

Andreas Malm and the Zetkin Collective
On the Danger of Fossil Fascism

Verso Books, 2021

reviewed by Martin Empson

Climate and Capitalism | March 26, 2022

As regular readers of my blog will be aware, I think that Andreas Malm, even where I disagree with key points of his argument, is one of the most stimulating Marxist authors on environmental politics. So it was with eager anticipation that I looked forward to this new publication “one the dangers of fossil fascism” that Malm has co-authored with the network the Zetkin Collective, a group of scholars and activists “working on the political ecology of the far right.”

The book does multiple things. It opens with a study of the far-right and fascist movements and looks at their “anti-climate politics” and asks “what would it mean to live in a world both hotter and further to the right” than it is today. It argues that the far-right’s fixation with anti-climate views is closely tied to its anti-immigration perspective and the way that developing capitalism associated technology (and particularly fossil fuel technologies) with white supremacy. The authors argue in the introduction:

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IPCC IMPACT REPORT: Scientists issue ‘dire warning’ on climate

‘A brief and rapidly closing window to secure a livable future’

Climate & Capitalism | February 28, 2022

February 28, 2022. Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. People and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released today.

“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”

The world faces unavoidable multiple climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F). Even temporarily exceeding this warming level will result in additional severe impacts, some of which will be irreversible. Risks for society will increase, including to infrastructure and low-lying coastal settlements.

The Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group II report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability was approved on Sunday, February 27 2022, by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that was held over two weeks starting on February 14.

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CLIMATE IS A CLASS ISSUE: Poorest people hit hardest by heat stress

New Research: 25% of the world’s people will face more heat wave days than all the rest combined

Climate & Capitalism | February 11, 2022

Source: American Geophysical Union

People with lower incomes are exposed to heat waves for longer periods of time compared to higher income people, due to a combination of location and access to heat adaptations like air conditioning. This inequality is expected to rise as temperatures increase, new research shows.

Lower income populations currently face a 40% higher exposure to heat waves than people with higher incomes. By the end of the century, the poorest 25% of the world’s population will be exposed to heat waves at a rate equivalent to the rest of the population combined.

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Blah, blah, blah, yay: Another epic fail for the COP, but seeds of growth for our movements

John Foran

Global Socialist Network | December 10, 2021

originally published by


As COP 26 began, Greta Thunberg summed up the whole thing quite succinctly using just one word, three times:  Blah blah blah.

And as it ended two weeks later, she tweeted:

The #COP26 is over. Here’s a brief summary: Blah, blah, blah. But the real work continues outside these halls. And we will never give up, ever [emphasis added].

And indeed, COP 26 was an epic fail, even by the dismal standards of the 25 COPs that preceded it, but at the same time, the global climate justice movement made some much needed forward progress.

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