Newsdesk – July 28

[Photo credit: CLINT SPENCER / Getty Images]
Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months. In the good old days we had 12 years to save the planet. Now it seems that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis, among other environmental challenges. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030. “The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and now director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute. As a result of thus improper action and negligence, current plans, nowhere near strong enough to keep temperatures below the so-called safe limit, are heading us towards 3C of heating by 2100 not 1.5. Fortunately, significant action is already being demanded by politicians and ordinary people. For instance, ideas like the green new deal in the US, which might have seemed unfeasible a few years ago, have already gained real traction. In addition, The Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN body tasked with putting together a plan to protect nature up to 2030, and the UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea, might’ve there world a chance to preserve our natural environment. And most importantly, the influence of Swedish school striker Greta Thunberg, or the rise of Extinction Rebellion have given us a hunger for solutions that people can put in place in their own lives – BBC

  • Amazon deforestation accelerating towards unrecoverable ‘tipping point’ – The Guardian
  • Underwater glacial melting is occurring at higher rates than modeling predicts
    by University of Oregon –
  • European Investment Bank moots fossil fuel lending ban – Climate Home News
  • Elephant extinction will raise carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere –
  • UN warned corporate courts could thwart climate efforts – Climate Home News
  • Extreme weather has damaged nearly half Australia’s marine ecosystems since 2011 – The Guardian
  • Top court holds Indonesian government liable over 2015 forest fires – Mongabay 

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
India turns to electric vehicles to beat pollution. In 2017, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari shocked the automobile industry (and the world) when he announced that he intended for India to move to 100% electric cars by 2030.The government has now decided to focus on the segment below cars: two-wheelers, where sales are much higher, and three-wheelers (largely auto-rickshaws). The new proposal is to have only electric three-wheelers operating in the country by 2023, and only electric two-wheelers by 2025.India wants to become a “global hub of manufacturing of electric vehicles”, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech earlier this month. A phase-out of combustion vehicles in the country is planned by 2025. Electric buses too can be spotted in many cities, partly fuelled by incentives. India’s capital, Delhi, is expected to have 1,000 electric buses running on its roads soon. India can perhaps learn a few lessons from China. China is the world’s largest electric vehicle market. It has the world’s largest network of charging stations for such vehicles and is also the world’s largest manufacturer of batteries. The American electric carmaker, Tesla, is setting up a manufacturing plant in Shanghai that is expected to be operational by the end of 2019. Another inspiration for India could be Norway, where electric vehicles accounted for half of last year’s total car sales – BBC

RYAZAN REGION, RUSSIA – JUNE 27, 2019: Smoke over a site of forest fire in Rybnovsky District, Ryazan Region, central European Russia. Alexander Ryumin/TASS (Photo by Alexander RyuminTASS via Getty Images)

The Arctic’s on fire and now it’s going to be hit by a heat wave. Things aren’t looking good. Europe’s historic heat wave’s path will send it right towards the Arctic — where it could speed up the melting of sea ice and coincide with devastating wildfires. This threat is posed to the Arctic barely two weeks after the United States and then Europe saw a sweltering heat wave with record-shattering high temperatures. Unprecedented wildfires are currently raging across the Arctic Circle, with some the size of 100,000 football fields — so big they can be seen from space. Arctic sea ice is moreover already running at a record low this year; scientists worry a heat wave will only further exacerbate the area’s problems. On Thursday, Paris saw temperatures of 108.7 degrees Fahrenheit (42.6 degrees Celsius), a record high, with Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands also facing their own record days. Scorching temperatures like those can be deadly for children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, in addition to anyone without access to cooling systems. In Europe, where air-conditioning is less common than the United States, many residents faced grueling heat without an easy mechanism for cooling off. And unfortunately, this recent heat wave is set to do more damage. As the hot air moves north, it could also impact Greenland’s melting ice sheet, and this follows more than 100 wildfires that have been burning across the Arctic since June, often ignited by sources like lightning. – melting the ice could eventually mean catastrophic sea-level rise, impacting almost every major coastal city in the world – Think Progress