The politics of climate change

Image description This cartoon is titled “The politics of climate change”. It depicts a pie chart, the vast majority of which is coloured grey and labelled “sound bites”. A much smaller section of the pie chart is coloured blue and labelled “empty promises. An even section smaller is coloured red and labelled “commitments”. The next smallest section is coloured yellow and labelled  “targets”. The final tiny sliver of the pie chart is coloured green and labelled “actions” By Ralph Underhill Source link

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Study suggests climate change may have played a role in the coronavirus pandemic

Climate change may have played a direct role in the emergence of Sars-CoV-2 – the virus responsible for the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, a study has suggested. “Urgent wake-up call” Global greenhouse gas emissions over the last century have made southern China a “hotspot” for many bat species that host coronaviruses, according to scientists from the University of Cambridge. The researchers said their findings, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, should be “an urgent wake-up call to reduce global emissions”. Dr Robert Beyer, a researcher in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology and first author of the study, said: Understanding how the global distribution of…

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Immigration Advocates Welcome New “Tone” But Urge Biden Admin for More Concrete Change

Hundreds have been deported in the last week, even as President Biden signed several executive orders Tuesday to undo the Trump administration’s hard-line anti-immigration policies. The orders include a push to reunify families torn apart under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy and a review of the Trump policy known as “Remain in Mexico” that requires non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as their immigration cases wind through court, leaving tens of thousands waiting in dangerous conditions along the border. Reporter Aura Bogado says that despite the Biden administration’s new “tone,” continued deportations of vulnerable people demonstrate “a continuation of the same practices that happened under President Trump and…

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The far right threatened US democracy but nothing is going to change. Here’s why.

It’s been a chaotic couple of days. On Wednesday 6 January, violent mobs of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The Proud Boys, QAnon and neo-Nazi groups were among those present, showing the resonance Trump has with the far right. And fears have now emerged that some rioters were even planning on taking hostages. The opposite of democracy Comparable to the Houses of Parliament, the Capitol is where US Congress and Senate meets and operates from. The US Senate website describes it as “The most recognized symbol of democratic government in the world”. So yes, these riots are a Very Big Deal. But make…

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Hope for the future as increasing number of Europeans support climate change actions

A new study has found that an increasing number of Europeans support actions to fight the climate crisis. Research conducted by eupinions in September surveyed 13,000 UK and EU residents. Two-thirds of respondents said they would support banning short-haul flights and cutting back on meat consumption. Meanwhile, over 50% of the participants said they would back using cars less often. But while this positive attitude towards dealing with the climate crisis is welcome, personal changes need to be accompanied by corporate and government level action to really have an impact. Changing attitudes The researchers conducted a similar survey in March 2020. They found 72% of Europeans believe the EU…

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‘No plans’ to change Hunting Act despite trail-hunting row

Environment secretary George Eustice said there was a “settled consensus” for the Hunting Act to remain unchanged, amid controversy that trail-hunting was being used as a “smokescreen” for the banned practice. Suspensions It comes after the National Trust and Forestry England decided this week to suspend licences for trail hunting on their land while police investigate webinars by the governing body The Hunting Office, which discussed the activity. Trail hunting is a legal activity which involves following a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds or beagles to replicate a hunt, but animal rights campaigners argue it offers little protection for foxes. Eustice said that despite there being…

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Veteran anti-war activist warns that ‘spycops’ inquiry is unlikely to change anything

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) Bill seeks to legalise the criminal activities of police, the security services and their sources. It is currently at the committee stage in the House of Lords. Ironically, its passage also coincides with the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) which, after five years, has just heard opening statements from victims of undercover policing. While the CHIS bill is likely to be enacted within a matter of weeks, the UCPI is expected to continue for several more years, with no end date confirmed. Ali warns of dangers One of the many powerful statements presented to the UCPI was by veteran anti-war activist Tariq Ali.…

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Extinction Rebellion in climate change protest at Cenotaph

Extinction Rebellion has staged a protest at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day.“Act now”The climate protesters unveiled a banner reading “Honour Their Sacrifice, Climate Change Means War” at the memorial on Whitehall, in central London. After the banner was displayed, British Army veteran and Extinction Rebellion member Donald Bell observed a two-minute silence before hanging a wreath of poppies bearing the message “act now”.Bell, 64, who completed four tours in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, said:Unchecked climate change means a return to a world at war.Extinction Rebellion campaigner Donald Bell observed a two-minute silence before hanging a wreath of poppies on the Cenotaph (TheLightscaper/PA)Bell added:I took action today knowing…

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US state on course to drown from sea level rise votes for climate change denier for president

Florida is quite literally in the eye of the storm when it comes to the climate crisis. Rising sea levels, hurricane seasons that are now off the scales in terms of their intensity and frequency, crashing biodiversity – all of these pose very real threats to the state. Nonetheless, when Floridians cast their votes for the 2020 presidential election, a majority backed the climate-change-denier-in-chief and serial offender against the environment, Donald Trump. Thankfully, not all states in environmental dire straits followed suit. Drowning, not waving As the Guardian reported in April: By any estimation, Florida is drowning. In some scenarios, sea levels will rise up to 31in by…

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