It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here: ‘China Starts Televising The Sunrise On Giant TV Screens Because Beijing Is So Clouded In Smog’
From The Daily Mail:
The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.
The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.
Serious air pollution plagues most major Chinese cities, where environmental protection has been long sacrificed for the sake of economic development.
Coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution. In recent years, China has beefed up regulations and pledged financial resources to fight pollution.
… what changed was the context. Now, that is a really important lesson for us about how change occurs. We put it off and we delay. We wait until the last minute until nothing else, you know, can possibly get in the way. Until we really have to act now. Then we wait a bit longer, right. And then we do it. And we do that very consistently and that’s the lesson of World War II and that’s the lesson of so many crises, that we wait and we wait and then we panic and then we respond and we do extraordinary things.
A quote from Paul Gilding's talk at Powershift 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Gilding is one of the world’s most experienced and respected business advisors and public speakers on sustainability and climate change.
You can check out the rest of his presentation here.
Perhaps the best analogy yet for the insane cold weather now afflicting the US came from science blogger Greg Laden, who created the viral image above. “Go home, Arctic,” it reads. “You’re drunk.”
When it comes to the reason why the United States is currently experiencing life-threatening cold—with temperatures in the negative-20s in the Upper Midwest, and wind chills much lower than that—that’s actually not so far from the truth. “It’s basically the jet stream on a drunken path going around the Northern Hemisphere,” explains Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis. In other words, we’re experiencing record-breaking cold temperatures because a wavy and elongated jet stream has allowed frigid Arctic air to travel much farther south than usual.
And according to Francis’ research—which has drawn increasing attention in the past few years—we’re seeing more of just this kind of jet stream behavior, thanks, at least in part, to the rapid warming of the Arctic.
The start of Chris Mooney's look at the science behind the bone-chilling polar vortex over at Climate Desk. You can check out the rest of his article here.
If you are under 30 today, you are on track to find out in your lifetime what unmanageable climate change will be like. Business, politics and economics seem to have no response. What is going wrong and how can you use your voice if you want this fixed in time to fix your future?
One of the world’s top climate diplomats, John Ashton is now an independent commentator and adviser on the politics of climate change. From 2006-12 he served as Special Representative for Climate Change to three successive UK Foreign Secretaries, spanning the current Coalition and the previous Labour Government. He was a cofounder and, from 2004-6, the first Chief Executive of the think tank E3G. From 1978-2002, after a brief period as a research astronomer, he was a career diplomat, with a particular focus on China. He is a visiting professor at the London University School of Oriental and African Studies, and a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College.
The Harper government is pulling out of a United Nations convention that fights droughts in Africa and elsewhere, which would make Canada the only country in the world outside the agreement.
The UN body has a research committee dedicated to finding ways to stop the spread of droughts that lay waste to farmland across the planet, particularly Africa.
Scientists, governments and civil society organizations are headed to Bonn next month “to carry out the first ever comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of desertification, land degradation and drought,” says a notice from the United Nations Environment Program.
"Also, for the very first time, governments will provide concrete data on the status of poverty and of land cover in the areas affected by desertification in their countries."
The issue of encroaching deserts has become urgent because of renewed droughts that have plunged millions into poverty in Africa’s Sahel belt last year and in East Africa the year before.
The Bonn-based secretariat for the UN body said no Canadian official had contacted them about the withdrawal.