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Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate change

This is where you can talk about every subject (previously it was called shout room)

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:54 pm

Bird populations in global crisis

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North America has lost more than a quarter of its birds since 1970

Bird populations in Asia and the US are "in crisis", according to two major studies.

The first concludes there are three billion fewer birds in the US and Canada today compared to 1970 - a loss of 29% of North America's birds.

The second outlines a tipping point in "the Asian songbird crisis": on the island of Java, Indonesia, more birds may now live in cages than in the wild.

Scientists hope the findings will serve as a wake-up call.

The two studies are published in the journals Science and Biological Conservation.

The caged bird trade could be worth tens of millions of dollars to the Indonesian economy

How have three billion birds disappeared?

Birds are declining in every type of habitat, from grasslands to deserts

The North America study revealed how many birds were being lost across every type of habitat - from grasslands to coasts to deserts. While it did not directly assess what was driving this, the scientists concluded that, among multiple causes, the major factor was habitat loss driven by human activity.

This study, explained lead researcher Dr Ken Rosenberg from the Cornell lab of Ornithology and the American Bird Conservancy, was the first to "run the numbers" on bird populations.

"We knew some species were declining," he told BBC News, "but we thought that, while rare birds were disappearing, the more generalist birds - and those better adapted to human landscapes - would be filling in the gaps."

The team's calculations were based on bringing together all the bird monitoring in North America for the past 50 years - every major survey carried out across the continent since 1970.

"What we saw was this pervasive net loss," Dr Rosenberg said. "And we were pretty startled to see that the more common birds, the everyday backyard birds and generalist species, are suffering some of the biggest losses."

That same pattern, he added, is likely to be mirrored in other parts of the world. And the situation in Asia, as the other study has shown, is a particularly striking case of a human-driven extinction crisis.

What is the songbird trade?

Bird singing competitions are hugely popular in Indonesia

The buying and selling of songbirds - many of which are caught from the wild - is huge business in parts of Asia, particularly on the island of Java in Indonesia.

Back in 2017, we investigated how the trade pushed more than a dozen species to the brink of extinction

Around 75 million birds are kept as pets on Java. Many are sought after for bird singing competitions - often referred to as "Kicau-mania". At these events, caged birds' songs are judged on melody, duration and volume. Top prizes for the best singers can earn owners as much as £40,000 in the biggest contests.

This culture, however, drives the capture of birds from the wild to satisfy demand. And that, researchers say, threatens the survival of numerous species.

Harry Marshall, lead researcher on this study, explained: "The trade is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars to the Indonesian economy, so it is no surprise that it is a key regional source of both supply and demand for songbirds, with hundreds of markets running across the archipelago, selling more than 200 different species."

Mr Marshall, who is a PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University and Chester Zoo, led a survey of 3,000 households across Java, which is Indonesia's most densely populated island. From this, he and his colleagues were able to estimate that there were as many as 75 million caged birds living in Javanese households.

There may now be more songbirds living in cages on the island than there are now living in the wild.

What can be done to reverse these declines?

Both teams of scientists were keen to highlight the optimism among the obvious "doom and gloom" in these new findings.

Prof Stuart Marsden, from Manchester Metropolitan University - an authority on the Asian songbird trade - pointed out that the national obsession with keeping caged birds in Indonesia was driven by a love of birds.

"I think that passion can be channelled into conservation," he said.

Dr Rosenberg pointed to a striking example of bird conservation success as a reason for what he called his "weirdly optimistic" view about the dramatic decline in North America's bird population.

"In US and Canada, it was the duck hunters who noticed a decline in waterfowl and did some thing about it. Millions of dollars have been put into wetland protection and restoration - in order to have healthy populations for duck hunters.

"That's a model - if we can replicate it for birds that are not hunted and birds that people love in other habitats, we know that bird populations can be resilient and will come back."

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49744435
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:25 pm

BAN TROPHY HUNTING

Cecil the lion : =(( lived wild and free on the plains of Africa. He was head of two prides, protector of his families and the king of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park :((

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Never forget =((

But in July 2015, Cecil was callously killed with a bow and arrow by American dentist Walter Palmer. X(

Cecil’s death caused worldwide public outcry, bringing the brutal sport of trophy hunting to the fore.

Trophy hunting is the killing of an animal for sport or pleasure in order to display part or all of their bodies as trophies.

Sadly, many animals like Cecil are needlessly killed by trophy hunters every day. Nearly 300,000 trophy items were exported across the world between 2008 and 2017, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Among these were nearly 40,000 trophy items from African elephants, just over 8,000 from leopards, and 14,000 from African lions.

Born Free is opposed to the killing of any animal for sport or pleasure, and we want trophy hunting banned.

Together we can end this barbaric sport.

https://www.bornfree.org.uk/ban-trophy- ... j0uhlqmufA
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:40 pm

Thousands join climate
change protests across UK


Thousands of people are protesting across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools as part of a global "climate strike" day

Millions are taking part around the world with rallies in British cities including Glasgow, Manchester and London, urging "climate justice".

Students let off alarm bells at 13:00 BST to "raise the alarm" for the climate.

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said their voices were "being heard".

However, he said he could not "endorse children leaving school" to take part.

Jake Woodier, campaign co-ordinator at UK Student Climate Network said: "We understand it's simply not feasible for many employees to take a day off to participate in a strike, but that doesn't mean they can't have a voice."

Demonstrations have also been organised in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brighton, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Birmingham.

Sebastian, a pupil from John Stainer Community School in Brockley, south-east London, said he joined the protests to help fight global warming.

Sebastian says he knows how important it is to look after the planet

"They, the government, don't understand that we're going to go through it and they are not," he said.

Eight-year-old Sohan and Nayan, five, also from south-east London joined protesters with their mother, Celine.

Sohan said: "We want to save our planet and we hope that marching will help."
Sohan, eight, and Nayan, five, came with their mother Celine from south east London

Student Jessica Ahmed, 16, emailed her school to warn that she would be joining the protests instead of being in class.

Speaking at a protest in Westminster, Miss Ahmed, of Barnet, north London, said: "If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need - and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognised the world was changing in a negative way - then I would not have to be skipping school."

Dozens of pupils from John Stainer Community Primary school in Brockley, south-east London, are among those taking part in the capital.

Head teacher Sue Harte said the school had decided to take part because "climate change is clearly a big issue" and "children need to know that they have a right to democratic protest".

Hundreds of climate activists - including children in school uniform - have staged a mass "die in" in Belfast, where they lay down in the city centre.

One Extinction Rebellion activist, Lorraine Montague from County Tyrone, was dressed as a swan to highlight the threat of climate change to wildlife.

She said: "Our climate is at crisis point and the government is not doing anything about it. We have to support the young people, they are the ones who started this strike.

"We are grieving for our future. I don't feel happy about having children the way our climate is going."

Extinction Rebellion 'solidarity'

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has addressed the group's rally outside Westminster.

Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood "in solidarity" with those taking part.

It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and "kids' space" in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King's College London.

In Manchester at least one clothing store closed to support the strike

Many students say 'This is more important than a maths lesson'

Some trade unions, including the TUC, the University and College Union and Unite, are supporting members who take part in the "strikes".

Co-operative Bank says it is supporting workers who want to join the action, while US clothing brand Patagonia is closing all of its stores and taking out adverts to back the protesters.

The action follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

The teenager, from Sweden, is set to join a rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.

Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast that although he could not support children leaving school, he did support "their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49767327
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:45 pm

Greta Thunberg to
lead New York protest


As protests around the world rumble on, eyes are beginning to turn to the US and the global protests' finale - Greta Thunberg speaking in New York on Friday evening

About 1.1 million students from 1,800 public schools have been allowed to skip school in New York in order to protest.

Throughout the day Greta Thunberg has followed the strike as it travelled across the world, tweeting and retweeting pictures and videos coming live from events in places including Uganda, Germany, India and Turkey.

She will lead a demonstration at 12:00 local time (17:00BST) followed by a rally and march.

The on Saturday young leaders and activists from around the world, including Greta, will gather at the UN's Youth Climate Summit in New York.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-49753710
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:23 pm

Global climate strike
Parents and kids protest


THOUSANDS of kids skipper school today to take part in what could be the biggest worldwide climate protest in history

Pupils across the country quit lessons this morning and were joined by workers to demand urgent action to tackle climate change.

Wolfe Young, four, holds a placard saying 'f**k off Boris' during a climate change protest in Manchester today

Children joined the protest despite threats of fines to parents whose kids skip school today

Young climate strikers in Millbank in London and millions across the world take to the streets today

Tens of thousands of students take part in global strike action in Westminster

Children from the Terra Nova Secondary school in Cheshire attend the global climate strike in Manchester

A protester was dragged away by police outside Kings College, London

The protests are part of a snowballing movement sparked by teenage activist Greta Thunberg who walked out of school each Friday to protest outside the Swedish parliament.

Parents were warned they could face £60 fines if their child attended the protests, which doubles if the payment isn't made within 21 days.

Student Jessica Ahmed, 16, emailed her school to warn she would be joining the protests instead of being in class.

Speaking at a protest in Westminster, Jessica, from North London, said: "If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need - and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognised the world was changing in a negative way - then I would not have to be skipping school."

Dozens of pupils from John Stainer Community Primary school in Brockley, South East London, are among those taking part in the capital.

Head teacher Sue Harte said the school had decided to take part because "climate change is clearly a big issue" and "children need to know that they have a right to democratic protest".

They protested on the streets despite a warning that teachers who let kids walk out of class risked facing legal or disciplinary action.

The Teachers' Union said there was "a duty of care to pupils", adding: "Teachers cannot condone and encourage such behaviour and may be held responsible should they allow children and young people to do so."

Business, energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng said he could not endorse children leaving school to take part.

He said he supports the "energy and creativity" of students, but said time spent in school is "incredibly important".

GLOBAL PROTESTS

More than 200 events are taking place across the UK, with the main event at Millbank, in Westminster.

Slogans such as "if you breath air you should care", "us snowflakes are melting", "learn to change or learn to swim", and "don't be a fossil fool", were among the homemade banners held aloft in the crowd.

Addressing a crowd in Manchester 10-year-old Lillia Adetoro attacked politicians for their "lies".

She said: "Today I woke up to the images around the world of a million people striking and my heart lifted because I knew we weren’t alone in our fight.

"We the youth cannot wait until we are old enough - we need action now."

One protester in Manchester, 15-year-old Archie Graham, told The Guardian: "What’s the point in going to school if we can’t use that knowledge in the future because there won’t be a future for us."

As if to underline the urgency of the issue, the temperature is set to reach 26C in parts of Britain this weekend - 8C above the average for the time of year.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised children going on strike saying they were "leading the way" and called them an "inspiration".

He told the youngsters in the crowd that "you and a whole generation have brought the issue centre stage and I am absolutely delighted about that".

In condemning US President Donald Trump's actions on climate change, he said: "What is disgraceful is to have the president of a major country like the United States saying he will walk away from the Paris climate change accord.

"Let's have no more if this hand-holding of Donald Trump. Let's simply say that we want every country on board on this, every country fully signed up to Paris and going a lot further than that."

A protester was cuffed by police in London

Cops have made their first arrests as thousands take to the streets across the UK

Protesters in Cambridge demand urgent action to tackle climate change

Youngsters are among those marching in Cambridge today

Pupils skipped school to take part in the protests today

Thousands are protesting on the streets of London today calling for action on climate change

An eco-warrior holds up a sign saying 'use less paper'

Lillia Adetoro, ten, addresses a crowd in Manchester city centre today

A moving placard in London saying 'we want to die of old age'

Extinction Rebellion protesters take part in a 'die in' in front a cruise company HQ in SouthamptonCredit: Solent News

Tens of thousands of students attended the climate strike in Westminster

Climate change campaigners march through the streets of Edinburgh today

A police officer chats to activists as they block Whitehall during a 'sit in' protest today

Young climate strikers lie in the road, in the sunshine, in Westminster today

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said:

    "It is unbelievable that we should need global strike action for the future of our planet to be taken seriously.

    "The stark reality is that our climate is changing rapidly and we are running out of time to address it.

    "I hope governments around the world who are failing to take action hear the voices of millions of people, young and old, unified in their call for action to save our planet. Our future depends on it."
Two people were arrested this morning for taking part in an unofficial climate change protest on the Strand in central London.

Across the globe more than 3,400 events are taking place across 120 countries, making it the largest action yet.

Some of Friday's first protests were held in Australia, where an estimated 300,000 people gathered at more than 100 rallies.

The strikes mark the start of a weekend of action.

Tomorrow Extinction Rebellion plans to blockade the Port of Dover for four hours.

On Sunday Mr Khan will shut more than 12 miles of roads in London along with a further 340 streets, which will be turned into "play areas".

However the move was criticised as being a "PR stunt" that will cost £1million - money that could have been invested in "proper measures to improve air quality".

Keith Prince, a Conservative transport spokesman and London Assembly member, said: "Once again the Mayor has demonstrated that he is more interested in indulging in shameless virtue signalling instead of properly getting to grips with the big issues facing London."

Thousands of people took to the streets of Melbourne today

Chris Hemsworth, 36, took a stand against climate change with his daughter India, seven, as they marched in a strike at Byron Bay

A climate change rally in Sydney - there are 100 rallies taking place in Australia today

A young girl in Australia held up a sign of David Attenborough

38
A young girl in Australia holds up a sign of David Attenborough

Climate change protesters at a rally in Brisbane

Eco-warriors take part in a 'die in' the Thai capital

Protesters hold signs and chant slogans during the Hong Kong climate strike rally

Activists cycle to block traffic at Ernst-Reuter-Platz square in Berlin

School students and protesters gather during a climate strike rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Activists block a road in Frankfurt, Germany, during rush hour today

Students attend a climate change protest in Marovo Island, Solomon Islands

Protesters shout slogans in front of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in New Delhi

Students with a banner 'Denial is not a policy' gather for a protest against climate change in Nicosia, Cyprus

People hold placards during the Global Climate Strike at Raadhuspladsen in Copenhagen

A girl wearing a polar bear costume joins a protest at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic

A child walks past activists gathered for a world-wide climate rally, at the University of the Philippines' campus in Manila

A boy holds a banner as he takes part in the worldwide climate change protest in Nairobi, Kenya

Environmental activists march carrying placards as they take part in the protest calling for action on climate change, in Nairobi

A child holds a placard as she stood in front of the Greek Parliament today

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9967202/g ... ris-signs/
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:44 pm

Millions march against
climate change worldwide


Millions of people join the environmental strike led by schoolchildren across the world

Millions of people around the world held a global climate strike on Friday, inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

Protesters across continents waved placards and chanted slogans in what could be the biggest ever demonstration over global warming caused by humans.

"Our house is on fire", Ms Thunberg said at a rally. "We will not just stand aside and watch."

The day began in the Pacific and Asia and culminated in a massive demonstration in New York.

It comes ahead of a UN summit next week at the organisation's headquarters in Manhattan. Activists are demanding greater efforts be made at the meeting to tackle climate change.

Ms Thunberg first started skipping school to protests against inaction on climate change in 2018.

Her actions have inspired schoolchildren and adults around the world to take up the fight.
What happened on Friday?

Pacific island nations like Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu - all threatened by rising sea levels - kicked off the strike. Posts online showed citizens chanting: "We are not sinking, we are fighting."

In Australia, 350,000 people are thought to have joined protests across the country, with some local authorities encouraging school children and workers to take part.

The country is already suffering from soaring temperatures, and warming seas have contributed to the death of half the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's north-east coast.

From there, demonstrations spread to cities in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Students in Ghana marched in the capital Accra, saying climate change has sped up coastal erosion which is affecting people on the country's coast. About 44% of the population of Ghana have not heard of climate change, one study by Afrobarometer suggests.

People in Thailand and India staged "die-ins", falling to the ground and feigning death to demand greater government action.

As protests took place in 500 towns and cities across Germany, the country's coalition government announced a €54bn (£48bn; $60bn) package aimed at cutting greenhouse gases.

And in the UK, hundreds of thousands are believed to have taken part in cities across all four countries.

Further climate strikes are expected next week during the UN summit.

What did Greta Thunberg say?

    The teenage activist was greeted like a rockstar at the rally on Friday, with chants of "Greta! Greta!" resounding around New York's Battery Park.

    "This is the biggest climate strike ever in history, and we all should be so proud of ourselves because we have done this together," the teenager told demonstrators.

    Ms Thunberg said about four million people took part in the strike around the world, "and we're still counting."

    "This is an emergency. Our house is on fire. And it's not just the young people's house, we all live here - it affects all of us," she told the crowd.

    Wherever she has gone in the world, she said, "the empty promises are the same, the lies are the same and the inaction is the same".

    The eyes of the world will be on leaders at the UN next week, and "they have a chance to take leadership to prove they actually hear us".

    "This is what people power looks like," she said, before ending the speech with a word for those "who feel threatened by us".

    "This is only the beginning," she said. "Change is coming whether they like it or not."
Who is Greta Thunberg?

    Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg first staged a "School Strike for Climate" outside her national parliament in August last year.

    Her actions have inspired other schoolchildren and adults around the world, and she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The 16-year-old travelled to the US by boat in August, refusing to fly or take a cruise ship due to the emissions those modes of transport cause.

    Ahead of her address to the UN next week, Ms Thunberg told US politicians they must do more to combat climate change.

    "Don't invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it," she said.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-49777279
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:28 am

Switzerland May Soon
Ban All Factory Farms


Switzerland is considering a ban on factory farming after campaigners gathered more than 100,000 signatures urging the government to outlaw it

Supporters of the ban argue that factory farming is linked to poor animal welfare.

“Fifty percent of all piglets raised in Switzerland are slaughtered without ever seeing the sky,” Meret Schneider, co-director of animal rights think tank Sentience Politics, said in a statement. “Over 80 percent of the chickens kept in Switzerland never stand on a meadow in their life and already reach slaughter weight when they are only 30 days old.”

Factory farming also contributes to climate change, water scarcity, and hunger issues

“Switzerland imports 1.2 million tonnes of animal feed every year to produce the necessary quantity of animal products,” Vera Weber — president of the Franz Weber Foundation, an organization that works to protect the planet with exposés and lobbying — said to swissinfo.ch.

More research is uncovering animal agriculture’s impact on the planet. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) named meat “the world’s most urgent problem” in September.

“Our use of animals as a food-production technology has brought us to the verge of catastrophe,” UNEP said in a statement. “The greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket ship combined.”
Switzerland May Soon Ban All Factory Farms

Supporters of the ban argue that factory farming involves animal cruelty.

‘Factory Farming Is Unacceptable’

The “No factory farming in Switzerland” initiative launched in June 2018. It aims to put an end to intensive farming by amending article 80a of the Federal Constitution.

Silvano Lieger, co-director of Sentience Politics, told LIVEKINDLY, “The fact that we were able to submit this initiative so quickly shows how much people in Switzerland care about animals. The majority of them are unaware of the significant amount of individuals that are still being raised in unbearable conditions.”

“Factory farming is unacceptable — and we should use the power of direct democracy to also make it illegal,” Lieger added.

Switzerland and Animal Welfare

The Swiss public is also set to vote on whether animal testing of products sold in the country should be allowed. The vote was made possible after petitioners collected the minimum 100,000 signatures needed to place a measure on the ballot.

Last year, Switzerland made boiling lobsters and all other crustaceans illegal due to animal welfare concerns.

It was recently reported that 2.6 million Swiss people — or 31 percent of the population — are reducing or have entirely cut meat consumption.

The Swiss government has not yet set a date for the nationwide vote on a factory farming ban.

https://www.livekindly.co/switzerland-b ... 8NuEEP7zl8
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:31 am

Stratford vet tries to save
orangutan shot 130 times


Film footage has been released showing the moment a vet tried to save the life of an orangutan that had been shot 130 times

Paul Ramos, from Stratford-upon-Avon, can be seen administering CPR to the animal, which had been found clinging to a branch in a river in Borneo.

The wildlife vet said he wanted to raise awareness about the plight of the great ape.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/embed/p07nsl5z/49741285

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-englan ... -130-times
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:33 pm

Image

This is not Mars
Sky in Indonesia turns red


Due to fires, conditions in Indonesia's Jambi province looked straight out of a post-apocalyptic movie

Skies over an Indonesian province turned red over the weekend, thanks to the widespread forest fires which have plagued huge parts of the country.

One resident in Jambi province, who captured pictures of the sky, said the haze had "hurt her eyes and throat".

Every year, fires in Indonesia create a smoky haze that can end up blanketing the entire South East Asian region.

A meteorology expert told the BBC the unusual sky was caused by a phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering.

Eka Wulandari, from the Mekar Sari village in Jambi province, captured the blood-red skies in a series of photos taken at around midday on Saturday.

The haze conditions had been especially "thick that [day]", she said.

The 21-year-old posted the pictures on Facebook. They have since been shared more than 34,000 times.

But she told BBC Indonesian that many online had doubted whether or not the photos were real.

"But it's true. [It's a] real photo and video that I took with my phone," she said, adding that haze conditions remained severe on Monday.

Another Twitter user posted a video showing similarly coloured skies.

"This is not Mars. This is Jambi," said user Zuni Shofi Yatun Nisa. "We humans need clean air, not smoke."

Indonesia meteorological agency BMKG said satellite imagery revealed numerous hot spots and "thick smoke distribution" in the area around the Jambi region.

Professor Koh Tieh Yong, of the Singapore University of Social Sciences, explained that this phenomenon, known as Rayleigh scattering, has to do with certain types of particles that are present during a period of haze.

"In the smoke haze, the most abundant particles are around 1 micrometre in size, but these particles do not change the colour of the light we see," he told the BBC.

"There are also smaller particles, around 0.05 micrometres or less, that don't make up a lot of the haze but are still somewhat more abundant during a haze period [than a normal non-haze period]... but this is enough to give an extra tendency to scatter red light more in the forward and backward directions than blue light - and that is why would you see more red than blue."

He said the fact the photos were taken around noon could have caused the sky to appear more red.

"If the sun is overhead and you look up, [you will be looking] in the line of the sun, so it would appear that more of the sky is red."

Prof Koh added that this phenomenon would not "modify the air temperature".

Like breathing in a barbecue: What it's like living in the haze

This year's haze levels have been some of the worst in years.

The haze is caused by open burning in Indonesia and to a lesser extent, parts of Malaysia. The burning usually peaks from July to October during Indonesia's dry season. According to Indonesia's national disaster agency, some 328,724 hectares of land had already been burnt in the first eight months of the year.

Part of the blame for the haze lies with big corporations and small-scale farmers, which take advantage of the dry conditions to clear vegetation for palm oil, pulp and paper plantations using the slash-and-burn method.

This slash-and-burn technique employed by many in the region is arguably the easiest way for farmers to clear their land and helps them get rid of any disease that may have affected their crops.

However, these fires often spin out of control and spread into protected forested areas.

Slash-and-burn is illegal in Indonesia but has been allowed to continue for years, with some saying corruption and weak governance have contributed to the situation.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49793047
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:40 pm

Greta Thunberg nearly cries
as she calls out UN leaders


Environment activist Greta Thunberg made a fiery appearance at the United Nations Climate Summit on Monday where she broke down in tears while furiously scolding international delegates

'I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,' the 16-year-old Swedish activist thundered in her speech at the Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York.

Thunberg was seen at the UN headquarters Monday morning with an enraged expression on her face as US President Donald Trump upstaged her entrance by walking in behind her flanked by news reporters.

The UN summit convened to have nations make plans to confront global warming and rising fossil fuel emissions.

'You are failing us': Greta Thunberg gives speech at UN

Environment activist Greta Thunberg made a fiery appearance at the United Nations Climate Summit on Monday where she glared at Donald Trump when he walked into the UN headquarters in front of her

Thunberg could hardly contain her anger as she walked into the summit behind Trump. He was not scheduled to participate in the summit that seeks international action against global warming, but attended the conference for just 15 minutes

The environmental activist choked on tears while speaking at the United Nations Climate Summit on Monday, where she thundered against leaders for stealing her generation's future

The 16-year-old called out the leaders gathered there saying: 'I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school. You have stolen my dreams and childhood'

Monday's UN Summit sought to get nations to agree to a plan of action to curb the rising number of global emissions that contribute to global warming. Thunberg pictured right on stage with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (far left)

'There will not be any solution or plans in line with these figures here today because these numbers are too uncomfortable and you're not mature enough to tell it like it is,' Thunberg, who is usually not as emotional in her speeches, said.

'You are failing us. The young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you

'And if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you,' she added on the brink of tears.

'Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up and change is coming whether you like it or not,' she said to uproarious applause.

Thunberg held nothing back as she thundered against the politicians and officials at the UN climate summit.

'You come to us young people for hope. How dare you?' she roared.

'You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing,' she said.

Greta Thunberg looks furious as Trump hijacks her UN entrance

'You're not mature enough to tell it like it is,' Thunberg, who is usually not as emotional in her speeches, said as she rebuked international leaders

Trump pictured at the UN Climate Action Summit on Monday where he shut his eyes during the presentation and remained for just 15 minutes

Getting in some shut eye? Trump seemed to sneak in some rest at the climate summit

Trump didn't stay long and seemed preoccupied as he checked his watch during the summit

Trump wasn't originally scheduled to attend the summit as he's hosting a session on religious persecution in the same building.

He upstaged Thunberg's entrance into the UN building Monday morning as he walked in after her and was flanked by reporters and cameras as Thunberg stood in the background with a livid expression on her face.

The summit, entitled 'A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win' and convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, seeks to mobilize political and economic energy to advance climate action.

Areas of discussion included energy transition, climate finance, carbon pricing, industry transition, nature-based solutions, cities and local action and resilience.

In the meeting Guterres pushed to end new coal plant construction by 2020.

While the United States will not be participating, China, France, Germany, India and Russia and about 70 other countries are expected to make announcements concerning climate change at the Monday summit.

Guterres praised young people like Thunberg for demanding change.

'My generation has failed in its responsibility to protect our planet. That must change. The climate crisis is caused by us, and the solutions must come from us,' he said.

After her speech, Thunberg was seen speaking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Greta also spoke with 15 other children from across the world to present an official human rights complaint on the climate crisis targeted at five of the world's leading economic powers. They presented the complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

On Saturday Thunberg spoke at the Youth Climate Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York

Thunberg has been making waves in New York this week. Pictured above on Friday speaking during the Global Climate Strike demonstration in New York where protesters took to the streets, parks, and plazas around the world demanding more aggressive steps against global warming

A UN science report released Sunday revealed that emissions into the Earth's atmosphere are continuing to surge and G-20 nations are responsible for 80 percent of those emissions, and they're still failing to meet their low targets to reduce climate impact.

The UN estimates there needs to be between a three-fold and five-fold increase in efforts to cut greenhouse gases, to prevent global temperatures rising more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The summit came on the heels of a global Youth Climate Strike on Friday where millions of people around the world protested in streets, parks and plazas to demand faster action to address climate change.

On Saturday, Thunberg appeared at the Youth Climate Action Summit where young leaders from around the world convened to showcase climate solutions.

Thunberg had traveled to the US by yacht to avoid flying.

Greta Thunberg's fiery speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York

This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight

You say you “hear” us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you fully understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And I refuse to believe that.

The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C degrees, and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

Maybe 50% is acceptable to you. But those numbers don’t include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of justice and equity. They also rely on my and my children’s generation sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist. So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us – we who have to live with the consequences.

To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5C global temperature rise – the best odds given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the world had 420 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide left to emit back on 1 January 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatonnes.

How dare you pretend that this can be solved with business-as-usual and some technical solutions. With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone in less than eight and a half years.

There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures today. Because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... uture.html
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:58 pm

Should meat be banned
to save the planet?


A barrister has called for new laws against practices that harm the environment – including eating meat. But some experts say criminalising carnivores could do more harm than good

That late-night kebab might be considered a guilty pleasure, but could it one day be seen as a crime against the planet? Will the time come when the only means of procuring a slab of Aberdeen Angus is from a dodgy dealer with a cool box?

The barrister Michael Mansfield has suggested that we should have new laws against ecocide – practices that destroy the planet – and that under them, meat could be targeted. “I think when we look at the damage eating meat is doing to the planet, it is not preposterous to think that one day it will become illegal,” he said.

A study last year by researchers at the University of Oxford, published in the journal Nature, showed meat and dairy produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and takes up 83% of farmland, but delivers just 18% of calories and 37% of protein.

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, who led the research.

Taxes on red meat have been discussed, but is a ban the way to go? “There is not a single magic bullet,” says Tim Benton, a professor of population ecology at the University of Leeds. “You could think about changing agricultural subsidies, trade laws, changing what is eaten in hospitals and schools to train people to eat differently.

You can think labelling and education, and carbon taxes. All of those have a role but none by themselves will solve the issue, and the idea of saying we’re going to make meat illegal becomes somewhat farcical.”

Better, he says, to change farming practices to ensure meat has a smaller impact and to wean ourselves off eating so much. “That, to me, is a much more sensible future – that we start saying it’s a treat and we should treat it with the respect it deserves.” However, it is worth bearing in mind that even low-impact meat production produces more greenhouse gas emissions than plant substitutes, according to Poore’s study.

Don’t we need something drastic, such as a ban, to turn us all vegan? “I think it might be a step too far,” says Lorraine Whitmarsh, a professor of environmental psychology at Cardiff University. “Our latest survey results show people have mixed feelings about whether we should reduce the amount of meat we consume.

Just over half of the public think we should, whereas 67% think we should reduce the amount of flying that we do. So while people are on board with something that previously was seen as quite controversial – reducing flying – meat consumption is something I think is going to be harder to tackle.”

Talking about banning it, she says, “might provoke a defensive reaction and risks alienating people who are maybe coming round to the idea that we need to do something about climate change”.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... nvironment
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:48 am

Climate change severely
damaging oceans


Climate change is devastating our seas and frozen regions as never before, a major new United Nations report warns

According to a UN panel of scientists, waters are rising, the ice is melting, and species are moving habitat due to human activities.

And the loss of permanently frozen lands threatens to unleash even more carbon, hastening the decline.

There is some guarded hope that the worst impacts can be avoided, with deep and immediate cuts to carbon emissions.

This is the third in a series of special reports that have been produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the past 12 months.

The scientists previously looked at how the world would cope if temperatures rose by 1,5C by the end of this century. They also reported on how the lands of the Earth would be affected by climate change.

However, this new study, looking at the impact of rising temperatures on our oceans and frozen regions, is perhaps the most worrying and depressing of the three.
Infographic

So what have they found and how bad is it?

In a nutshell, the waters are getting warmer, the world's ice is melting rapidly, and these have implications for almost every living thing on the planet.

"The blue planet is in serious danger right now, suffering many insults from many different directions and it's our fault," said Dr Jean-Pierre Gattuso, a co-ordinating lead author of the report.

The scientists are "virtually certain" that the global ocean has now warmed without pause since 1970.

The waters have soaked up more than 90% of the extra heat generated by humans over the past decades, and the rate at which it has taken up this heat has doubled since 1993.

Where the seas were once rising mainly due to thermal expansion, the IPCC says this is now happening principally because of the melting of Greenland and Antarctica.

Thanks to warming, the loss of mass from the Antarctic ice sheet in the years between 2007 and 2016 tripled compared to the 10 years previously.

Greenland saw a doubling of mass loss over the same period. The report expects this to continue throughout the 21st Century and beyond.

For glaciers in areas like the tropical Andes, Central Europe and North Asia, the projections are that they will lose 80% of their ice by 2100 under a high carbon emissions scenario. This will have huge consequences for millions of people.

What are the implications of all this melting ice?

All this extra water gushing down to the seas is driving up average ocean water levels around the world. That will continue over the decades to come.

This new report says that global average sea levels could increase by up to 1.1m by 2100, in the worst warming scenario. This is a rise of 10cm on previous IPCC projections because of the larger ice loss now happening in Antarctica.

"What surprised me the most is the fact that the highest projected sea level rise has been revised upwards and it is now 1.1 metres," said Dr Jean-Pierre Gattuso, from the CNRS, France's national science agency.

"This will have widespread consequences for low lying coasts where almost 700 million people live and it is worrying."
I
Once mainly due to thermal expansion of the oceans, sea level rise is now mainly happening because of the melting of Greenland and Antarctica

The report says clearly that some island states are likely to become uninhabitable beyond 2100.

The scientists also say that relocating people away from threatened communities is worth considering "if safe alternative localities are available".

What will these changes mean for you?

One of the key messages is the way that the warming of the oceans and cryosphere (the icy bits on land) is part of a chain of poor outcomes that will affect millions of people well into the future.

Under higher emissions scenarios, even wealthy megacities such as New York or Shanghai and large tropical agricultural deltas such as the Mekong will face high or very high risks from sea level rise.

The report says that a world with severely increased levels of warm water will in turn give rise to big increases in nasty and dangerous weather events, such as surges from tropical cyclones.

"Extreme sea level events that are historically rare (once per century in the recent past) are projected to occur frequently (at least once per year) at many locations by 2050," the study says, even if future emissions of carbon are cut significantly.

"What we are seeing now is enduring and unprecedented change," said Prof Debra Roberts, a co-chair of an IPCC working group II.

"Even if you live in an inland part of the world, the changes in the climate system, drawn in by the very large changes in the ocean and cryosphere are going to impact the way you live your life and the opportunities for sustainable development."

The ways in which you may be affected are vast - flood damage could increase by two or three orders of magnitude. The acidification of the oceans thanks to increased CO2 is threatening corals, to such an extent that even at 1.5C of warming, some 90% will disappear.

Species of fish will move as ocean temperatures rise. Seafood safety could even be compromised because humans could be exposed to increased levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in marine plants and animals. These pollutants are released from the same fossil fuel burning that release the climate warming gas CO2.

Even our ability to generate electricity will be impaired as warming melts the glaciers, altering the availability of water for hydropower.

Huge amounts of carbon are stored in the permanently frozen regions of the world such as in Siberia and Northern Canada.

These are likely to change dramatically, with around 70% of the near surface permafrost set to thaw if emissions continue to rise.

The big worry is that this could free up "tens to hundreds of billions of tonnes" of CO2 and methane to the atmosphere by 2100. This would be a significant limitation on our ability to limit global warming in the centuries to come.

So what happens in the long term?

That's a key question and much depends on what we do in the near term to limit emissions.

However, there are some warnings in the report that some changes may not be easily undone. Data from Antarctica suggests the onset of "irreversible ice sheet instability" which could see sea level rise by several metres within centuries.

"We give this sea level rise information to 2300, and the reason for that is that there is a lot of change locked in, to the ice sheets and the contribution that will have to sea level rise," said Dr Nerilie Abram from the Australian National University in Canberra, who's a contributing lead author on the report.

"So even in a scenario where we can reduce greenhouse gases, there are still future sea level rise that people will have to plan for."

There may also be significant and irreversible loses of cultural knowledge through the fact that the fish species that indigenous communities rely on may move to escape warming.

Does the report offer some guarded hope?

Yes. Definitely. The report makes a strong play of the fact that the future of our oceans is still in our hands.

The formula is well worn at this stage - deep, rapid cuts in carbon emissions in line with the IPCC report last year that required 45% reductions by 2030.

"If we reduce emissions sharply, consequences for people and their livelihoods will still be challenging, but potentially more manageable for those who are most vulnerable," said Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC.

Indeed, some of the scientists involved in the report believe that public pressure on politicians is a crucial part of increasing ambition.

"After the demonstrations of young people last week, I think they are the best chance for us,," said Dr Jean-Pierre Gattuso.

"They are dynamic, they are active I am hopeful they will continue their actions and they will make society change."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49817804
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:43 pm

Kirkuk volunteer group
to plant 11,000 trees


A young man dug a pickaxe into the ground, kicking off a campaign to plant thousands of trees in the oil-famed city of Kirkuk

KOKAR, a local volunteering organization, launched the city-wide tree planting drive, funded by Kirkuk’s businessmen, companies and civilians, on Saturday.

“In this campaign, more than 1,508 volunteers from all the neighborhoods of Kirkuk are participating. The campaign covers 36 neighborhoods of Kirkuk city and 6 small and big towns [in the province],” Ismael Majid, director of KOKAR, told Rudaw.

Over 11,000 trees are set to be planted, added Majid

A province marked by the flaming gas of its ample oil fields, Kirkuk suffers sorely from a lack of greenery. KOKAR estimates that just 1 percent of the province is made up of green space.

Planting is being done in two ways. The trees are either planted by the volunteers, spread across the city’s neighborhoods, or given to the city’s residents to plant for themselves.

“We have been notifying households for about a week now. They dig a hole, and then we take the tree to them,” volunteer Sara Mohammed told Rudaw.

Tree planting is a way for them to express their love for their city, she added.

Kirkuk residents have backed the campaign, saying they are ready to invest long-term care into trees planted in their neighborhoods.

“We will attend to it like we attend to our own eyes. This tree is not only for a person or two, but for the environment and for the people. It adds green space to the neighborhood, to the city,” Kirkuk resident Wasta Abulqader told Rudaw.

For some residents of Kirkuk, tree planting has always been important. Falah Hassan, owner of a shop in Kirkuk’s Rahimawa Bazar, says he has single handedly planted and tended to 37 trees near his home and his shop.

“We as humans are responsible for polluting the environment. For both our human need and for more oxygen, we should plant trees. Every human has the duty to plant trees,” Hassan said

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/220920193
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:38 am

Kurdistan’s illegal oil refineries
devastate land and health


It’s the smell that hits you first on arriving in the quiet farming village of Lajane Harki on the Gwer Road some 10 kilometers west of Erbil. The acrid odor from dozens of oil refineries – both legal and illegal – burns the nasal passages and lingers long after you’ve left. But the families who live here have no escape

“Venom is better than breathing this air,” says Lazgin Mohammed Aziz. An onion farmer and father of three, Aziz supplements his income by collecting scrap metal to sell.

On a late summer morning, he was sorting through refuse piled in a spot surrounded by oil refineries, many of which have this month started to operate at night in a bid to avoid government scrutiny. While the sun is high, the air is marginally clear, but when the sun sets Aziz says they cannot step outside their homes because of the toxic smoke. His brother’s baby recently died at just two weeks old. The family blames pollution from the refineries.

Crude oil is trucked to the facilities from the Region’s oilfields where it is heated in large distillation columns. The cheap petroleum and other products produce here are shipped off for domestic use or for sale in Iran and Central Asia, while the byproducts are belched into the atmosphere.

A year ago, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) began a crackdown on the illegal refineries that wreak havoc on the environment, ordering 164 outfits to shut their gates.

Fears that the continued sale of oil and its byproducts to Iran could expose the Region to US sanctions likely played a role in this decision.

The move has seen some success and in August the new government formed a committee to reassess and possibly expand the number of refineries it will shut down. But it will take much more than just locking the gates to clean up the toxic legacy of the refineries that have been pumping poison into the water, soil, and air for 16 years.

Razzaq Azeez Khailany, Director of Technical Affairs at the Kurdistan Region’s Environmental Protection and Improvement Board (EPIB), sits on the government committee along with representatives from the Ministries of Natural Resources (MNR), Agriculture, and Interior. About 50 of the illegal refineries are now closed, he said.

The government committee is reassessing the list of those slated for closure and the 28 that MNR in 2015 recommended could be licensed based on their capacity, environmental impact, and market demands. The number of potential licensees could drop, according to Khailany.

The committee has met twice as of mid-September and it’s work has just begun, so Khailany can’t put a timeline on the process, but stressed the government is serious about following through on the crackdown and forcing the illegal operators to clean up the mess they created.

Both legal and illegal operations exist near Lajane Harki, steadily growing in number since the United States toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. They have had a devastating impact on village life.

“The impact is big,” says Maqsoud Tofiq Fathi, village mukhtar (chieftain) for some 2,000 residents. “There have been 63 or 64 miscarriages. My family has had four miscarriages.” Cases of respiratory illnesses like asthma are on the rise, as are deaths from cancer. “We had maybe a death once in ten years. Now it’s every year,” he said.

Villagers say they have staged several protests against the refineries, but they still can’t breathe. Some believe the closures are proceeding at a snail’s pace because refineries are owned by influential people with ties to those in power. “Even if we file a complaint, nothing can happen. Many times TV channels came. Nothing changed,” said farmer Aziz.

Fathi, the mukhtar, is hopeful new Prime Minister Masrour Barzani’s no-nonsense reputation from his years heading up the Kurdistan Region Security Council will help him succeed in snuffing out the toxic refineries. “People [refinery owners] are afraid of him,” said Fathi. “I have very high hopes for him.”

Local farmers need a strong advocate who will ensure their fields are cleaned and they are compensated for damaged crops and lost income.

Just outside of Lajane Harki, a small cluster of fields is cut by a bumpy, gravel route bringing oil tankers to a dozen refineries. A ditch separates the road from Mamo Ayub’s tomato field. The water in the ditch flows black – carrying waste from the refineries to the Great Zab River.

This past spring saw heavy rainfall that flooded the stream, sending a wave of polluted water into Ayub’s field. Patches of his soil now reek of oil and nothing grows there. He relies on a well to water his crop, but the damage from the refinery waste has been done. He has not been able to sell any of his tomatoes this year.

“Nobody comes to the aid of the poor. It’s all lies,” he says, shaking his head as he walks through his damaged field.

The operators of the shuttered refineries “will be responsible for cleaning the damage they caused to the environment,” says Hallo Askari, head of the environment board (EPIB). None, however, have yet been forced to cough up for a cleanup operation, he acknowledged. The previous government also proposed 200 million dinars ($168,000) for the task. That money has not yet been made available, according to Khailany.

In Lajane Harki village, where they are losing their lives and income, time is running out and villagers are angry.

“Chemical Ali bombed Halabja once,” says farmer Yassin Khan Abdel, referring to Ali Hassan al-Majid, Iraqi defence minister under Saddam Hussein who was responsible for the 1988 chemical weapons attack on the Kurdish city that killed at least 5,000 people.

“These people bomb us with poison every day.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/230920191
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:49 am

UN panel signals red alert on
'Blue Planet'


Climate change is devastating our seas and frozen regions as never before, a major new United Nations report warns

According to a UN panel of scientists, waters are rising, the ice is melting, and species are moving habitat due to human activities.

And the loss of permanently frozen lands threatens to unleash even more carbon, hastening the decline.

There is some guarded hope that the worst impacts can be avoided, with deep and immediate cuts to carbon emissions.

This is the third in a series of special reports that have been produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the past 12 months.

The scientists previously looked at how the world would cope if temperatures rose by 1.5C by the end of this century. They also reported on how the lands of the Earth would be affected by climate change.

However, this new study, looking at the impact of rising temperatures on our oceans and frozen regions, is perhaps the most worrying and depressing of the three.

So what have they found and how bad is it?

In a nutshell, the waters are getting warmer, the world's ice is melting rapidly, and these have implications for almost every living thing on the planet.

"The blue planet is in serious danger right now, suffering many insults from many different directions and it's our fault," said Dr Jean-Pierre Gattuso, a co-ordinating lead author of the report.

The scientists are "virtually certain" that the global ocean has now warmed without pause since 1970.

The waters have soaked up more than 90% of the extra heat generated by humans over the past decades, and the rate at which it has taken up this heat has doubled since 1993.

The seas were once rising mainly due to thermal expansion - which refers to the way the volume of water expands when it is heated. The extra energy makes the water molecules move around more, causing them to take up more space. But the IPCC says rising water levels are now being driven principally by the melting of Greenland and Antarctica.

Thanks to warming, the loss of mass (which refers to the amount of ice that melts and is lost as liquid water) from the Antarctic ice sheet in the years between 2007 and 2016 tripled compared to the 10 years previously.

Greenland saw a doubling of mass loss over the same period. The report expects this to continue throughout the 21st Century and beyond.

For glaciers in areas like the tropical Andes, Central Europe and North Asia, the projections are that they will lose 80% of their ice by 2100 under a high carbon emissions scenario. This will have huge consequences for millions of people.

What are the implications of all this melting ice?

All this extra water gushing down to the seas is driving up average ocean water levels around the world. That will continue over the decades to come.

This new report says that global average sea levels could increase by up to 1.1m by 2100, in the worst warming scenario. This is a rise of 10cm on previous IPCC projections because of the larger ice loss now happening in Antarctica.

"What surprised me the most is the fact that the highest projected sea level rise has been revised upwards and it is now 1.1 metres," said Dr Jean-Pierre Gattuso, from the CNRS, France's national science agency.

"This will have widespread consequences for low lying coasts where almost 700 million people live and it is worrying."

On the east coast of England, most of the city of Hull lies below the level of a typical high tide. The sea here can be both a source of wealth and a threat to life.

So the conclusions of the IPCC report have real meaning. A storm surge on a winter's night six years ago found a weak link in a sea wall and flooded businesses and homes.

New defences were ordered and the construction teams are now at work along the shore. But the barriers cannot protect everyone. Computer simulations, developed by the University of Hull, show that if the level of the ocean is one metre higher than now the centre of the city ought to be fine but neighbouring areas will go under.

This highlights a painful question, faced in low-lying places the world over: which should be saved and which should be abandoned as the waters rise?

Greenland and Antarctica has now taken over as the principle driver

The report says clearly that some island states are likely to become uninhabitable beyond 2100.

The scientists also say that relocating people away from threatened communities is worth considering "if safe alternative localities are available".

What will these changes mean for you?

One of the key messages is the way that the warming of the oceans and cryosphere (the icy bits on land) is part of a chain of poor outcomes that will affect millions of people well into the future.

Under higher emissions scenarios, even wealthy megacities such as New York or Shanghai and large tropical agricultural deltas such as the Mekong will face high or very high risks from sea level rise.

The report says that a world with severely increased levels of warm water will in turn give rise to big increases in nasty and dangerous weather events, such as surges from tropical cyclones.

"Extreme sea level events that are historically rare (once per century in the recent past) are projected to occur frequently (at least once per year) at many locations by 2050," the study says, even if future emissions of carbon are cut significantly.

"What we are seeing now is enduring and unprecedented change," said Prof Debra Roberts, a co-chair of an IPCC working group II.

"Even if you live in an inland part of the world, the changes in the climate system, drawn in by the very large changes in the ocean and cryosphere are going to impact the way you live your life and the opportunities for sustainable development."

The ways in which you may be affected are vast - flood damage could increase by two or three orders of magnitude. The acidification of the oceans thanks to increased levels of CO2 is threatening corals, to such an extent that even at 1.5C of warming, some 90% will disappear.

When CO2 is dissolved in water it forms carbonic acid. So, the more carbon dioxide that dissolves in our oceans, the more acidic the water gets.

Species of fish will move as ocean temperatures rise. Seafood safety could even be compromised because humans could be exposed to increased levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in marine plants and animals. These pollutants are released from the same fossil fuel burning that release the climate warming gas CO2.

Even our ability to generate electricity will be impaired as warming melts the glaciers, altering the availability of water for hydropower.

Permafrost not so permanent

Huge amounts of carbon are stored in the permanently frozen regions of the world such as in Siberia and Northern Canada.

These are likely to change dramatically, with around 70% of the near surface permafrost set to thaw if emissions continue to rise.

The big worry is that this could free up "tens to hundreds of billions of tonnes" of CO2 and methane to the atmosphere by 2100. This would be a significant limitation on our ability to limit global warming in the centuries to come.

So what happens in the long term?

That's a key question and much depends on what we do in the near term to limit emissions.

However, there are some warnings in the report that some changes may not be easily undone. Data from Antarctica suggests the onset of "irreversible ice sheet instability" which could see sea level rise by several metres within centuries.

"We give this sea level rise information to 2300, and the reason for that is that there is a lot of change locked in, to the ice sheets and the contribution that will have to sea level rise," said Dr Nerilie Abram from the Australian National University in Canberra, who's a contributing lead author on the report.

"So even in a scenario where we can reduce greenhouse gases, there are still future sea level rise that people will have to plan for."

There may also be significant and irreversible loses of cultural knowledge through the fact that the fish species that indigenous communities rely on may move to escape warming.

Does the report offer some guarded hope?

Definitely. The report makes a strong play of the fact that the future of our oceans is still in our hands.

The formula is well worn at this stage - deep, rapid cuts in carbon emissions in line with the IPCC report last year that required 45% reductions by 2030.

"If we reduce emissions sharply, consequences for people and their livelihoods will still be challenging, but potentially more manageable for those who are most vulnerable," said Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC.

Indeed, some of the scientists involved in the report believe that public pressure on politicians is a crucial part of increasing ambition.

"After the demonstrations of young people last week, I think they are the best chance for us,," said Dr Jean-Pierre Gattuso.

"They are dynamic, they are active I am hopeful they will continue their actions and they will make society change."

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49817804
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