Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Michael Harris laments the lack of any consistent connection between reporting on severe weather events and the climate change which is producing them in unprecedented numbers:
Mainstream news coverage does well with reporting episodes, but misses the boat on thematic coverage. CNN is good at telling us about the casualties and costs of storms in places like New Orleans or Wilmington. But it is next to hopeless at taking the vital signs of the planet. It may be the biggest missed story in history.

Here are just a few of the inconvenient facts that don’t often make the nightly news — even when storm-tossed.

The biggest one is perhaps that despite all the global conferences, despite the policies of government, despite a token tip of the hat to alternate energy sources like wind and solar, despite all the hype surrounding electric cars, greenhouse gas emissions are rising. According to the Global Carbon Project, after three relatively flat years, there was a two per cent rise in emission rates in 2017.

Worse, emissions are growing at exactly the point at which radical cuts are needed to escape a 2 C rise in temperature that would plunge the planet into chaos, or even its death throes. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that a 70 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions must be made by 2050 to break the earth’s rising fever.

It’s not happening.

Instead, the planet is experiencing unprecedented droughts, floods, hurricanes and wildfires scientists believe are linked to global warming.
- Arthur Neslen writes about the dangers of air pollution as the largest current environmental health risk in Europe. Ben Doherty reports on the UN Pacific Islands Forum's recognition that climate change is responsible for rising malnutrition rates. And the Canadian Press reports on new research showing how even slight exposure to diluted bitumen can be deadly for salmon.

- Alex Hemingway examines how soaring real estate prices have exacerbated inequality in British Columbia.

- Yvette D'Entremont notes that a national food program is entirely feasible - though I'd be careful before assuming that a Senate motion will have any bearing on long-term policy development.

- Finally, George Monbiot argues that the results of publicly-funded research should be freely accessible to the citizenry which has footed the bill.

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