Newsdesk – August 4

A young girl looks out on a lagoon in Tuvalu, which is extremely vulnerable to global heating, which is ‘absolutely’ already causing deaths, according to a new climate change report [Photograph Credit: Sean Gallagher/The Guardian]
Climate crisis already causing deaths and childhood stunting, report reveals.  Insidious health-related impacts in Australia and the Pacific include lowered cognitive capacity and spread of diseases. This crisis also predicts climate-related stunting, malnutrition and lower IQ in children within the coming decades. This pointed to a 2018 report from the World Health Organisation, which predicted that between 2030 and 2050, global warming would cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year from heat stress, malnutrition, malaria and diarrhea. But, in fact, Misha Coleman, one of the report’s authors, stressed that deaths were already occurring. For example, “during the Black Saturday fires (in Victoria in 2009), we know that people were directly killed by the fires, but there were nearly 400 additional deaths in those hot days from heat stress and heatstroke,” as described by Coleman. And what is stunning is that a 2017 report in the journal Nature predicted that by 2100, 75% of people around the world would be exposed to heatwaves extreme enough to kill. Heatwaves and numerous other weather events are, according to Coleman “more common, more frequent and not going to become less so in a short amount of time.” “What’s the future for our children?” – The Guardian

  • BHP could quit Minerals Council after clashes over climate policy – The Guardian
  • Harry and Meghan may be onto something with their two-child idea – Metro News
  • Images show staggering extent of melting on Greenland ice sheet because of heat wave – The Washington Post
  • What the Welsh Government has done since it declared a climate change emergency – Wales Online
  • Court blocks Polish coal plant, in win for climate campaigners – Climate Home News
  • How Climate Change Could Trigger the Next Global Financial Crisis – The Atlantic 
  • Ethiopia bids to plant four billion trees in green push – Climate Home News

Water scarcity: As climate change depletes supplies of drinkable water in Africa and the Middle East, terrorists blame the West, posing as environmental leaders with holier-than-thou messaging [Map Credit: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations]
Climate Change Expands The Terrorist Threat. Terrorist groups are hijacking environmental narratives to challenge fragile governments in the Middle East and Africa. This is taking place from Afghanistan and Iraq to Somalia and Yemen, where terrorist groups push false narratives against deforestation, water scarcity, crop failures and other environmental issues ravaging local communities. Even Osama bin Laden was turning global warming into propaganda. While developing countries produce few greenhouse gases, they have the most to lose to the greenhouse effect, and militants are highlighting this disparity. The founder of Al Qaeda lambasted the United States for declining to join the Kyoto Protocol and polluting the natural environment with “industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history.” Unlike bin Laden, though, who might have felt sincere distress about climate change, the terrorist groups that looked to him for guidance demonstrate little real concern for the welfare of the natural environment, likely seeing environmental issues as just another opening to strengthen their cause. Nature Iraq, the Somali Green Party and other environmental organizations in fragile states are already spearheading the fight against climate change in war zones, and their leaders – actual environmentalists – have special standing to criticize ISIS and Al Qaeda’s exploitation of the natural environment. For its part, the news media must emphasize terrorist groups’ contributions to environmental degradation instead of equating them with the environmental movement – Eurasia Review

Farthing Downs is part of South London Downs national national reserve, a flower-rich chalk downland on the border of Croydon and Surrey [Photograph Credit: UrbanImages/Alamy Stock Photo]
England’s new nature reserves ‘will help us tackle global heating’.   Conservation and climate change policy ‘should be two sides of same coin.’  A new generation of national nature reserves is being created to help improve people’s health and mitigate the effects of climatic extremes. Tony Juniper of Natural England said these new reserves highlighted his austerity-hit agency’s determination to do “the practical work of conservation” that would also help the government meet its target of net zero emissions and help England adapt to global heating. In addition, Juniper, who has campaigned on climate change for years as former executive director of Friends of the Earth, said tackling greenhouse gas emissions had so far focused on reducing the use of fossil fuels in energy and domestic heating, and electrifying transport. “Improving the health of natural systems is one of our most cost-effective ways of achieving adaptation to climate change,” he said. “The opportunity to harness nature-based solutions is huge but it does require quite a lot of joining up.” Along with solutions, Juniper welcomed the emergence of Extinction Rebellion and the school climate strikes and said such mass protests helped him fight for more resources within government. “Too often it’s been easy to see the environment as an inconvenience that’s getting in the way of development and progress. It’s the exact opposite – by investing in nature we make the country stronger and better”- The Guardian