As Climate Talks Plod Along, The World Burns
The impacts of climate change are here and now, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri warned yesterday at a forum on communicating climate science. Pachauri, the chair of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that scientists need to do a better job explaining that global warming is not a distant threat, but a present reality.
Video at link. See also:
As the world’s environmental ministers arrive in Cancun, Mexico, for the 19th year of negotiations to address global warming pollution, new climate disasters are killing people across the planet. […]
Here’s TP’s list:
– The worst wildfires in Israel’s history, fueled by record warmth and drought, “have destroyed large sections of Israel’s northern area” and killed 41 people. Four days of intense fire fighting during the celebration of Hanukkah, with assistance from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Russia, France, Britain, Switzerland, Spain, US, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, Azerbaijan and others, have finally begun to bring the devastation under control.
– Forty-two separate wildfires are burning in neighboring Lebanon, which has the same tinderbox conditions.
– Dynamic winter-storm systems driven by the rapidly warming Arctic have plunged much of Europe into killer cold weather for the second year in a row, months after a summer of record heat and precipitation. Up to 30 people have frozen to death in Poland, and thirty more were killed in the rest of Europe.
– Floods have hit Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia after “three weeks of torrential rains,” forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.
– Thousands of people have been evacuated amid catastrophic floods in Australia that have already destroyed $500 million in crops, with rivers still rising.
– Thunderstorms, high winds and tornadoes ripped through the southern United States, injuring at least 30 people, destroying buildings, toppling trees, flooding highways and forcing schools to close.
– New Zealand is facing an intense heatwave and its third consecutive summer of drought.
— “The death toll from the incessant rains in Venezuela has risen to 34,” with “more than 70,000 people who have been affected” by the catastrophic floods.
— “As many as 200 people may have been buried in a landslide Sunday that swept over 10 houses near Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city,” as the country “has been lashed in recent weeks by heavy rains that have left at least 176 people dead and 225 injured, as well as 1.5 million people homeless nationwide.”
— In India, “more than 150 people have died following heavy rains in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu over the past few days.”
The usual apologists and deniers will be out and about objecting to each of these disasters individually, no doubt, excusing each one and denying that a pattern or common cause exists.
They might want to take a look at Cancun, the site of the climate talks:
Cancun’s eroding white sand beaches are providing a note of urgency to the climate talks being held just south of this seaside resort famed for its postcard-perfect vistas. Rising sea levels and a series of unusually powerful hurricanes have aggravated the folly of building a tourist destination atop shifting sand dunes on a narrow peninsula. After the big storms hit, the bad ideas were laid bare: Much of Cancun’s glittering hotel strip is now without a beach. Hotels built too tall, too heavy and too close to the shore, as well as beaches stripped of native vegetation to make them more tourist-friendly, have contributed to the massive erosion.
To maintain the semblance of normality in this tourist destination, “tons of sand are being pumped from offshore sandbars by two huge dredgers and is then sprayed along miles of Cancun’s hardest hit areas.”