Record temperatures threaten traditional ways of life in Greenland but as the sea ice retreats, new mining, fishing and tourism investments possibilities are helping communities to adapt
Asked if he is fearful about the impact of climate change, Tnnes Kaka Berthelsens response is typical of many Greenlanders. We are more worried about the Maldives, he told bluntly.
Greenland has lived with extreme environmental changes for a decade or more. Sea ice is forming 2 months later and melting one month earlier. River fed by retreating glaciers are at record levels. And temperature records were smashed twice this year, with stunned meteorologists rechecking their measurings after 24 C was recorded in the capital, Nuuk, in June.
Traditional hunters are giving up their dog squads because there is three months less hunting on sea ice but climate change is no disaster, according to Berthelsen, the deputy manager of Knapk, Greenlands hunters and fishers association. The 56,000 dwellers of the largest island in the world that is not a continent must adapt, fast.
In the sea, new fish species are arriving. On land, the melting ice is set to uncover a wealth of zinc, iron, uranium, gold, and rare earth components that some predict is likely to be the largest deposits outside China.
Greenland believes that climate change will bequeath the wealth to win the ultimate political prize: full independence from Denmark. The country gained self-rule in 2009 but its economy is still sustained by a 3.2 bn kroner( 362 m) annual grant from its former colonial masters.
The vast majority more than 90% of Greenlands export income is from fish, and 2016 was the best ever year, according to Berthelsen. Greenlands pink gold, cold-water shrimp, is moving further north and new fish species mackerel, herring, cod and Atlantic bluefin tuna are entering the countrys waters. We havent considered such big cod stocks since the 1970 s, said Berthelsen.
But in the far north, climate change is hastening the decline of hunting. The traditional way of life is very challenged, said Bjarne Ababsi Lyberth, a biologist and hunting expert for the Association of Fishers and Hunters. People used to go hunting for weeks on the sea ice. They would go so far out they couldnt insure any land. Now they can traveling merely for one day by ocean ice, theres too much open water and its unstable.
Greenland has three climate forms polar, Arctic and sub-Arctic and the effects on the nation, its people and wildlife are varied. In the polar region, hunters report that polar bears havent changed much told Lyberth, and still look in good health. Further south, the bears have less body fat and are considered more frequently near villages, scavenging for food. Hunters also find it is impossible to store their meat in caches on the ice, as they once did, because hungry polar bears take it.
The changes that Europe and the rest of the world are becoming aware of have been going on in Greenland for 10 or 20 years, said Lyberth. Its not something that scares people. Its more a question of adapting.
Combination of carbon emissions and urban hot island effect of concrete and asphalt gives rise to worst-case scenario by objective of 21 st century
Under a dual onslaught of global warming and localised urban heating, some of the worlds cities may be as much as 8C( 14.4 F) warmer by 2100, researchers have warned.
Such a temperature spike would have dire outcomes for the health of city-dwellers, rob companies and industries of able employees, and put pressure on already strained natural resources such as water.
The projection is based on the worst-case scenario assumption that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise throughout the 21 st century.
The top one-quarter of most populated cities, in this scenario, could see temperatures rise 7C or more by centurys end, told a study in the publication Nature Climate Change.
For some virtually 5C of the total would be attributed to average global warming.
The rest would be due to the so-called urban heat island effect, which occurs when parks, dams and ponds, which have a cooling consequence, is hereby replaced by concrete and asphalt stimulating cities warmer than their surrounds, the researchers said.
The top 5%[ of cities by population] could see increases in temperatures of about 8C and larger, survey co-author Francisco Estrada of the Institute for Environmental Study in the Netherlands said.
Estrada and a team utilized different projections of average planetary warming, combined with the UHI effect and potential damages, to estimate the future costs of warming on cities.
The median city, right in the midst of the range, stands to lose between 1.4% and 1.7% of GDP per year by 2050 and between 2.3% and 5.6% by 2100, they conclude.
For the worst-off city, loss could reach up to 10.9% of GDP by 2100, wrote the team.
UHI significantly increased city temperatures and economic losses from global warming, they added.
This meant that local actions to reduce UHI such as planting more trees or cooling roofs and pavements could make a big difference in limiting warming and minimising costs.
Cities cover merely about 1% of earths surface but render about 80% of gross world product and account for around 78% of energy consumed worldwide, say the researchers.
They render more than 60% of global carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, oil and gas for fuel.
The worlds nations agreed in Paris in 2015 to the goal of restriction median global warming to two degrees centigrade over pre-industrial revolution levels by curbing greenhouse gas levels in the Earths atmosphere.
For the latest study researchers use data from the worlds 1,692 largest cities for the period 1950 to 2015.
Restaurants have a daily combat against wasting food. We asked top chefs for their home hackers that will save you money and give your cooking a flavour boost
According to the campaigning garbage charity Wrap, UK households bin 5m tonnes of edible food every year. That is 1.1 m tonnes less than in 2007, a drop-off that, in CO 2 terms, to equal taking 2.2 m autoes off the road per year. But, clearly, there is still a lot that could be done to inspire us to use the ingredients we buy with greater diligence.
Tom Tanner, a spokesperson for the Sustainable Restaurant Association( SRA ), tells:” It’s all very well telling people that the average UK household hurls out PS700 of food each year, but it can be tough playing Ready Steady Cook at home .” The SRA is attempting to help with its new One Planet Plate recipe site, a global inventory of sustainability-focused eatery dishes complete with recipes.
But faced with a fridge full of turning veg, the wreckage of a Sunday roast or pans of leftover rice, there is no such thing as too much inspiration. In that spirit, we asked a range of cooks who grapple with this issue daily to give us their waste-saving tips-off. Some are eco-conscious practitioners of nose-to-tail and root-to-fruit cooking( Silo in Brighton is Britain’s first “zero-waste” restaurant ), while others are simply trying to keep costs down. Here are their household hacks, aimed at saving you a few quid and giving your cooking a flavor boost. Who said that saving countries around the world can’t be a win-win?
EPA plan to focus on hazardous areas that pollute air and water, often near low-income communities and minorities, was dashed by presidents budget proposal
Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitts vow to shift the agency back towards the vital work of dealing with toxic sites that pollute air and water has been dashed by a White House budget plan that would slash funding for the clean-ups.
Donald Trumps 2018 budget plan proposes severe cuts to clean-up programs targeting some of the most toxic sites in the US, which are invariably situated near low-income communities and minorities, despite a push by the EPA to prioritize these hazardous areas.
This month, Pruitt issued a directive that instructed the agency to quicken its response to polluted areas known as Superfund sites, where industrial activity or toxic accidents have tainted the air, water or soils.
In an internal memo, Pruitt said he will take oversight of Superfund remedial efforts, promising that the clean-ups will be restored to their rightful place at the center of the agencys core mission. There are more than 1,700 Superfund sites such as shuttered factories, quarries and landfills in the US, with a disproportionate number situated beside communities of color.
But Trumps budget proposal, set to be fully unveiled on Tuesday, would reduce funding for those clean-ups by nearly a third, while the budget for enforcing Superfund remedies with businesses would be slashed by almost 40%. The EPA budget documents were obtained and released by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.
Furthermore, the EPAs environmental justice office, which champions the rights of communities burdened by pollution, would be closed down and the civil rights program would experience an 18% funding decrease.
Congress will have the responsibility for setting federal spending but Trumps budget request makes clear that the administration wants to pare down the EPA while increasing military spending and paying for a border wall with Mexico. Trump envisages cuts that would see the EPAs total budget shrink by nearly one third from $8.2bn to $5.65bn its lowest level, adjusting for inflation, in 40 years.
Trumps proposed budget eliminates several programs, with deep cuts to renewable energy and climate change-related initiatives. In March, Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, said climate research is a waste of your money. The 2018 plan would:
Reduce funding for the science and technology arm of the EPA by nearly 40% to $450m.
Cut grants to states for their own environmental protections from $3.6bn to 2.9bn.
Eliminate funding for the protection of major water ecosystems including the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, the Puget Sound and the Great Lakes.
Remove all $19m in help for Alaskan native villages that are threatened by warming temperatures and sea level rise.
Reduce funding for drinking water health programs by $16m to $80m.
Scrap the $8m used to fund the greenhouse gas reporting program, which lists carbon emissions from industrial facilities.
However, it is unlikely that Trumps plan for the EPA will come to fruition, with some Republicans in Congress indicating that they believe the cuts go too far.
Charlie Dent, a Republican congressman who sits on the House appropriations committee, said: We want a functioning EPA and want their decisions to be based on best practices and science. I dont think anyone is here to kill the agency, were here to make it work better.
Catherine Lhamon, chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, told the Guardian: If this budget is implemented, it will be at best a backward step and at worst extremely harmful to communities of color nationwide.
Last year, the commission released a report scathing of the EPAs extreme delays in responding to civil rights complaints in the area of environmental justice. It found that the agencys civil rights office had never made a formal finding of discrimination in its history.
The Obama administration created a new plan, called EJ2020, to address some of these problems but its future is now uncertain, with the EPA declining to comment on whether the strategy is to be scrapped.
An EPA spokeswoman said: We are still evaluating ways to comply with the presidents budget, and administrator Pruitt is committed to the idea that all programs need to work directly with communities who have been underserved by EPA.
Lhamon said: Civil rights and environmental justice are already seriously under resourced within the EPA. Cutting resources yet further will not help. Environmental justice concerns will exist even if the office doesnt and racial discrimination will persist even if the office of civil rights doesnt have the staff to address it.
Bill Becker, head of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, said: In short, these cuts will result in more people dying prematurely and getting sick unnecessarily.
These cuts will mean delays in meeting health-based air quality standards, less inspections against noncomplying facilities, decreased monitoring in metropolitan areas, and fewer agency staff to address air quality problems.
Restaurants have a daily combat against wasting food. We asked top chefs for their home hackers that will save you money and give your cooking a flavour boost
According to the campaigning waste charity Wrap, UK households bin 5m tonnes of edible food every year. That is 1.1 m tonnes less than in 2007, a drop-off that, in CO 2 terms, is equivalent to taking 2.2 m cars off the road per year. But, clearly, there is still a lot that could be done to inspire us to use the ingredients we buy with greater diligence.
Tom Tanner, a spokesperson for the Sustainable Restaurant Association( SRA ), says:” It’s all very well telling people that the average UK household flings out PS700 of food per year, but it can be tough playing Ready Steady Cook at home .” The SRA is attempting to help with its new One Planet Plate recipe site, a global inventory of sustainability-focused eatery dishes complete with recipes.
But faced with a fridge full of turning veg, the wreckage of a Sunday roast or pans of leftover rice, there is no such thing as too much inspiration. In that spirit, we asked a range of cooks who grapple with this issue daily to give us their waste-saving tips-off. Some are eco-conscious practitioners of nose-to-tail and root-to-fruit cooking( Silo in Brighton is Britain’s first “zero-waste” restaurant ), while others are simply trying to keep expenses down. Here are their household hackers, is targeted at saving you a few quid and giving your cooking a flavour boost. Who said that saving countries around the world can’t be a win-win?
Costing double the price of a whole vegetable and shrouded in layers of plastic, clean feeing product fails to make the cut
Marks& Spencer has withdrawn its” cauliflower steak” product from sale after it was ridiculed by customers for its “excessive” plastic packaging and inflated price.
The sliced cauliflower, which comes in plastic packaging with a separate sachet of lemon and herb drizzle, was being sold for twice the price of a whole, single cauliflower at the supermarket chain.
The product had come under fire on social media, with critics describing it as “wasteful” and “ridiculous” and complaining about the volume of packaging used as well as the inflated price. Whole, untrimmed cauliflowers are sold at M& S for PS1- typically for even less at other supermarkets- while the single-slice “steak” version cost shoppers PS2.
Confirming its decision to stop selling the item, a spokesperson for M& S said:” Once we’ve sold the stock that is currently in stores, we won’t be ordering any more of this product. We work hard to create rapid and convenient dinners for customers; however, on this occasion we didn’t get it right. We have launched many other vegetarian dishes that are already demonstrating popular with customers .”
The product was part of the store’s new “Veggie” scope, and was first spotted on Twitter by Rachel Clarke @rachclarke27, who triggered a lengthy thread after tweeting:
Rival Sainsbury’s also sells a similar product– a pack of two” cauliflower steaks in a herb and spice marinade” for PS1. 80, which is still on its shelves. Trewin Restorick, chief executive of environmental charity Hubbub, said:” The public is increasingly concerned about the impact plastic packaging has on the environment, and social media gives them a chance to voice their concerns directly to companies. The too packaged, too priced cauliflower steak shows what happens when companies don’t get things right and hopefully it will lead to more environmentally sensible solutions in the future .”
With so-called ” Veganuary” under way and shoppers opting to reduce or cut out meat consumption in favour of ” clean feeing “ selections, supermarkets have been pulling out the stops to offer clients a range of ready-prepared spiralised vegetables- and even “mince” made of pulverised mushrooms and cauliflower and beetroot “rice”- to help them get back into shape after the festive season blowout. But this year has assured a backlash from shoppers complaining on social media about excessive packaging.
The U-turn from M& S arrives as the governmental forces prepares to announce a crackdown on excessive packaging and plastics on Thursday. A Defra spokesperson told:” Everyone has a role to play in tackling the scourge of plastics trash, and industries need to make sure their packaging does not exceed what is required to make sure that the products are safe, hygienic and acceptable for both the product and for the consumer.”
Three months in, the future is totally unpredictable. But a dramatic fightback is currently underway. Four activists tell us how they are adapting to the new normal
Naomi Wolf, writer, political journalist and cofounder of DailyClout: Trump didnt do this. You did this. Your own inaction brought us exactly here
The first 100 days of President Donald Trump: how has my life changed? First of all, there was the mourning period. Not for me, but for my fellow citizens. I was just mad. And I wasnt even maddest at the Trump voters. I understood that the critical battle lines now are not left versus right, but the 1% neoliberal globalisers attaining off with all of the loot and disembowelling the middle class. So when I find the campaign, I knew that in the US, just as in the UK, a candidate who said anything at all about people forgotten in the neoliberal race would have a solid chance.
No I was mad at my own leftwing tribe. All of January, people on the left would confront me with dazed, grief-stricken expressions, as if they had just emerged from a multi-car pileup on a foggy road. How could this have happened? What will we do ? I couldnt even bear to participate in those dialogues. Finally I started explaining my fury to my closest friends.
I had been screaming about the possibility of this very moment for eight years, since I publish a piece in the Guardian titled Fascist America in ten Easy Steps and wrote a volume based on it, called The Aim of America ( 2007 ). Under George Bush Jr, the left had been very receptive to the books message about how republics are undermined by the classic tactics of would-be authoritarians.
But once Obama was elected one of ours I had to expend the next eight years yelling like a haunted Cassandra, to a room the left had abandoned. I had hollered myself hoarse for eight years under Obama about what it would mean for us to sit still while Obama sent dronings in to take out US citizens in extrajudicial killings; what it would mean for us to sit still while he passed the 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act that let any president hold citizens for ever without charge or trial; what it would mean for us to sit still while he allowed NSA surveillance, permitted Guantnamo to stay open, and allowed hyped terrorism tales to hijack the constitution and turn the US into what ultimately even Robert F Kennedy Jr was calling a national security surveillance country.
International Society for Reef Studies chairmen say prime minister should prioritise reef after devastating damage
As the largest international gathering of coral reef experts comes to a close, scientists have written to the Australian “ministers “, Malcolm Turnbull, calling for action to save the worlds reefs.
The letter was sent to Turnbull on Saturday imploring his government to do more to conserve the nations reefs and curb fossil fuel consumption.
The letter, signed by past and present presidents of the International Society for Reef Studies on behalf of the 2,000 attendees of the International Coral Reef Symposium held in Honolulu the coming week, exhorted the Australian government to prioritise the Great Barrier Reef.
This year has find the worst mass bleaching in history, threatening many coral reefs around the world including the whole of the northern Great Barrier Reef, the biggest and best-known of all reefs, the letter told. The damage to this Australian icon has already been devastating. In addition to damage from greenhouse gasses, port dredging and shipping of fossil fuels across the Great Barrier Reef break Australias responsibilities for stewardship of the reef under the World Heritage Convention.
Leaders from the scientific community at the convention in Honolulu said on Friday the letter was critical to the conservation of the fragile reef habitat.
Scientists were not known for their political activism, said James Cook University professor Terry Hughes, but they felt this crisis warranted such action.
We are not ready to write the obituary for coral reef, told Hughes, who is also the president of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral reef Studies in Australia.
Messages attempting commentary from Turnbull on Saturday were not returned.
The heads of state from Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands attended the conference and provided a plan to help save their ailing reefs, which are main contributor to their local economies and the daily sustenance of their people. The call to action, signed by the three chairpeople, asked for better collaboration between scientists and local governments.
If our coral reef are further degraded, then our reef-dependent communities will suffer and be displaced, the letter told. They also called for more integration of traditional knowledge, customary practices and scientific research in building a comprehensive coral reef policy.
In response conference participants pledged to work with the governments to curb the continued loss of reefs.
In the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, close to half of the corals had died in the past three months, said Hughes, who focuses his research there. The area of the reef that suffered most was extremely remote, he told, with no pollution, very little angling pressure and no coastal development.
Thats an absolute tragedy, Hughes said. Theres nowhere to hide from climate change.
Last year, the United Nations expressed concern about the state of the Great Barrier Reef and recommended Australia to boost its conservation efforts.
The panel of scientists in Hawaii emphasised the progress they have induced over the past 30 years in helping improve the health status of coral reef and should be pointed out that good research and management programs for coral reefs were available. The scientists said they just needed the proper fund and political will to enact them.
The researchers focused on the economic and social benefits coral reefs contribute to communities across the globe, saying the critical habitats made trillions of dollars annually but preservation endeavours were not proportionately or adequately funded.
And we wanted to go further: the plan argues that in the process of fundamentally changing our country to make it green, we also have a once-in-a-century opportunity to make it fairer. We could redress terrible incorrects done to indigenous peoples; radically reduce economic, racial and gender inequalities; eliminate legal double the criteria for immigrant workers; and create a whole lot of stable, well-paying tasks. In very un-Canadian fashion, we even dared to hope that the manifesto might become a model for similar broad-based confederations in other countries.
The text we came up with was unabashedly radical, and it went on to be endorsed by more than 100 organisations. An array of Canadian celebrities also added their names: Leonard Cohen, Donald Sutherland and Ellen Page, among others.
Our first challenge was what to call it. We wanted to convey the necessity of achieving speed, since as Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change, said recently: Where capital goes in the next five years will decide what kind of world we have.
One suggestion was The Leap. And yes, we worried about inevitable comparings to Mao Zedongs disastrous Great Leap Forward. But what ultimately tip-off the balance in its favour was when we realised that 2016 is a leap year.
It wasnt just good timing, we supposed, but a powerful analogy. After all, we periodically add an extra day to our calendars because if we didnt, the seasons would gradually fall out of alignment and eventually the seasons would go wacky. Imaging New Yorkers doing their Christmas shopping in T-shirts( oh right, that happened ).
It was Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, who decided to bring the 365 -day solar calendar to the Romans, throwing in that extra day every four years. He wasnt known as a humble man, but even a dictator in perpetuity realised that it was easier to change regulations written by other humen than it is to change the laws of nature.
Thats a lesson worth re-learning and fast. Like the Romans with their failing calendar, we find ourselves trapped within multiple failing systems: economic, political, even spiritual. And all these system failings have put humanity on a collision course with countries around the world, which warms and writhes the more we refuse to recognise its limits.
With this in mind, the manifesto not only calls for a rapid change to 100% renewable electricity, it insists that these new energy projects should be democratically controlled and that indigenous peoples should be first to receive public is supportive of their own clean energy projects. So should communities currently dealing with heavy health the health effects of polluting industrial activity.
To pay for all this, we called for dramatic changes to how public revenues are collected and spent, from an end to fossil fuel subsidies, and higher royalty rates on fossil fuel extraction, to cuts in military spending. And those are just a few of its 15 demands.
The plan captured the imagination of many Canadians. Burned out by decades of the struggle against what they dont want tar sands pipelines, explosion petroleum develops, draconian security bills they seized on the chance to rally around a vision for the world they actually wishes to. On leap day later this month, there will be sessions, teach-ins and other events across the country, all of them pushing our new government to adopt a holistic approach to the twin crisis of climate change and inequality.
Two millennia ago, Julius Caesar realised that there was something even more powerful than his empire: the planets revolution around the sunlight. Today, we need a different kind of solar revolution, one that doesnt only change how we generate our power, but also who benefits.
Heres the good news: we have the momentum to make that leap from the recent victories against Keystone XL and Shells Arctic drilling, to the surprising strength of Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.
So take a minute or two to be considered the extra day at the end of this month. Its a reminder that people can indeed are working together to change a failing decide of rules. The the statutes of nature , not so much.
Then lets make this 2016 the year we started to bridge the chasm between what is, and what must be. Lets make it the year we started to leap.
The Leap Manifesto, along with a listing of its original signatories, can be read in 10 languages here. To find out about leap year activities visit leapyear2 016. org. On Friday 5 February, Naomi Klein is co-hosting a leap year-themed Google hangout with Bill McKibben of 350. org, Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth and others. Register here.
After a disastrous 2017, General Electric Co. kicked off this year with the best start on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The topic is whether the gains will last.
With no major developings specific to the company, the shares probably got a boost from investors foreseeing a rebound after last year’s selloff, told Deane Dray, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets. While that’s a welcome respite for long-suffering stockholders, GE still faces an arduous turnaround effort.