CNN reports that satellite photos show that the overflowing Indus has created a new body of water in southern Pakistan some 62 miles (100km) wide. It will take days or weeks for the water to recede, and in the meantime millions are left homeless and over all, 33 million people have been affected by the worst monsoon floods in recorded history. CNN quotes Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rahman as saying “That parts of the country ‘resemble a small ocean,’ and that ‘by the time this is over, we could well have one-quarter or one-third of Pakistan under water.’”
Because of our burning of fossil fuels to drive cars and heat and cool buildings, the world is heating up. But the Indian Ocean is heating up a third faster than the rest of the world. Very warm waters in the Bay of Bengal are helping create more destructive cyclones and flooding. The air over warming waters contains more moisture than the 20th century average. Warming waters also make the winds that blow over them more erratic, and wayward winds from the Arabian Sea helped push the heavy monsoon rains farther north than they usually extend.
The international report was led by scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information.
“The data presented in this report are clear — we continue to see more compelling scientific evidence that climate change has global impacts and shows no sign of slowing,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. “With many communities hit with 1,000-year floods, exceptional drought, and historic heat this year, it shows that the climate crisis is not a future threat but something we must address today as we work to build a climate-ready nation — and world — that is resilient to climate-driven extremes.”
Transporting ingredients and food products accounts for nearly one-fifth of all carbon emissions in the food system — a much bigger slice of the emissions pie than previously thought, according to the first comprehensive estimate of the industry’s global carbon footprint1.
Clearing land for farming, raising livestock and moving food to and from shops adds a large amount of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. The United Nations estimates that growing, processing and packaging food accounts for one-third of all greenhouse-gas emissions. This has led to an explosion of studies looking into how food systems impact the climate, from causing damaging land-use changes to releasing greenhouse gases, says Jason Hill, an environmental scientist at the University of Minnesota in St Paul.
Something that has not changed over 160 years of oil production is the deliberate burning of gas associated with it, called gas flaring. It is turning out to be a major source of methane emission, a greenhouse gas (GHG) “over 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a warming gas on a 20-year timeframe”.
The World Bank’s latest 2022 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report underscored that the efforts to curb this global warming causing activity have “stalled” in the last one decade.
After decades of sowing doubt about climate change and its causes, the fossil fuel industry is now presenting itself as the source of solutions.
After decades of sowing doubt about climate change and its causes, the fossil fuel industry is now shifting to a new strategy: presenting itself as the source of solutions. This repositioning includes rebranding itself as a “carbon management industry.”
This strategic pivot was on display at the Glasgow climate summit and at a Congressional hearing in October 2021, where CEOs of four major oil companies talked about a “lower-carbon future.” That future, in their view, would be powered by the fuels they supply and technologies they could deploy to remove the planet-warming carbon dioxide their products emit – provided they get sufficient government support.
Two years ago, in a series of articles on Disrupting the nitrogen cycle, I described how fossil fuels and industrial agriculture have created a major rift in the Earth System’s metabolism, by releasing more than twice as much reactive nitrogen into the environment as nature alone has ever produced.
“In particular, close to 200 million metric tons of synthetic fertilizers are used every year — and most of the reactive nitrogen they contain escapes into the broader environment, polluting air and water and disrupting ecosystems. … It is painfully clear that any serious effort to prevent ecological catastrophes in this century must include reining in the overproduction of reactive nitrogen.”
An under-studied part of nitrogen pollution is the nitrous oxide gas that microorganisms in the soil give off as a byproduct of the nitrogen biochemical cycle. Nitrogen stimulates nitrous oxide production, so adding nitrogen fertilizers to soil increases emissions.
Nearly 200 countries at the UN climate change summit in Glasgow have also committed to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reductions plans next year, keeping the door open to crucial 1.5°C temperature goal
Nearly 200 countries have made an unprecedented and historic pledge at the COP26 climate summit to speed up the end of fossil fuel subsidies and reduce the use of coal, after India pushed through an 11th hour intervention to weaken the language on coal.
Crucially, despite almost a fortnight’s negotiations that ran more than 24 hours late, the 196 countries meeting in Glasgow committed to issuing stronger 2030 climate plans next year in a bid to avert dangerous global warming.
The abrupt decline in global carbon dioxide emissions during the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by government-mandated lockdowns, will be all but erased by the end of this year, a consortium of scientists reports this week. It predicts that carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels will rise to 36.4 billion tonnes — an increase of 4.9% — in 2021 compared with last year (see ‘Pandemic rebound’). That’s a faster recovery than many scientists expected. The rapid rebound, driven in part by the increasing demand for coal in China and India, suggests that emissions will begin to rise anew next year without substantial government efforts to bend the curve, the researchers warn.
“This is a reality check,” says Corinne Le Quéré, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, and a member of the Global Carbon Project, which presented the report this week at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, UK, where nations are debating the pledges they will make to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. “I’m expecting that it will really hit home with the negotiators and make it very obvious that action is needed.”
Ecosocialist Alliance statement on the opening of UN climate talks in Glasgow
This statement was drafted by the Ecosocialist Alliance, a UK-based coalition organized by Green Left, Left Unity and Anti-Capitalist Resistance. After discussion and adoption of amendments proposed the Global Ecosocialist Network, it has been endorsed by a wide range of individuals and groups, including Climate & Capitalism. It will be distributed at COP26, the United Nations climate conference that opens on October 31 in Glasgow.
COP 26 unfolds against a backdrop of growing climate chaos and ecological degradation, after an unprecedented summer of heatwaves, wildfires, and flooding events. Climate change is upon us, and we face multiple interlinked and inseparable crises- of climate, environment, extinction, economy and zoonotic diseases.
As ecosocialists we say another world is possible, but a massive social and political transformation is needed, requiring the mobilization of the mass of working people across the globe. Only the end of capitalism’s relentless pursuit of private profit, endless waste, and rapacious drive for growth, can provide the solution not only to climate change, environmental degradation, and mass extinction, but to global poverty, hunger, and hyper exploitation.
The big issues of climate change will be debated in Glasgow but whatever is agreed, capitalism can at best mitigate climate change, not stop it. Genuine climate solutions cannot be based on the very market system that created the problem. Only the organized working class, and the rural oppressed and First Nations of the global south -women and men – have the power to end capitalism, because their labour produces all wealth and they have no great fortune to lose if the system changes, no vested interests in inequality, exploitation, and private profit.
Oilwatch International network members, community representatives from oil regions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), the academia and the media met in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State, Nigeria, between 19–21 of October 2021, physically and virtually, for the maiden edition of the Oilwatch International Global Gathering.
The gathering, which had the theme DemandingReal Zero, Not Net Zero aimed to present the way out of the climate quagmire and present real options for climate action. The Global Gathering looked critically at the false solutions to Climate Change including the Net Zero concept which world leaders, corporations and investors are echoing as the world gets ready for COP26.