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Category: Nature (Page 1 of 9)

Washington issue reports warning that climate change threatens global security

The White House, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon warn that climate change will exacerbate long-standing threats to global security.

Canada, the British, many European countries, and indeed the USA have all come to the same conclusion decades ago. They have also made contingency plans and conducted military exercises based on those conclusions.

So, while this is not new or news, the timing of these reports, just ahead of COP26, is a good PR move for the US war machine.

Shane Harris and Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post »

Together, the reports show a deepening concern within the U.S. security establishment that the shifts unleashed by climate change can reshape U.S. strategic interests, offer new opportunities to rivals such as China, and increase instability in nuclear states such as North Korea and Pakistan.

The reports emerge as world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow next month for crucial U.N. climate talks. And the assessments suggest that the Biden administration is preparing to take on the national security consequences of global warming after four years of inaction under President Donald Trump. During his presidency, climate-related security assessments were routinely suppressed because they did not match his administration’s skeptical stance toward climate science.

The Pentagon report in particular marks a shift in how the U.S. military establishment is incorporating climate issues into its security strategy, analysts said. Until now, when the Defense Department has considered climate change, it has tended to focus on how floods and extreme heat can affect military readiness rather than the broader geopolitical consequences of a warming world. Now it is worried that climate change could lead to state failure.

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Also » France 24

In 2020 Amazon shipped more parcels in U.S. than FedEx

Erica Pandey, Axios »

Why it matters: Logistics is a $1.5 trillion business — and it has long been controlled by a handful of key players, like FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. Now Amazon is poised to conquer it.

What’s happening: Amazon has 21% of the U.S. shipping market — right behind UPS (24%) and ahead of FedEx (16%). The USPS remains dominant with 38%, and all other shippers account for just 1% of the market, according to Pitney Bowes, which tracks the global shipping and e-commerce industry.

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French oil and gas giant Total has known about climate threat of burning fossil fuels since at least 1971

Euronews »

They uncovered research published in the Total journal in 1971 which explained that burning fossil fuels resulted in “the release of enormous quantities of carbon dioxide”. It warned that continued consumption would increase carbon dioxide levels to “worrying” levels – potentially leading to the melting of ice caps and significant sea level rises.

Despite awareness of harmful global warming impacts, the article published in Global Environmental Change says that Total or its predecessors engaged in “overt denial of climate science” until the early 1990s. It also reveals that it took part in lobbying to prevent the regulation of its activities.

In a statement sent to AFP before the release of the paper, TotalEnergies said that its leaders “recognised the existence of climate change and the link with activities of the oil industry”.

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Phthalates are causing a global fertility crisis

Sperm counts are down more than 50%.

Shanna H. Swan, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologists and a professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. An award-winning scientist, her work examines the impact of environmental exposures, including chemicals such as phthalates and Bisphenol A, on men’s and women’s reproductive health and the neurodevelopment of children.

Search » Phthalates

Case Closed » 99.9% of scientists agree climate emergency caused by humans

» The Guardian

“It is really case closed. There is nobody of significance in the scientific community who doubts human-caused climate change,” said the lead author, Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at Cornell University.

This echoed the view expressed in August by the world’s leading scientific body, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.”

The general public does not yet understand how certain experts are, nor is it reflected in political debate. This is especially true in the US, where fossil fuel companies have funded a disinformation campaign that falsely suggests the science is not yet settled, similar to the campaign by tobacco industries to cast doubt on the link between smoking and cancer.

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Study » Mark Lynas, Benjamin Z Houlton, and Simon Perry, IOP Science »

While controls over the Earth’s climate system have undergone rigorous hypothesis-testing since the 1800s, questions over the scientific consensus of the role of human activities in modern climate change continue to arise in public settings. We update previous efforts to quantify the scientific consensus on climate change by searching the recent literature for papers sceptical of anthropogenic-caused global warming. From a dataset of 88125 climate-related papers published since 2012, when this question was last addressed comprehensively, we examine a randomized subset of 3000 such publications. We also use a second sample-weighted approach that was specifically biased with keywords to help identify any sceptical peer-reviewed papers in the whole dataset. We identify four sceptical papers out of the sub-set of 3000, as evidenced by abstracts that were rated as implicitly or explicitly sceptical of human-caused global warming. In our sample utilizing pre-identified sceptical keywords we found 28 papers that were implicitly or explicitly sceptical. We conclude with high statistical confidence that the scientific consensus on human-caused contemporary climate change—expressed as a proportion of the total publications—exceeds 99% in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

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Documentary » Fast fashion retailers are not being honest with their customers

Since 2000, clothing purchases have doubled. Fast fashion is cheap, worn briefly, then discarded, leaving behind mountains of used clothing. Producers and retailers promise sustainability and recycling, but how honest are they with their customers? The truth is that less than 1% new clothing is made from recycled clothing.

70% of all new fashion is made with synthetic fibres. Similar to plastic, these fibres are produced with crude oil and are very difficult to recycle.

Over 120 billion garments per year are produced worldwide, and the mountains of textile waste are growing accordingly. The fast fashion industry is responsible for a significant part of this. Where they once brought out four collections a year, cheap clothing chains now create up to 52 micro-collections annually.

Fast fashion retailers promise their customers they will treat the used clothing sustainably, touting their recycling system. But the giant mounds of worn clothing are too much for second-hand traders to handle. The clothes end up being used as fuel to heat people’s homes. Political measures are needed to tackle the flood of toxic textile waste.

This Deutsche Welle documentary is just over 28 minutes.

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