Newsdesk – April 6

Outside the small village of Chicua, in the western highlands, in an area affected by extreme-weather events, Ilda Gonzales looks after her daughter. Photography by Mauricio Lima

How Climate Change Is Fuelling the U.S. Border Crisis.  In February, citing a “national-security crisis on our southern border,” Donald Trump declared a state of emergency, a measure that even members of Congress from his own party rejected. Three months earlier, thirteen federal agencies issued a landmark report about the damage wrought by climate change. In a sixteen-hundred-page analysis, government scientists described wildfires in California, the collapse of infrastructure in the South, crop shortages in the Midwest, and catastrophic flooding. The President publicly dismissed the findings. Guatemalan migration to the U.S. has spiked in recent years. American authorities recorded twenty-two thousand children from Guatemala last year, more than those from El Salvador and Honduras combined. The area that starts in Panama and snakes north through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and parts of southern Mexico, home to some ten million people, is defined by its susceptibility to droughts, tropical storms, landslides, and flash floods. More than half of the residents in the region are subsistence farmers, and at least two million of them have gone hungry in the last decade because of extreme weather. The south of Guatemala has suffered spectacularly in recent years. “Extreme poverty may be the primary reason people leave,” Edwin Castellanos, a climate scientist at the Universidad del Valle says. “Climate change is intensifying all the existing factors.” It is outpacing the ability of growers to adapt. Based on models of shifting weather patterns in the region, Castellanos continues, “what was supposed to be happening fifty years from now is our present reality” – The New Yorker

  • Canada is warming at twice the global rate, report says – CNN
  • World’s biggest terrestrial carbon sinks are found in young forests
    by University of Birmingham –
  • Norway is starting the world’s biggest divestment in oil and gas – News Scientist
  • 7 American cities that could disappear by 2100 – Business Insider
  • Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions fall by 4.2 percent in 2018 – Reuters
  • Conceived in a dream, new solar canoe will serve Amazon tribes – Montgabay
  • Sea turtles are being born mostly female due to warming—will they survive? – National Geographic
The recent climate strikes show how younger people are being galvanised over climate change (Credit: Getty Images)

The young minds solving climate change. Younger generations seem to be better clued into the reality that there are indeed climate solutions to this global problem. “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change,” said Nobel Prize nominee Greta Thunberg in her 2018 TED talk. Rather than seeking the courage to “fight” climate change, we need to find the courage to see the common-sense solutions right in front of us. The renewable energy options, such as solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, and geothermal plants, can produce clean, abundant access to electricity, which currently accounts for approximately 25% of global emissions. Along with enabling technologies like energy storage and grid flexibility, renewable energy systems can fully replace coal, oil, and gas-fired power plans. Older people who hold the reins of political, economic, and intellectual power today must listen to these voices of change. The youth of today can help us all find the way, and together we can create the future we want – BBC Future

Does Unconscious Bias Affect Our Sustainable Lifestyle Choices? Dr. Aaron Brough co-authored a paper with professors from four other universities to understand how gender norms affect sustainable decision making. They found that both men and women associated doing something good for the environment with being “more feminine”. In one of Brough and the team’s experiments, both men and women were asked to recall a time when they did something good or bad for the environment. Those who recalled having done something good for the environment rated themselves as more “feminine” than those who recalled having done something bad to the environment. One might expect this type of gender stereotyping around green behavior to happen only when someone is concerned about how they appear to others. But even upon self-evaluation men judged themselves feminine when acting responsibly towards the environment. This experiment shows how deeply held this bias is. Research suggests that men experience greater psychological damage or face harsher consequences when associated with feminine qualities. As a society, we are beginning to address these problems with corporate unconscious bias training, exposure, and conversation. But when it comes to our environment, our unconscious bias is greatly affecting our shared environment for the worse – Forbes