News Of the Day

October 9, 2012

Some links for the day. Never good news, eh?

Don’t count on recessions to keep climate change in check (Washington Post): “according to a new study in Nature Climate Change by Richard York of the University of Oregon. The uptick in carbon pollution from a given amount of growth tends to be significantly bigger than the drop in carbon output from an equal-sized recession.”

Climate change to hit Central America’s food crops (Reuters): “Climate change is expected to reduce maize and bean harvests across Central America, leading to economic losses of more than $120 million a year by the 2020s and threatening the incomes of around 1 million small farmers..The study forecasts the effects of a 1 degree Celsius temperature rise by the 2020s, and a 2 degree Celsius rise by the 2050s [a conservative view]”

Senior Tories at odds over green policy(the Guardian): “Greg Barker, the climate change minister who has been a key figure in pressing the green agenda in the party, said it was vital to “make a stronger case” on the importance of renewable energy…Barker spoke out shortly after Owen Paterson, the new environment secretary, warned of the dangers of “unintended consequences of renewable energy” in the countryside.”

Osborne offers tax breaks for shale gas (Independent): “Britain will seek to open up its potential reserves of the emerging but controversial fuel, shale gas, with a “generous new tax regime”, the Chancellor has revealed.”

Romney Aide: Reducing Carbon Emissions from Coal Isn’t a Legitimate Goal (Technology Review): “Oren Cass, Romney’s advisor, said his candidate thinks that government has no business reducing carbon emissions from coal…the candidate isn’t sure how much the climate is warming, how much humans are contributing to that, or what the impact will be. Romney says further scientific study is needed.”

The trouble with trees (Smithsonian Magazine): “scientists will tell you that, like the oceans, the world’s trees are going through some serious changes, and not in a good way…Consider the impact of the drought that’s been desiccating America’s Southwest. Two weeks ago, the Texas A&M Forest Service issued a damage report: More than 300 million trees died in Texas forests alone as a result of the 2011 drought. It killed another 5.6 million trees in Texas cities….Computer models suggest that for 80 percent of the years in the second half of the 21st century, America’s Southwest will suffer through what the study describes as “mega-drought.”

Animated graphics show records broken in levels of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice (Guardian/New Scientist)

US supreme court rejects Chevron appeal in Ecuador pollution case (the Guardian): “The US supreme court has denied a bid by Chevron to block an $18.2bn (£11.4bn) judgment against the company in a pollution case in Ecuador…The plaintiffs assert the pollution triggered a spike in cancer rates, destroyed locals’ livelihoods and habitats, and killed flora and fauna…The judgment included $8.6bn of environmental damages, which an Ecuador court more than doubled because Chevron failed to make a public apology.”

Wet weather set to hit UK food prices (BBC): “The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said wheat yields in England were down by almost 15% on the five-year average, with productivity down to 1980s levels…This summer was the second wettest in the UK since records began – Met Office figures indicated. The only summer – defined as June, July and August – which was wetter since national records began was in 1912.”

Food crisis: New survey reveals Somalia’s food crisis remains critical (Africa en Ligne): “A new survey of people across 40 regions in Somalia by international aid agency, Oxfam, has found that water and food shortages are at critical levels and likely to deteriorate in parts of the country over the coming months, risking a prolonged humanitarian crisis well into next year…Nearly half of people questioned (42 percent) were regularly skipping meals, with a fifth of people cutting the size of their meals to share limited supplies with their children and Oxfam is concerned about the disproportionally high death rate of pregnant women.”

And…. Kenyans Protest Lawmakers’ $110K BonusesFoxconn factory workers protestMerkel visits Greece as 50,000 people protest , French police fire tear gas at anti-job cuts protesters, Walmart Worker Strike Spreads to Maryland, Texas, Chipotle signs “Fair Food” pact with Immokalee workers, Greenpeace demands India halt coal mining in forests, Convoy of 15,000 Irish farmers march on Dail in subsidy protest

Just another day flitting by during the crisis.

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