Climate crisis: Exploitation and justice

Farooque Chowdhury

Countercurrents | November 10, 2022

The climate crisis question today has turned into the question of exploitation and justice – exploitation by a few, and justice for the entire humanity.

The recently released Oxfam report – Carbon billionaires, The investment emissions of the world’s richest people (Nov. 22, 2022, https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/bitstream/handle/10546/621446/bn-carbon-billlionaires-071122-en.pdf?sequence=14) – says a lot about this reality of exploitation by a few rich, and of the rest of the humanity. The first group is the exploiters while the other is the exploited.

The study by Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) calculates the annual carbon footprint of the investments of just 125 of the world’s richest billionaires. The study findings include:

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Climate change is costing trillions — and low-income countries are paying the price

Analysis of the effects of extreme heat shows that low-income, tropical countries have suffered the greatest financial losses.

Miryam Naddaf

Nature | November 07, 2022

A dried-up lagoon in Colombia, which is in a part of the world disproportionately affected by the cost of heatwaves.Credit: Juan David Moreno Gallego/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Climate change has so far cost the global economy trillions of dollars, but low-income countries in tropical regions have borne the brunt of these losses, finds a study that analysed the economic consequences of heatwaves worldwide over a 20-year period.

The research, published on 28 October in Science Advances1, estimates that the global economy lost between US$5 trillion and $29 trillion from 1992 to 2013, as a result of human-driven global warming. But the effect was worst in low-income tropical nations, leading to a 6.7% reduction in their national income on average, whereas high-income countries experienced only a 1.5% average decrease.

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Eat more fish: when switching to seafood helps — and when it doesn’t

Survey identifies several species that are more nutritious and better for the planet than beef, pork or chicken.

Jude Coleman

Nature | September 13, 2022

Small fish, such as mackerel, have a high nutritional value and a low carbon footprint.Credit: Getty

Replacing meat with certain types of sustainably sourced seafood could help people to reduce their carbon footprints without compromising on nutrition, finds an analysis of dozens of marine species that are consumed worldwide.

The study, published on 8 September in Communications Earth & Environment1, suggests that farmed bivalves — shellfish such as mussels, clams and oysters — and wild-caught, small, surface-dwelling (pelagic) fish, which include anchovies, mackerel and herring, generate fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and are more nutrient dense than beef, pork or chicken.

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World on brink of five disastrous climate tipping points, study finds

Matt Trinder

Morning Star | September 09, 2022

Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland Photo: Tina Rolf / Unsplash

HUMAN-INDUCED climate change is driving the world to the brink of five “disastrous” tipping points, warns a major study published today.

Some of the critical thresholds that, when crossed, lead to large and often irreversible changes in the climate system, may have already been passed due to 1.1°C of global heating since the Industrial Revolution, researchers said.

These could include the collapse of Greenland’s ice cap and a key current in the north Atlantic, the disruption of rain patterns upon which billions of people depend for food and an abrupt melting of carbon-rich permafrost.

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CO2 Levels Are the Highest in a Million Years as Extreme Weather and Flooding Rage Across the Globe

Juan Cole

Countercurrents | September 01, 2022

Girls use a temporary raft across a flooded street in a residential area after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on July 26, 2022. A weather emergency was declared in Karachi as heavier-than-usual monsoon rains continue to lash Pakistan’s biggest city, flooding homes and making streets impassable. (Photo: Rizwan Tabassum/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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GHG Concentrations, Sea levels And Ocean Heat Hit Record Highs In 2021

Countercurrents | September 01, 2022

The annual State of the Climate report ( https://ametsoc.net/sotc2021/StateoftheClimate2021_lowres.pdf)  report published Wednesday in the U.S. shows that in 2021, greenhouse gas (GHG) levels, global sea levels, and ocean heat reached record highs.

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.”

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WSJ Sells Lithium Neocolonialism as Climate Necessity

Teddy Ostrow

Fair | August 23, 2022

True to its name, the Wall Street Journal never fails to lay bare its corporate sympathies. In a recent feature headlined “The Place With the Most Lithium is Blowing the Electric-Car Revolution” (8/10/22), the Journal warps anti-neoliberal and Indigenous resistance to ecological destruction and resource plundering into pesky obstacles to green capitalist innovation.

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Heatwaves Rated ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Could Triple This Century, Warns New Climate Study

Brett Wilkins

Countercurrents | August 26, 2022

As record-breaking high temperatures and historic droughts afflict millions of people around the world, a study published Thursday warned that by the end of the century, dangerous heat driven by the worsening climate emergency will hit much of the Earth at least three times more often than today.

The study—conducted by climate researchers at Harvard University and the University of Washington and published in the journal Nature Climate Change—shows how changes in the heat index driven by human carbon dioxide emissions will dramatically increase exposure to “dangerous” and “extremely dangerous” temperatures. The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels, based on temperature and relative humidity.

The U.S. National Weather Service defines heat index temperatures over 103°F as “dangerous” and over 124°F as “extremely dangerous.”

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Drought Pushes Millions in East Africa To Starvation

Countercurrents | August 19, 2022

In East Africa, millions of people are facing starvation due to drought.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday that millions of people in East Africa face the threat of starvation.

Speaking at a media briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that drought, climate change, rising prices and an ongoing civil war in northern Ethiopia are all contributing to worsening food insecurity.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus:

“Now to the Greater Horn of Africa, where millions of people are facing starvation and disease in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

“Drought, conflict, climate change and increasing prices for food, fuel and fertilizer are all contributing to lack of access to sufficient food.

“Hunger and malnutrition pose a direct threat to health, but they also weaken the body’s defenses, and open the door to diseases including pneumonia, measles and cholera.

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Climate expropriation: US caused nearly $2 trillion damages to other countries from 1990 to 2014

Farooque Chowdhury

Countercurrents | 13 July, 2022

U.S.-attributable climate damages. (a) Ensemble mean GDPpc changes in each country attributable to U.S. emissions, over 1990–2014 with territorial emissions accounting and a short-run (contemporaneous) damage function. Missing data (white countries) denotes countries without continuous GDPpc data from 1990 to 2014. bc U.S.-attributable damages in the five countries with the greatest GDPpc percent decreases (b) and percent increases (c). The black lines show the mean, the boxes denote the 95% ensemble range, and the colored portions denote the additive fraction of each 95% range due to each.

With its carbon footprint from 1990 to 2014, the US caused nearly $2 trillion in damages to other countries, finds a new analysis.

How much “aid”, in all forms, the country has provided to other countries? The motive, character, use, implication, beneficiary of the so-called aid are not questioned/discussed here.

This is the face of carbon footprint, actually, climate-plunder/expropriation, which is global and impacting the entire humanity, and all lives. This is expropriation of climate from the entire humanity; and the humanity is paying with life.

The colossal amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) released by the US over the period cited above has led to natural disasters, and economic damages including crop failures in countries, resulting in $1.9 trillion in lost income globally, the report found.

The study by scientists from Dartmouth College and published in the journal Climatic Change on July 12, 2022 (Callahan, C.W., Mankin, J.S. “National attribution of historical climate damages”, Climatic Change 172, 40 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-022-03387-y).

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