COVID-19 Is a Symptom of a Planet That’s Been Pushed Past a Tipping Point

 The pandemic could signal that we’ve passed a series of civilizational tipping points that will usher in a new era of ecological emergencies.
By Nafeez Ahmed – November 23, 2020, 9:15am
The COVID-19 pandemic signals that civilization has breached a major ‘tipping point’ that could pave the way for a dangerous new era of interacting ecological emergencies.  
Scientific evidence accumulated over the last five years suggests that the pandemic didn’t come out of the blue, but is a direct consequence of industrial civilization’s breaching of key ‘planetary boundaries’—these are important natural ecosystems needed to maintain what scientists describe as the ‘safe operating space’ for human survival on the planet.

Greenland’s largest glaciers melting faster than predictions

Greenland’s largest glaciers melting faster than predictions 

Research shows that the three largest glaciers in Greenland could melt faster than even the worst-case warming predictions.

The glaciers hold enough frozen water to lift global sea levels some 1.3 metres.

The world’s ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica have become the largest sources of sea level rise.

A team of researchers based in Denmark and Britain estimated how much ice was lost from the glaciers in the 20th century by using historical images and other data.

They found that Jakobshavn Isbrae lost more than 1.5 trillion tonnes of ice between 1880-2012, while Kangerlussuaq and Helheim lost 1.4 trillion and 31 billion tonnes from 1900–2012, respectively.

The ice melt has already contributed more than eight millimetres to global sea levels, the researchers wrote.

“The worst-case scenario is underestimated. Ice loss may be anywhere from three or four times larger than previous predicted for the thee glaciers considered in this study,” Shfaqat Abbas Khan, a researcher at the Technical University of Denmark, told AFP. Read More

Caribbean vital to tackling COVID-19, climate change, UN chief tells regional leaders

Caribbean vital to tackling COVID-19, climate change, UN chief tells regional leaders | | UN News

 António Guterres was addressing a virtual meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), where he praised countries for their leadership during the crisis, even as they confront shocks to their economies, tourism sector, trade and remittances. 

“Your unique voice is vital as we tackle shared threats such as climate change, citizen insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic that expose deep and systemic inequalities,” he said. 

Devastating regional impacts 

The UN chief stated that the pandemic’s socioeconomic impacts have been worse than the virus itself for some developing economies, including the Caribbean. 

He highlighted his push for a relief package equivalent to at least 10 per cent of the global economy, as well as an appeal for debt relief. 

 “As you have long advocated, the world must look beyond incomes and factor in the vulnerabilities of countries. The private sector, including the credit rating agencies, also must be engaged in relief efforts”, he said. 

A strong moral voice 

Mr. Guterres also underlined his solidarity with CARICOM members in addressing climate change. 

“Your leadership and moral voice on the front lines is crucial for charting a recovery that will accelerate the decarbonization of the global economy and build a more inclusive and resilient future,” he said. Read More

Coronavirus vaccines: Will any countries get left out?

There have been more than 55 million cases of the virus confirmed around the world and more than 1.3 million deaths. Many hopes are pinned on a vaccine as a solution. But there are concerns that poorer nations could get left behind.  

We have spoken to the experts about the main concerns that lie ahead and whether efforts to come up with a fair system will actually work. 

The rush to buy in advance
Early results indicate that at least two vaccines are highly effective, several others have reached late-stage trials, and many more are at some stage of development.
None of these vaccines has been approved yet, but that hasn’t stopped countries purchasing doses in advance. Read More

British Army to get new “space command”, which will be capable of launching a first rocket in 2022

UK military to get biggest spending boost in 30 years

[Including] A new “space command”, which will be capable of launching a first rocket in 2022, 

The relevant question, is of course, against whom? Given that the rest of the universe is uninhabited… Read More
The BBC has changed the above article removing the mention of a Space Force, but it is also online as posted below.

Boris Johnson to announce ‘Space Command’ force in Scotland

Boris Johnson is set to announce a new ‘Space Command’ as part of a £16.5bn pledge to boost the UK’s defence capabilities.

The new programme will launch its first rockets from Scotland by 2022, Number 10 says.

The spending plans will also include a commitment to expand naval ship building on the Clyde, it is understood.

Johnson will make the announcements in a speech to the House of Commons on Thursday afternoon. Read More

I Am Greta isn’t about climate change. It’s about the elusiveness of sanity in an insane world

Which is why I recommend the new documentary I Am Greta, a very intimate portrait of the Swedish child environmental activist Greta Thunberg

 Before everyone gets started, let me point out that I Am Greta is not about the climate emergency. That is simply the background noise as the film charts the personal journey begun by this 15-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome in staging a weekly lone protest outside the Swedish parliament. Withdrawn and depressed by the implications of the compulsive research she has done on the environment, she rapidly finds herself thrust into the centre of global attention by her simple, heart-felt statements of the obvious.
The schoolgirl shunned as insane by classmates suddenly finds the world drawn to the very qualities that previously singled her out as weird: her stillness, her focus, her refusal to equivocate or to be impressed.
Footage of her father desperately trying to get her to take a break and eat something, if only a banana, as she joins yet another climate march, or of her curling up in a ball on her bed, needing to be silent, after an argument with her father over the time she has spent crafting another speech to world leaders may quieten those certain she is simply a dupe of the fossil fuel industries – or, more likely, it will not. Read More

Launching the search for the Gretas of the future

Wanted: creative, innovative young minds who want to tackle the big problems facing the planet.

Whether a science genius, a chess prodigy or an advocate for a global cause, you must have the desire to serve others, and be aged 15 to 17.
A new global talent search for exceptional young leaders, inspired by teenage movers and shakers, such as Greta Thunberg, has been launched.
It is backed by the philanthropists Wendy and Eric Schmidt.
They hope to engage tomorrow’s leaders, by providing education and opportunities for them to identify problems, solutions, and ways they can work together, “for a lifetime in the service of humanity”, said Wendy Schmidt.
Young people are desperate to find ways to change the world and to create a new one that may look different, but they don’t always know how, added Eric Braverman, chief executive of Schmidt Futures.
“We have challenges relating to climate, to the benefits of economic development, to healthcare, as we can all see, all around the world, and we think to get the best solutions for the planet, you have to bet on exceptional people, you have to bet on human ingenuity and you have to do it early, and globally, and over and over again for a long time,” he explained.  Read More

Email ‘proves’ conspiracy in Doctors Express case

Email ‘proves’ conspiracy in Doctors Express case 

 The raid involved around 15 armed police and customs officers and took place at 4pm in the afternoon when patients were being treated and waiting to be treated for many different personal health concerns. 
Email ‘proves’ conspiracy in Doctors Express case 
Armed police officers raiding a a Doctor’s Surgery?
Have the Cayman Islands authorities gone completly insane?
Please bring back the Rule Of Law.

Spending $300 billion won’t fix climate change.

 A story out today in Bloomberg suggests we can solve climate change for $300 billion, which, as many astute readers have noticed, is a deal. As authors Adam Majendie and Pratik Parija point out, $300 billion is merely “the gross domestic product of Chile, or the world’s military spending every 60 days.” Seems pretty doable!
The plan comes from the United Nations and entails restoring degraded land back into productive soil that not only holds carbon, but also produces things that are useful to humans, like food. The Bloomberg piece focuses more on explaining the particulars of how it could be done than on fact-checking the likeliness that it will bury as much carbon as proposed. Restoring habitat and rehabilitating soil are generally good things to do regardless, though, and it seems at least possible that if we do enough of it, we really can bury as much carbon as they are suggesting.  Read More