17 August 2016

McKibben: It's time to declare war on climate change

By Jon Queally, EcoWatch

We're under attack, said author and climate campaigner Bill McKibben, and the only way to defeat the enemy is to declare a global war against the destructive practices that threaten the world's imperiled ecosystems and human civilization as we know it.

In a new piece published Monday in The New Republic, the co-founder of the global climate action group 350.org said there is simply no more time to waste and that a full-scale mobilization, like the one orchestrated by the U.S. government during World War II, is now necessary if the adversary—human-caused global warming and the climate change that results—is to be vanquished.

"World War III is well and truly underway," McKibben wrote. "And we are losing."

10 August 2016

How climate change will sink China’s manufacturing heartland

Shenzhen in 2015 (population 10.7 million) at left; and in 1980 (population 58,000). Image: Guardian/David McLeod/Lucien Long
by David Spratt and Shane White

Climate change-driven rising sea levels will inundate China’s key industrial zone on the Zhujiang River Delta/Pearl River Delta (PRD) as the world’s largest and fastest growing urban area draws tens of millions of people into a special economic zone built on soft, unstable land.

Researchers say that by 2050, regional sea-level rises in China’s three most vulnerable regions including the PRD will be half to one metre, and “large areas and a great number of cities…will be beneath the sea water despite of all the present tide-and-flood control facilities”. And that will include China's manufacturing heartland, which is responsible for 40% of the nation's exports.

The PRD, adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau, has been the subject of rapid urban expansion over recent decades, transforming mainly agricultural land into the manufacturing heartland of a global economic superpower.  It is also one of China’s wealthiest areas, and barely above sea level.

02 August 2016

Climate heating is an emergency and an existential threat to human civilisation

In mid-2015, I was one of several people who were interviewed by filmmakers Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander for their documentary "A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity". Now the film-makers have kindly made the full interview available....

The interview covers the scientific character of the climate challenge, why it must now be understood as constituting a global emergency, and what that means for the actions we need to take.