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UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide
Meanwhile, almost everyone knows that we as humans have a major impact on nature. But according to a new upsetting report from the UN - this impact is even more devastating than expected. This report will also scare people who were never aware of nature and the environment, hence the conclusion: we kill species at the speed of light, destroy the ecosystems of our planet in an instant and not do we only destroy our nature, we will ultimately destroy ourselves. Fortunately, every enormous and dark cloud has a little silver lining: it is not too late to change. Nature globally declines at rates unprecedented in human history The shocking report from the UN, from the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services department, to be precise, immediately warns us on the first page: “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.” Who then makes these statements? Not the least, because the report is composed of research from more than hundreds of experts from different countries. 15,000 scientific and government sources were also consulted when compiling the report, which will be published in its entirety later this year. A baleful picture According to the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Chair, Sir Robert Watson, the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an baleful picture. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” he says. Five reasons for this major human impact on nature The authors of the study note five reasons why an enormous change in nature is taking place. According to the report, these are those reasons, in order of the most harmful: changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. The numbers don't lie: the report states that approximately 66 percent of the marine environment has been "seriously changed" by human action. More than three-quarters of a quarter of the land environment is added. In addition, more than 400 million tons of heavy metals and other industrial waste are dumped into the waters of our world every year. The plastic pollution on earth has even increased tenfold since 1980. That creates 'dead zones' in the oceans: the area combined is larger than the entire United Kingdom. To name a few more: to produce our food, we need nearly 75 percent of the world's freshwater supplies and more than a third of the land area to maintain our crops and livestock. More than a million plant- and animal species will be extinct More than a million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, according to the devastating UN report. That can even happen within decades, and that is all due to our behaviour. The research results are shocking: 40 percent of the amphibians will eventually die out, as will 33 percent of the marine mammals on our planet. Also, 10 percent of the insect species that are still alive today will no longer be there within a few decades. 560 domesticated species of mammals – yes, pets - that will be extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more threatened. How shocking… And even more shocking: those are not all the numbers from this distressing VN rapport. In total, up to 1 million of the species living on our earth are threatened with extinction. “Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people are our common heritage and humanity’s most important life-supporting ‘safety net.' But our safety net is stretched almost to breaking point,” said Professor Sandra Díaz, co-chair of the IPBES Global Assessment. Transformative change: local to global But: IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson also adds that the report tells us it is not too late to make a change. "only if we start now at every level from local to global,” Watson said. “Through ‘transformative change,’ nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.” How can you, as a person and a consumer, contribute to a better world where no million species of animals and plants will die out? Live consciously, look carefully at what you buy (for example, beef and make-up products, fuel and cleaning products with palm oil really do not help) and take the environment into account in your voting behaviour. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/social-sustainabilty
Meanwhile, almost everyone knows that we as humans have a major impact on nature. But according to a new upsetting report from the UN - this impact is even more devastating than expected. This report will also scare people who were never aware of nature and the environment, hence the conclusion: we kill species at the speed of light, destroy the ecosystems of our planet in an instant and not do we only destroy our nature, we will ultimately destroy ourselves. Fortunately, every enormous and dark cloud has a little silver lining: it is not too late to change. Nature globally declines at rates unprecedented in human history The shocking report from the UN, from the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services department, to be precise, immediately warns us on the first page: “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.” Who then makes these statements? Not the least, because the report is composed of research from more than hundreds of experts from different countries. 15,000 scientific and government sources were also consulted when compiling the report, which will be published in its entirety later this year. A baleful picture According to the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Chair, Sir Robert Watson, the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an baleful picture. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” he says. Five reasons for this major human impact on nature The authors of the study note five reasons why an enormous change in nature is taking place. According to the report, these are those reasons, in order of the most harmful: changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. The numbers don't lie: the report states that approximately 66 percent of the marine environment has been "seriously changed" by human action. More than three-quarters of a quarter of the land environment is added. In addition, more than 400 million tons of heavy metals and other industrial waste are dumped into the waters of our world every year. The plastic pollution on earth has even increased tenfold since 1980. That creates 'dead zones' in the oceans: the area combined is larger than the entire United Kingdom. To name a few more: to produce our food, we need nearly 75 percent of the world's freshwater supplies and more than a third of the land area to maintain our crops and livestock. More than a million plant- and animal species will be extinct More than a million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, according to the devastating UN report. That can even happen within decades, and that is all due to our behaviour. The research results are shocking: 40 percent of the amphibians will eventually die out, as will 33 percent of the marine mammals on our planet. Also, 10 percent of the insect species that are still alive today will no longer be there within a few decades. 560 domesticated species of mammals – yes, pets - that will be extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more threatened. How shocking… And even more shocking: those are not all the numbers from this distressing VN rapport. In total, up to 1 million of the species living on our earth are threatened with extinction. “Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people are our common heritage and humanity’s most important life-supporting ‘safety net.' But our safety net is stretched almost to breaking point,” said Professor Sandra Díaz, co-chair of the IPBES Global Assessment. Transformative change: local to global But: IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson also adds that the report tells us it is not too late to make a change. "only if we start now at every level from local to global,” Watson said. “Through ‘transformative change,’ nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.” How can you, as a person and a consumer, contribute to a better world where no million species of animals and plants will die out? Live consciously, look carefully at what you buy (for example, beef and make-up products, fuel and cleaning products with palm oil really do not help) and take the environment into account in your voting behaviour. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/social-sustainabilty
UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide
UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide
Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
All over the world conflict situations arise between countries because people are confronted with decreasing natural resources like water as a result of climate change. In the Middle East and in Africa there are several examples of countries where climate change is seen as the cause of violent conflicts. But there is also a major conflict in Asia due to the lack of water resources - which can even involve nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan are directly opposite each other. The problem? Water. The Indus and its tributaries in the Indus Waters Treaty Pakistan and India share a number of important waters, the Indus and its tributaries - a crucial lifeline for both countries. The Indus River, along with its tributaries, is more than 2880 kilometres long. The river flows from north to south India and then ends up in Pakistan. In September 1960, the countries signed the Indus Waters Treaty. This treaty laid down how to deal with waters that start in India but are crucial for Pakistan. Please note: when the signatures were placed under the Indus Waters Treaty, the countries were still relatively peaceful with each other. The World Bank mediated this Indus Waters Treaty, where the six major rivers of the Indus basin were divided between India and Pakistan. The Baes, the Sutlej and the Ravi - the easternmost rivers - were given to India, and the western rivers, the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus, are under the control of Pakistan. That seems like a good distribution, but there is a big problem: the waters to which Pakistan is entitled largely flow through Kashmir, which is governed by India and widely controversial. Will the Indus Waters Treaty survive the dispute over the Kashmir region? The dispute over the Kashmir region has been an enormous conflict between India and Pakistan for more than six decades. After the division of the British Indies in 1947, both India and Pakistan claim the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu. China is a third party in this struggle. The conflict escalated in three wars and several other armed conflicts. Even after these wars and other hostilities, the Indus Water Treaty remained standing, but how long will it take? Pakistan has accused India of throttling its water supply and violating the IWT by constructing dams over the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir. “Any country with nuclear weapons, if they’re backed into a corner because they have no water — that’s really dangerous,” said Jeff Nesbit, author and executive director of non-profit climate communication organisation Climate Nexus. The Indus is crucial for surviving For Pakistan, the Indus river and its tributaries are crucial waters for surviving. Most of the country depends on the waters as an essential source of freshwater - it also is necessary for ninety percent of the agricultural industry in Pakistan. Without this water, the industry will fall apart. Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary Leader of the left-wing opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate tells that "water security has become a regional security threat.” She says: “We are now facing challenges brought about by climate change which were not a primary focus during the negotiations for the Indus Water Treaty.” A 2018 report from the International Monetary Fund ranked Pakistan third among countries facing severe water shortages. When the rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas , which feed the Indus waters, eventually disappear as predicted, the dwindling rivers will be slashed even further. The threat of a water war The Indus Waters Treaty almost broke down in September 2016. India accused Pakistani soldiers of a violent attack in Kashmir. The country threatened with the unilateral denunciation of the treaty. “Had they done that, it would have triggered a water war, it would have triggered an actual war. “Never mind a nuclear strike or a military strike, if they were to actually terminate the Indus Water Treaty, that’s much more dangerous to Pakistan’s survival, because they would have no way to grow food. And then they would be relying on food imports at a time when their population is exploding. So that particular incident was really dangerous.” Nesbit states that water issues between India and Pakistan have the potential to become the most deadly climate change-attributed conflict in the world. Why has India not yet lifted the Indus Waters Treaty? That is all because of the third party in this conflict: China. China can do exactly the same with India if they block the water flows to Pakistan. Because of China, the country can face exactly the same fate. That’s why China’s watching the India-Pakistan water wars quite closely, to see the decisions that India makes.  https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/natural
All over the world conflict situations arise between countries because people are confronted with decreasing natural resources like water as a result of climate change. In the Middle East and in Africa there are several examples of countries where climate change is seen as the cause of violent conflicts. But there is also a major conflict in Asia due to the lack of water resources - which can even involve nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan are directly opposite each other. The problem? Water. The Indus and its tributaries in the Indus Waters Treaty Pakistan and India share a number of important waters, the Indus and its tributaries - a crucial lifeline for both countries. The Indus River, along with its tributaries, is more than 2880 kilometres long. The river flows from north to south India and then ends up in Pakistan. In September 1960, the countries signed the Indus Waters Treaty. This treaty laid down how to deal with waters that start in India but are crucial for Pakistan. Please note: when the signatures were placed under the Indus Waters Treaty, the countries were still relatively peaceful with each other. The World Bank mediated this Indus Waters Treaty, where the six major rivers of the Indus basin were divided between India and Pakistan. The Baes, the Sutlej and the Ravi - the easternmost rivers - were given to India, and the western rivers, the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus, are under the control of Pakistan. That seems like a good distribution, but there is a big problem: the waters to which Pakistan is entitled largely flow through Kashmir, which is governed by India and widely controversial. Will the Indus Waters Treaty survive the dispute over the Kashmir region? The dispute over the Kashmir region has been an enormous conflict between India and Pakistan for more than six decades. After the division of the British Indies in 1947, both India and Pakistan claim the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu. China is a third party in this struggle. The conflict escalated in three wars and several other armed conflicts. Even after these wars and other hostilities, the Indus Water Treaty remained standing, but how long will it take? Pakistan has accused India of throttling its water supply and violating the IWT by constructing dams over the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir. “Any country with nuclear weapons, if they’re backed into a corner because they have no water — that’s really dangerous,” said Jeff Nesbit, author and executive director of non-profit climate communication organisation Climate Nexus. The Indus is crucial for surviving For Pakistan, the Indus river and its tributaries are crucial waters for surviving. Most of the country depends on the waters as an essential source of freshwater - it also is necessary for ninety percent of the agricultural industry in Pakistan. Without this water, the industry will fall apart. Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary Leader of the left-wing opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate tells that "water security has become a regional security threat.” She says: “We are now facing challenges brought about by climate change which were not a primary focus during the negotiations for the Indus Water Treaty.” A 2018 report from the International Monetary Fund ranked Pakistan third among countries facing severe water shortages. When the rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas , which feed the Indus waters, eventually disappear as predicted, the dwindling rivers will be slashed even further. The threat of a water war The Indus Waters Treaty almost broke down in September 2016. India accused Pakistani soldiers of a violent attack in Kashmir. The country threatened with the unilateral denunciation of the treaty. “Had they done that, it would have triggered a water war, it would have triggered an actual war. “Never mind a nuclear strike or a military strike, if they were to actually terminate the Indus Water Treaty, that’s much more dangerous to Pakistan’s survival, because they would have no way to grow food. And then they would be relying on food imports at a time when their population is exploding. So that particular incident was really dangerous.” Nesbit states that water issues between India and Pakistan have the potential to become the most deadly climate change-attributed conflict in the world. Why has India not yet lifted the Indus Waters Treaty? That is all because of the third party in this conflict: China. China can do exactly the same with India if they block the water flows to Pakistan. Because of China, the country can face exactly the same fate. That’s why China’s watching the India-Pakistan water wars quite closely, to see the decisions that India makes.  https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/natural
Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture And Food
Water: we can’t live without it. Of course, people need it to survive, but water is also the throbbing vein of nature: vegetation, soil and lakes are dependent on fluids. Without water, our agricultural production and food security will collapse, and so will our nutritional security. That’s why we are facing an enormous problem: our freshwater resources are dwindling at an alarming rate. The UN reported that almost half of the population can be affected by water scarcity by 2050. Meanwhile, the world´s population keeps on growing, with higher living standards than ever before. How can we stop this growing water scarcity? ZeroHunger First, it is important to understand the extent to which water is used in our existence. Did you know, for example, that we consume much more water through the food we eat then what we drink? According to an article from the Food and Algriculture Organization of the United Nations, we need 2.000 to 5.000 litres of water to produce to food consumed daily by one person. The FAO has evidence that suggests that two-thirds of the world population could be living in water-stressed countries by 2025 if current consumption patterns continue. “To achieve a #ZeroHunger world by 2030, we need to take action now,” the organisation states. Choose your crops wisely Agriculture is and will continue to be one of the main causes of water scarcity – one of the bigges, actually. The FAO states that farming accounts for almost 70 percent of all water withdrawals, and up to 95 percent in some developing countries. The choice for other crops is an answer to fight water scarcity because of agriculture, according to the FAO. For example, pulses crops have a small water footprint. For one kilogram of lentils, there is 1250 litres of water necessary, comparing to 13.000 litres for the same amount of beef. Use wastewater to decrease the risk of famine We are facing climate change. As a result of the warming global environment, more water will be needed to keep food production going. On the other hand, there will be more frequent and more serious droughts that will further increase water scarcity. The solution? According to FAO, we need to take action to harvest and recycle our freshwater reserves. We can use wastewater to decrease the risk of famine and socioeconomic disruption. The efficiency of water in food value chain We have yet a lot to learn about the efficient use of water in are food value chain. According to FAO, “key decisions such as site selection, technology and suppliers are frequently made without taking into account the impacts on water resources, especially when water is not a limiting factor either in quantities and/or in price”. Food waste is water waste Last but not least: food waste equals wasted water. To fight water scarcity, we have to fight wasted food. Let’s remember that if we throw away food, we also throw away the sources that made this food – water! According to FAO, “one-third of all the food produced is either lost or wasted each year — that translates into a volume of wasted water that is equal to around three times the volume of Lake Geneva”. The solution to foodwaste is simple: stop buying more than what you need. You can even go dumpster diving , to save the environment and some money! As FAO says: “The issue of water scarcity is at the very core of sustainable development.” Without water, we can't grow our food. Fortunately, by changing our habits we can fight water scarcity. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Water: we can’t live without it. Of course, people need it to survive, but water is also the throbbing vein of nature: vegetation, soil and lakes are dependent on fluids. Without water, our agricultural production and food security will collapse, and so will our nutritional security. That’s why we are facing an enormous problem: our freshwater resources are dwindling at an alarming rate. The UN reported that almost half of the population can be affected by water scarcity by 2050. Meanwhile, the world´s population keeps on growing, with higher living standards than ever before. How can we stop this growing water scarcity? ZeroHunger First, it is important to understand the extent to which water is used in our existence. Did you know, for example, that we consume much more water through the food we eat then what we drink? According to an article from the Food and Algriculture Organization of the United Nations, we need 2.000 to 5.000 litres of water to produce to food consumed daily by one person. The FAO has evidence that suggests that two-thirds of the world population could be living in water-stressed countries by 2025 if current consumption patterns continue. “To achieve a #ZeroHunger world by 2030, we need to take action now,” the organisation states. Choose your crops wisely Agriculture is and will continue to be one of the main causes of water scarcity – one of the bigges, actually. The FAO states that farming accounts for almost 70 percent of all water withdrawals, and up to 95 percent in some developing countries. The choice for other crops is an answer to fight water scarcity because of agriculture, according to the FAO. For example, pulses crops have a small water footprint. For one kilogram of lentils, there is 1250 litres of water necessary, comparing to 13.000 litres for the same amount of beef. Use wastewater to decrease the risk of famine We are facing climate change. As a result of the warming global environment, more water will be needed to keep food production going. On the other hand, there will be more frequent and more serious droughts that will further increase water scarcity. The solution? According to FAO, we need to take action to harvest and recycle our freshwater reserves. We can use wastewater to decrease the risk of famine and socioeconomic disruption. The efficiency of water in food value chain We have yet a lot to learn about the efficient use of water in are food value chain. According to FAO, “key decisions such as site selection, technology and suppliers are frequently made without taking into account the impacts on water resources, especially when water is not a limiting factor either in quantities and/or in price”. Food waste is water waste Last but not least: food waste equals wasted water. To fight water scarcity, we have to fight wasted food. Let’s remember that if we throw away food, we also throw away the sources that made this food – water! According to FAO, “one-third of all the food produced is either lost or wasted each year — that translates into a volume of wasted water that is equal to around three times the volume of Lake Geneva”. The solution to foodwaste is simple: stop buying more than what you need. You can even go dumpster diving , to save the environment and some money! As FAO says: “The issue of water scarcity is at the very core of sustainable development.” Without water, we can't grow our food. Fortunately, by changing our habits we can fight water scarcity. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture And Food
Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture And Food
Climate Change: Cause Of The Next Global Economic Collapse
Did you ever think about the possibility of economic devastation because of natural disasters? Geoff Dembicki - journalist en author of Are We Screwed? How a New Generation Is Fighting to Survive Climate Change - did, and thinks you should, because it’s very real: we can all remember the wildfires in America that bankrupted the California utility PG&E. For Vice, he describes how this collapse could happen and how climate change could be causing the next financial crisis. "If you said just a few years ago that starting forest fires because of transmission malfunctions was going to collapse a major American utility, people would be like, ‘No that’s crazy, that can’t happen.’ But here we are,” says Elias Hinckley - an energy and climate finance lawyer at the global law firm K&L Gates in Washington, DC – to Dembicki for his Vice article. Because: what if a threat you dismissed as notional and vague suddenly becomes real - and impossible to stop? Bankruptcy by climate change That's exactly what happened to the Californian Pacific Gas and Electric Company, who provides natural gas and electric service in this state. Dembicki explains for Vice that the existential threat of bankruptcy by natural disasters was distant, until it was too close to ignore. According to his investigations on this matter, fire researchers found that PGE&E power lines and transformers started leastwise seventeen of the 21 major state fires in 2017, and even more in 2018, where the state fires turned into massive wildfires because of hot and dry conditions, worsened by a warming climate. The Californian utility faced answerabilities of 30 billion dollar and 750 lawsuits; investors freaked and PGE&E formerly beloved by hedge funds, declared bankruptcy. Its market value dropped from 25 billion dollar to less than $4 billion. A genuine threat to the economic system When you’re starting to see the worsening environmental condition as a real future risk for the financial world, you will sense vulnerabilities everywhere. According to Dembicki, the question isn’t no longer if climate change is a genuine threat to the economic system, but: who will it strike? He states some potential outcomes: a hurricane that bankrupts the state of Florida, a housing foreclosure crisis caused by flooding in Texas, an economic meltdown brought on by the Colorado River going dry. In December 2018, 415 investors put out a statement warning that climate change could cause $23 trillion in global economic destruction over the next eighty years. "That’s absolutely accurate," Beau O’Sullivan tells Vice. He is a spokesperson for the UK-based responsible investing advocacy group ShareAction. "When this carbon bubble bursts, we’ll see huge reverberations across our financial system, because climate change is a such a systemic risk that it touches every area of our lives."   Bend and break Dembicki has done his research and sends in the knowledge of Florida storm expert Lorilee Medders, a Florida storm risk expert. In a paper she states: "The state of Florida itself is heavily leveraged as insurer for much of the cost of extreme weather in the form of hurricanes and other tropical storms." But Michael Wara, a lawyer and research fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment, explained to Dembicki that the wrong combination of factors - for example a Category 4 hurricane tearing into Miami along with a major storm surge—might cause major financial disruptions. “You could easily see the state of Florida go bankrupt," he said to Vice. "The companies systems for managing risk can bend a little bit. But they don’t sort of gradually evolve - what happens is they break, and that is what we’re observing in California right now." Hypothetical scenarios Of course, a housing foreclosure crisis in Texas, a bankrupt of Florida because of a hurricane and an economic meltdown because of a dry Colorado River are all imaginary scenarios, states Dembicki in this article for Vice. He says that these scenarios are not guaranteed to happen, or even likely to happen. However, Dembicki says, if we observe the situation of PG&E’s collapse, climate change is now testing the limits of society’s ability to manage and define financial risk. This fact has yet to sink in with the planet’s top risk assessors: insurance companies. Climate aware investments According to Vice, a recent survey of the world’s 80 largest insurers done by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project found only one-third "can say their approach to investing is climate-aware." And 43 percent of the 'laggards' named by the survey—that is, insurers with limited or no consideration of financial risks created by climate change—are based in the US. What to think of that? “They’re probably not taking these risks seriously enough because they see them as long-term,” said O’Sullivan, who’s company also manages this Asset Owners Disclosure Project. "They think they have more time, but they don’t." Dembicki thinks it all seems to start with the realization that climate change is in fact a real future risk for companies. Hinckley, the energy and climate finance lawyer who Dembicki interviewed, agrees the risk of enormous and long-lasting financial damage from climate change is real. “If you start to see enough pressure in the system,” he said, whether from climate-related calamities or a loss of investor confidence that comes with them. "At some point you slide past the place where your economy is growing to one where it’s retracting. We try to avoid that." It cán happen What can we learn from this Vice article by Geoff Dembicki? Well, a global economic collapse really could be caused by climate change. It is important to keep our eyes open and not put this possibility away as fictive, it cán happen, as we saw on a smaller note in California, with a huge financial impact for the Californian Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  https://www.whatsorb.com/climate/the-paris-climate-agreement--no--we-won-t-make-it-
Did you ever think about the possibility of economic devastation because of natural disasters? Geoff Dembicki - journalist en author of Are We Screwed? How a New Generation Is Fighting to Survive Climate Change - did, and thinks you should, because it’s very real: we can all remember the wildfires in America that bankrupted the California utility PG&E. For Vice, he describes how this collapse could happen and how climate change could be causing the next financial crisis. "If you said just a few years ago that starting forest fires because of transmission malfunctions was going to collapse a major American utility, people would be like, ‘No that’s crazy, that can’t happen.’ But here we are,” says Elias Hinckley - an energy and climate finance lawyer at the global law firm K&L Gates in Washington, DC – to Dembicki for his Vice article. Because: what if a threat you dismissed as notional and vague suddenly becomes real - and impossible to stop? Bankruptcy by climate change That's exactly what happened to the Californian Pacific Gas and Electric Company, who provides natural gas and electric service in this state. Dembicki explains for Vice that the existential threat of bankruptcy by natural disasters was distant, until it was too close to ignore. According to his investigations on this matter, fire researchers found that PGE&E power lines and transformers started leastwise seventeen of the 21 major state fires in 2017, and even more in 2018, where the state fires turned into massive wildfires because of hot and dry conditions, worsened by a warming climate. The Californian utility faced answerabilities of 30 billion dollar and 750 lawsuits; investors freaked and PGE&E formerly beloved by hedge funds, declared bankruptcy. Its market value dropped from 25 billion dollar to less than $4 billion. A genuine threat to the economic system When you’re starting to see the worsening environmental condition as a real future risk for the financial world, you will sense vulnerabilities everywhere. According to Dembicki, the question isn’t no longer if climate change is a genuine threat to the economic system, but: who will it strike? He states some potential outcomes: a hurricane that bankrupts the state of Florida, a housing foreclosure crisis caused by flooding in Texas, an economic meltdown brought on by the Colorado River going dry. In December 2018, 415 investors put out a statement warning that climate change could cause $23 trillion in global economic destruction over the next eighty years. "That’s absolutely accurate," Beau O’Sullivan tells Vice. He is a spokesperson for the UK-based responsible investing advocacy group ShareAction. "When this carbon bubble bursts, we’ll see huge reverberations across our financial system, because climate change is a such a systemic risk that it touches every area of our lives."   Bend and break Dembicki has done his research and sends in the knowledge of Florida storm expert Lorilee Medders, a Florida storm risk expert. In a paper she states: "The state of Florida itself is heavily leveraged as insurer for much of the cost of extreme weather in the form of hurricanes and other tropical storms." But Michael Wara, a lawyer and research fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment, explained to Dembicki that the wrong combination of factors - for example a Category 4 hurricane tearing into Miami along with a major storm surge—might cause major financial disruptions. “You could easily see the state of Florida go bankrupt," he said to Vice. "The companies systems for managing risk can bend a little bit. But they don’t sort of gradually evolve - what happens is they break, and that is what we’re observing in California right now." Hypothetical scenarios Of course, a housing foreclosure crisis in Texas, a bankrupt of Florida because of a hurricane and an economic meltdown because of a dry Colorado River are all imaginary scenarios, states Dembicki in this article for Vice. He says that these scenarios are not guaranteed to happen, or even likely to happen. However, Dembicki says, if we observe the situation of PG&E’s collapse, climate change is now testing the limits of society’s ability to manage and define financial risk. This fact has yet to sink in with the planet’s top risk assessors: insurance companies. Climate aware investments According to Vice, a recent survey of the world’s 80 largest insurers done by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project found only one-third "can say their approach to investing is climate-aware." And 43 percent of the 'laggards' named by the survey—that is, insurers with limited or no consideration of financial risks created by climate change—are based in the US. What to think of that? “They’re probably not taking these risks seriously enough because they see them as long-term,” said O’Sullivan, who’s company also manages this Asset Owners Disclosure Project. "They think they have more time, but they don’t." Dembicki thinks it all seems to start with the realization that climate change is in fact a real future risk for companies. Hinckley, the energy and climate finance lawyer who Dembicki interviewed, agrees the risk of enormous and long-lasting financial damage from climate change is real. “If you start to see enough pressure in the system,” he said, whether from climate-related calamities or a loss of investor confidence that comes with them. "At some point you slide past the place where your economy is growing to one where it’s retracting. We try to avoid that." It cán happen What can we learn from this Vice article by Geoff Dembicki? Well, a global economic collapse really could be caused by climate change. It is important to keep our eyes open and not put this possibility away as fictive, it cán happen, as we saw on a smaller note in California, with a huge financial impact for the Californian Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  https://www.whatsorb.com/climate/the-paris-climate-agreement--no--we-won-t-make-it-
Climate Change: Cause Of The Next Global Economic Collapse
Climate Change: Cause Of The Next Global Economic Collapse
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to be outdoors during winter. Nevertheless, the impact of ski resorts on the environment is huge: they rely on a complex and energy-demanding infrastructure, with scores of employees and heavy use of water. While many ski-resort owners are switching to environmentally friendly practices such as renewable energy, recycling and composting, some feel that these adjustments fail to mitigate the overall negative effect of ski areas on the environment. What is the solution? Water use One of the problems is the excessive amount of water use in ski resorts. As a result of global climate change, most ski areas experience winters of increasingly shorter duration. If the snow base falls below a certain level, resort managers must use artificial snow-making systems. Artificial snow is made by mixing large volumes of water and high-pressure air, so the process demands an abundance of water and energy. When the water is taken from the local rivers and streams, it has a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Disturbance to Wildlife Alpine habitats above the tree line are already threatened by global climate change, and disturbance from skiers is one more stressor. These disturbances can come from scaring wildlife or harming their habitat by damaging vegetation and compacting soils. An example: the population of black grouse, a creature that lives in the Swiss Alps, is usually found at half its normal density around ski areas. Land use change To create ski trails, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. To create ski trailers, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. To create new trailers, ski resorts have to remove woody vegetation. The fastest way to achieve that is with a bulldozer, graded to remove tree stumps and any sort of slope irregularity. This process reduces topsoil depth and causes soil erosion. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. Fossil fuel  energy Resort skiing is an energy-intensive operation, relying on fossil fuels, producing greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming. For example: ski lifts usually run on electricity, and operating a single ski lift for a month requires about the same energy needed to power 3.8 households for a year. Another one: to maintain the surface of the snow on the ski runs, a resort deploys nightly a fleet of trail groomers each operating on about 5 gallons of diesel per hour and producing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate emissions. A complete estimate of the greenhouse gases emitted in association with resort skiing would need to include those produced by skiers driving or flying to the mountains. Ironically, climate change is affecting most ski regions. As global atmospheric temperatures go up, snowpacks are thinning, and the ski seasons are getting shorter. The solutions The environmental costs associated with resort skiing come in multiple dimensions, and so do the solutions. Many ski resorts have made substantial efforts to minimize their environmental impacts. Solar panels, wind turbines, and small hydro turbines have been deployed to supply renewable energy. Improved waste management and composting programs have been implemented, just like green building technologies have been employed. Forest management efforts have been planned to improve wildlife habitat. But it this enough? What you can do Research, research, research: it is now possible for skiers to gather information about a resort’s sustainability efforts and make informed consumer decisions. An increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts seek snowy slopes by practicing lower-impact forms of skiing. These backcountry skiers and snowboarders use specialized equipment that allows them to make their way up the mountain on their own power, and then to ski down natural terrain that has not been logged or groomed. These skiers have to be self-sufficient and able to mitigate a multitude of mountain-related safety risks. The learning curve is steep, but backcountry skiing has a lighter environmental impact than resort skiing. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/man-made
Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to be outdoors during winter. Nevertheless, the impact of ski resorts on the environment is huge: they rely on a complex and energy-demanding infrastructure, with scores of employees and heavy use of water. While many ski-resort owners are switching to environmentally friendly practices such as renewable energy, recycling and composting, some feel that these adjustments fail to mitigate the overall negative effect of ski areas on the environment. What is the solution? Water use One of the problems is the excessive amount of water use in ski resorts. As a result of global climate change, most ski areas experience winters of increasingly shorter duration. If the snow base falls below a certain level, resort managers must use artificial snow-making systems. Artificial snow is made by mixing large volumes of water and high-pressure air, so the process demands an abundance of water and energy. When the water is taken from the local rivers and streams, it has a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Disturbance to Wildlife Alpine habitats above the tree line are already threatened by global climate change, and disturbance from skiers is one more stressor. These disturbances can come from scaring wildlife or harming their habitat by damaging vegetation and compacting soils. An example: the population of black grouse, a creature that lives in the Swiss Alps, is usually found at half its normal density around ski areas. Land use change To create ski trails, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. To create ski trailers, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. To create new trailers, ski resorts have to remove woody vegetation. The fastest way to achieve that is with a bulldozer, graded to remove tree stumps and any sort of slope irregularity. This process reduces topsoil depth and causes soil erosion. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. Fossil fuel  energy Resort skiing is an energy-intensive operation, relying on fossil fuels, producing greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming. For example: ski lifts usually run on electricity, and operating a single ski lift for a month requires about the same energy needed to power 3.8 households for a year. Another one: to maintain the surface of the snow on the ski runs, a resort deploys nightly a fleet of trail groomers each operating on about 5 gallons of diesel per hour and producing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate emissions. A complete estimate of the greenhouse gases emitted in association with resort skiing would need to include those produced by skiers driving or flying to the mountains. Ironically, climate change is affecting most ski regions. As global atmospheric temperatures go up, snowpacks are thinning, and the ski seasons are getting shorter. The solutions The environmental costs associated with resort skiing come in multiple dimensions, and so do the solutions. Many ski resorts have made substantial efforts to minimize their environmental impacts. Solar panels, wind turbines, and small hydro turbines have been deployed to supply renewable energy. Improved waste management and composting programs have been implemented, just like green building technologies have been employed. Forest management efforts have been planned to improve wildlife habitat. But it this enough? What you can do Research, research, research: it is now possible for skiers to gather information about a resort’s sustainability efforts and make informed consumer decisions. An increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts seek snowy slopes by practicing lower-impact forms of skiing. These backcountry skiers and snowboarders use specialized equipment that allows them to make their way up the mountain on their own power, and then to ski down natural terrain that has not been logged or groomed. These skiers have to be self-sufficient and able to mitigate a multitude of mountain-related safety risks. The learning curve is steep, but backcountry skiing has a lighter environmental impact than resort skiing. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/man-made
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
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