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Iraqi children with congenital disabilities caused by depleted uranium


March 23, 2023 Posted by | children, depleted uranium, Iraq, Reference | Leave a comment

How the World Health Organisation is constrained from true research into depleted uranium

It is quite unlikely that the WHO, as a professional organisation, has ever tried to block or downplay research. However, it is clear that the imbalances that exist in its funding, particularly for those public health projects that go beyond its regular country budgets, are open to state influence. In a system in which the financing is so disparate among member states, it is obvious that those who influence the purse influence the spend.

Iraq: Politics and Science in Post-Conflict Health Research HUFFINGTON POST,30 Dec 13   Director of the World Health Organisation’s Iraq programme between 2001-2003 15/10/2013  During my time as the director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) programme in Iraq between 2001 and 2003, the WHO, together with other agencies, were aware of the reports of abnormal rates of health problems, such as cancers and birth defects, in southern Iraq. In the 1991 Gulf War, the fighting had been concentrated in the south and it was notable that reports of illnesses were far more prevalent in this region. A decade on, and a long overdue study by the Iraqi Ministry of Health into the prevalence of congenital birth defects has been undertaken in collaboration with the WHO; however its interim results have puzzled observers.

The institutional capacity that has finally allowed the study to take place should have been developed with funds from the Oil For Food Programme (OFP) in 2001. OFP money was required as the cost of the proposed work far exceeded the WHO’s regular budget for Iraq at the time. Unfortunately, all projects funded through the OFP were subject to a complex process that required the final approval of the United Nations Security Council. Frustratingly, any project that proposed to investigate abnormal rates of birth defects in southern Iraq and their relation, if any, to environmental contamination, never got through the Security Council’s approval process.

Before the 2003 invasion, the cynicism demonstrated by certain member states of the Security Council towards the post-conflict health conditions in southern Iraq was appalling. Following regime change, the attitude of the Coalition Provisional Authority just added arrogance to the cynicism. The funds from the OFP belonged to the Iraqi people, yet the Security Council responded with little alacrity to any attempt to release Iraqi money to finance research into the legacy of conflict on cancer rates in the south. ……..

The interim report by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which was published without fanfare on the WHO website on September 11th, had been widely expected to confirm that rates of congenital birth defects in Iraq were not only high but higher in areas subject to heavy fighting in 1991 and 2003. Instead it reported the opposite – that rates in cities such as Fallujah and Basrah are around half that typical of high income countries.

Puzzlingly, the interim findings in the study run counter to the consistent reports of medical professionals across Iraq. They also stand in stark contrast to the views expressed by Ministry of Health officials interviewed by the BBC earlier this year. In their opinion, there was a clear link between areas subject to heavy fighting and an increased incidence of birth defects. If confirmed, such findings could have significant political ramifications for not only Iraq but for post-conflict civilian health in general. As a result, the study has received considerable attention, with more than 53,000 people signing a petition calling for release of the study data and for its independent peer-review.

A number of experts have now come forward to question the study’s methodology and the robustness of the peer-review process, most recently in the respected medical journal The Lancet. Critics have questioned the decision to undertake a household survey, instead of collating hospital records and challenged the anonymous authors on the lack of information concerning the selection criteria for areas included in the survey……..

I believe that the only way to resolve such concerns and ensure the best outcome for the Iraqi people is for the Ministry of Health and WHO to be more transparent than they have been thus far. Lessons must be learned from the history of public health research in Iraq.

The politicisation of Iraq’s public health research under the OFP should serve as a reminder that the WHO is nothing more than a reflection of the collective will of its member states. This collective will is often greatly influenced by those nations that exercise global power and, while the structure of the WHO does not necessarily reflect this influence, the decisions it implements certainly do.

It is quite unlikely that the WHO, as a professional organisation, has ever tried to block or downplay research. However, it is clear that the imbalances that exist in its funding, particularly for those public health projects that go beyond its regular country budgets, are open to state influence. In a system in which the financing is so disparate among member states, it is obvious that those who influence the purse influence the spend.

The agency continues to play a crucial role globally, thus it is important for the WHO to be transparent in all cases, as it was constitutionally created to be. The need for transparency is particularly acute in post-conflict public health research and the WHO has an important role to play in ensuring that its research partners pursue open, robust, science……

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Legal case begins against Sizewell C nuclear project.

 High Court hearing for Sizewell C legal challenge campaigners. Campaigners
who have issued a legal challenge against the building of nuclear power
plant Sizewell C have a High Court hearing starting on Wednesday 22 March.

Together Against Sizewell C will argue that the environmental impacts of
securing a permanent water supply of two million litres per day at the
proposed site in Suffolk were never assessed.

As a result, the government
cannot guarantee the date the nuclear power plant will open, which means it
has no way of knowing for sure that the plant’s contribution to climate
change is enough to override the environmental harm it will cause.

Together Against Sizewell C will also make the case that no alternatives to nuclear
power, including renewables, were considered when the Secretary of State
for Energy, then Kwasi Kwarteng, gave the go ahead for the building of
Sizewell C on 20 July 2022. He rejected the recommendation of the Examining
Authority which ruled in February 2022 that unless the outstanding water
supply strategy could be resolved and sufficient information provided to
enable the Secretary of State carry out his obligations under the Habitats
Regulations, there was no case for a development consent order.

 Leigh Day 20th March 2023

March 23, 2023 Posted by | legal, UK | Leave a comment

Imperial Visits: US Emissaries in the Pacific

Australian Independent Media Binoy Kampmark 19 Mar 23

For some time, Washington has been losing its spunk in the Pacific. When it comes to the Pacific Islands, a number have not fallen – at least entirely – for the rhetoric that Beijing is there to take, consume, and dominate all. Nor have such countries been entirely blind to their own sharpened interests. This largely aqueous region, which promises to submerge them in the rising waters of climate change, has become furiously busy.

A number of officials are keen to push the line that Washington’s policy towards the Pacific is clearly back where it should be. It’s all part of the warming strategy adopted by the Biden administration, typified by the US-Pacific Island Country summit held last September. In remarks made during the summit, President Joe Biden stated that “the security of America, quite frankly, and the world, depends on your security and the security of the Pacific Islands. And I really mean that.”

Not once was China mentioned, but its ghostly presence stalked Biden’s words. A new Pacific Partnership Strategy was announced, “the first national US strategy for [the] Pacific Islands.” Then came the promised cash: some $810 million in expanded US programs including more than $130 million in new investments to support, among other things, climate resilience, buffer the states against the impact of climate change and improve food security.

The Pacific Islands have also seen a flurry of recent visits. In January this year, US Indo-Pacific military commander Admiral John Aquilino popped into Papua New Guinea to remind the good citizens of Port Moresby that the eyes of the US were gazing benignly upon them. It was his first to the country, and the public affairs unit of the US Indo-Pacific Command stated that it underscored “the importance of the US-Papua New Guinea relationship” and showed US resolve “toward building a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”

In February, a rather obvious strategic point was made in the reopening of the US embassy in the Solomon Islands. Little interest had been shown towards the island state for some three decades (the embassy had been closed in 1993). But then came Beijing doing, at least from Washington’s perspective, the unpardonable thing of poking around and seeking influence.

Now, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare finds himself at the centre of much interest, at least till he falls out of favour in the airconditioned corridors of Washington…………………………………………………………………………………………..

March 23, 2023 Posted by | OCEANIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Microsoft’s Military Empire, Explained

March 23, 2023 Posted by | media, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Bi -Partisan measure opposes Canadian plan to store nuclear waste long term near Lake Huron

Melissa Nann Burke, The Detroit News

Washington ― A bipartisan group of Great Lakes lawmakers introduced a resolution in Congress on Wednesday to oppose a Canadian proposal to permanently store spent nuclear fuel waste in the Great Lakes Basin.

The move comes ahead of President Joe Biden’s first trip to Canada as president this week to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The resolution is concerned with Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization, which plans to decide next year on one of two potential sites for a nuclear waste facility, either Ignace, Ontario, or South Bruce, which is in the Great Lakes basin and less than 40 miles from Lake Huron.

The resolution says that Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken should ensure that the government of Canada does not permanently store nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin.

It goes on to warn that a “spill” of such waste into the lakes during transit to a deep geological repository “could have lasting and severely adverse environmental, health and economic impacts on the Great Lakes and the individuals who depend on the Great Lakes for their livelihoods.”

The measure is led by U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, and John James, R-Farmington Hills, in the House and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, in the Senate.

“Storing hazardous nuclear waste in our shared waterways threatens the drinking water of millions of people in the United States and Canada, and jeopardizes jobs in the fishing, boating and tourism industries,” Kildee said in a statement. “I urge President Biden to address Canada’s plan to permanently bury nuclear waste in the Great Lakes basin as he meets with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.”

The resolution has 15 other House co-sponsors including Michigan Reps. Jack Bergman of Watersmeet, John Moolenaar of Caledonia, Bill Huizenga of Holland, Lisa McClain of Bruce Township, Debbie Dingell of Ann Arbor, Elissa Slotkin of Lansing, Hillary Scholten of Grand Rapids, Haley Stevens of Birmingham and Shri Thanedar of Detroit as well as five Senate co-sponsors, including Sen. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township……………………………………………………………………………….

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Bad news for NuScale

The unpredictable costs of nuclear have stung another US pioneer. NuScale, which received regulatory approval in January for its Voygr design, is the first SMR to get final approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for deployment in the US.

At the same time as it announced approval, however, NuScale that the cost of its systems has expanded, so it now expects to deliver electricity at $90 per MWh, instead of the $55/MWh it initially promised.

That’s significant because, despite receiving $4.2 billion in subsidies, NuScale is now promising electricity which is much more expensive than that from renewable sources such as solar and wind. Without funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and previous government schemes, NuScale’s power would be around $120/MWh, according to Utility Dive.

From : Last Energy claims to have sold 24 nuclear reactors in the UK for £2.4 billion

Last’s 20MW disposable power plants join a queue of six companies selling SMRs in Britain more

March 23, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

France trying to “sell off its old nukes” to the Netherlands?

France looking to liberal Netherlands in push for nuclear revival

By Paul Messad | | translated by Daniel Eck 22 Mar 23

Paris is looking towards “liberal” allies such as the Netherlands to revive its nuclear industry, French Green MP Julie Laernoes told EURACTIV, after the country’s National Assembly approved a bill seeking to build six new reactors.

Read the original French story here.

France’s National Assembly approved the bill, which scraps a 50% limit on the share of nuclear in France’s electricity mix, on Tuesday (21 March) with 402 votes in favour and 130 against.

While the bill still needs a second vote of approval to go through, the numbers suggest parliament will most likely rubberstamp the new law.

“We are moving forward on the third pillar of our energy transition,” Energy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher said after the vote, in reference to French efforts at reducing energy consumption and building more renewables.

Olivier Marleix, the president of the right-wing Les Républicains group in the National Assembly, which supported the bill, said the text represents a “long-awaited turnaround”.

Nuclear alliance

The approval of the bill comes at a time when France is trying to push the role that its low-carbon nuclear power mix can play in the EU’s energy transition.

France launched a “nuclear alliance” at the end of February, aiming to promote European cooperation along the entire nuclear supply chain and launch “common industrial projects” in new generation capacity as well as small modular reactors.

To broaden support, France is “looking for other partners in Europe” such as the Netherlands, said Laernoes, a French MP of dual French-Dutch nationality who sits with the opposition Green party.

Like other Green lawmakers in the National Assembly, Laernoes voted against the motion to revive nuclear power in France and opposes French-led moves to build more nuclear reactors across Europe………………………………………………

Net-Zero Industry Act

Last week, the European Commission presented its Net-Zero Industry Act, a legislative proposal that describes nuclear power as one of the key technologies needed to attain the EU’s carbon neutrality goal.

Although Paris welcomed the EU’s announcement, it also noted that France’s new generation of pressurised water reactors – known as EPRs – do not appear in a separate list of ‘Strategic Net-Zero technologies’ eligible to receive “particular support” from the EU

The status of nuclear power in the Net-Zero Industry Act will be debated in upcoming negotiations on the text in the European Parliament, said Christophe Grudler, a French MEP sitting with the centrist Renew group in Parliament which includes lawmakers from the French presidential majority.

However, for Laernoes, the French government is waving “an ideological mantra”, as for the time being, “we still don’t have the design of the EPR2s, nor have we validated the extension of existing plants”.

Although the lifetime extension of existing nuclear power plants to 60 years was approved by the text voted on Tuesday, the president of the French Nuclear Safety Authority indicated that a position should be taken by the end of 2026 at the earliest.

“The political text is very far from the industrial and financial reality,” said Laernoes. “France is simply trying to sell off its old nuclear power plants,” she told EURACTIV.

March 23, 2023 Posted by | France, politics international | Leave a comment

Mixed messages to the nuclear industry as Biden’s budget cuts funding for nuclear energy

Biden’s Budget Cuts Funding For Nuclear Energy At A Pivotal Moment HuffPost Alexander C. Kaufman, Mar 21, 2023

For the first time since taking office, President Joe Biden cut funding for nuclear energy in his budget request, sending an unclear signal to an industry that has benefited from a firehose of federal spending in recently passed laws but depends heavily on long-term government support to reverse decades of decline.

The White House asked Congress for just under $1.6 billion for nuclear energy this year, down more than $210 million from the previous year. That doesn’t account for the billions dedicated to testing, financing, building and operating fission reactors in the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law, two key pieces of legislation passed during the 46th president’s first two years.

It’s also far from a done deal. The president’s budget request is generally viewed as a statement of priorities, and Congress has frequently deviated in recent years and provided more funding than what the administration proposed……………….

 the past two years’ geyser of money ― expected to be doled out over the course of the next decade ― still falls short of what experts say is needed to turn the atomic power industry around in a country that hasn’t built a new reactor from the ground up in nearly half a century but has shuttered more than a dozen in just the past two decades…………………………

Since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission receives 90% of its budget from companies’ licensing fees, with direct federal funding providing just another 10%, the cuts primarily hit the Department of Energy, which is responsible for researching and developing novel technologies and approaches to harnessing the awesome power of split atoms to generate heat and electricity without the climate-changing emissions of fossil fuels…………………………………………………..

Skeptics of nuclear energy say the high upfront costs and glacial speed of building new reactors make atomic power too expensive and slow to provide a meaningful solution in the fight against climate change. …………………………………………………….

The one increase in the Energy Department’s nuclear funding is a 20% bump for the special kinds of fuel needed for companies participating in the government’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, which seeks to commercialize technologies that go beyond the traditional pressurized water reactors used in most nuclear plants. The most widely used variety of advanced reactor fuel is exclusively sold by a Russian company, a challenge that has already caused delays for the Bill Gates-backed reactor startup TerraPower.

Last September, Biden requested $1.5 billion to boost domestic uranium production as part of a massive spending package to aid Ukraine ― only to be rebuffed by Congress. This time, the White House proposed giving the Energy Department’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains just $75 million to “support rebuilding domestic uranium production and enrichment capacity” through the Defense Production Act ― the first time the president’s budget has called for using the little-known Korean War-era statute for nuclear fuel……………………………………………….

After two years of Congress refusing to provide any funding, Biden’s budget request also slashed funding for the Versatile Test Reactor, a proposed government project at the Idaho National Laboratory that would help speed up research into new technologies and make existing ones more efficient. Currently, Russia operates the only such test reactor in the world.

The president’s previous budget proposed “the minimum level of funding needed just to keep the project alive without actually moving forward on building the thing,” said Adam Stein, the director of nuclear energy innovation at the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental think tank that advocates for atomic power. The latest budget completely “zeroes it out.”…………………………….

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TODAY. Here we go again. Depleted uranium weapons for Ukraine to use against Russia

Oh we regret using DU weapons in Iraq and Syria, don’t we?

But – it’s OK to use them against Russians, isn’t it? After all, we know that Russia is evil, don’t we? And all’s fair in love and war.

It’s a bit of a pity that the Ukrainian soldiers themselves will be affected by these weapons, too. But unlike those other wars, no US or UK soldiers will be affected. So that’s all good, right?

I guess that we’re selling these depleted uranium weapons to the lucky Ukrainians. After all, this is the good fallout from all this weaponry provision – more business for American and British companies – shareholders rejoice.

When it comes to the horrors unleashed on both soldiers and civilian population, well, – depleted uranium takes the prize!

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Christina's notes, depleted uranium | 3 Comments

Britain providing depleted uranium arms to Ukraine risks nuclear collision – Chinese experts — Anti-bellum

Global Timesmarch 22, 2023 UK to set ‘bad precedent’ if depleted uranium ammunition provided to UkraineBy Chen Qingqing Edited by RR If the UK sends controversial shells containing depleted uranium to Ukraine, it will set a dangerous precedent for the conflict, which could also mean an escalation in weapon supplies, Chinese experts said, warning of […]

Britain providing depleted uranium arms to Ukraine risks nuclear collision – Chinese experts — Anti-bellum

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The world needs Japan to rally the G-7 against nuclear weapons

Amid Ukraine war, summit in Hiroshima presents opportunity to show leadership

Nikkei ASia, Nancy Snow, March 22, 2023 

Nancy Snow is distinguished visiting professor of strategic communications at Schwarzman College of Tsinghua University and principal of Global Persuasion Strategies. She is the author of “The Mystery of Japan’s Information Power.”

The world that has greeted Japan’s return to the presidency of the Group of Seven in 2023 is very different from that of seven years ago when Tokyo had its last turn at the helm.

……………………………………………….. As the only Asian member of the G-7, Japan’s hosting may make little difference if it strictly hits repeat on platitudes like the benefits of a free and open Indo-Pacific region without painting a picture of the costs of alternative outcomes. The public needs vivid reminders that authoritarian reach across all regions is on the rise.

Strategic ambiguity and the deliberate use of vague language may have its place but does not suit the context of this year’s G-7 leader’s summit being held in Hiroshima, which along with Nagasaki are the only cities to have ever come under nuclear attack.

This year, Japan must lead the G-7, which represents over half of the world’s net wealth, in easing global fears about mutual assured destruction.

Kishida is already walking a fine line as he balances advocating the abolition of nuclear weapons and pushing for big increases in Japan’s defense spending. A pacifist image of Japan was easier to maintain before Russia’s invasion, before North Korea’s record year of ballistic missile tests and before five Chinese ballistic missiles landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone last August.

Kishida’s administration should take note that while polls show the Japanese public is strongly in favor of supporting Ukraine’s resistance, it is equally emphatic about not sending lethal arms.

When Kishida talks about aiding Ukraine’s rebuilding with help for demining, agriculture and education, as he did during a G-7 virtual summit in February, he is safely in Japan’s wheelhouse and supporting the Japanese people’s helpmate self-image.

This year’s G-7 summit will still be heavy on the global economy which has taken hits in terms of food, health care, energy and climate change.

Japan remains the world’s third-largest economy, but chronic worries remain about taxation and inflation, stagnant wages, child rearing and elder care assistance. Leading the world in assistance to Ukraine may be Kishida’s vision but not an everyday goal of his constituents.

Global expectations for Japan have risen since the Abe years, not only due to Japan’s increased emphasis on defense and security but also its prioritization of global governance. It is also a country that takes pride in intergovernmental values as espoused in the U.N. Charter.

Where Japan continues to lag is in showing up and representing those values in person, a shortfall which has impacted its leadership at global summits.

…………………………………………… . There is no better place than Hiroshima for a strongly worded statement about the possibility of committing to a world without nuclear weapons………..

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce marketing its mini nuclear reactors to Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, but deals could collapse

Rolls-Royce could build mini-nuclear reactors in Sweden and Finland under
plans being explored by Helsinki’s national energy company. Finnish
government-owned utility Fortnum has signed an early stage deal with
Rolls-Royce’s nuclear power business to explore uses of its small modular
reactors (SMRs) in the two Nordic countries. Shares in Rolls-Royce jumped
over 6pc in London on the news, amid a broader market rally.

The early stage deal comes as Rolls-Royce awaits a UK government decision on whether
to buy the reactors, which are smaller and cheaper than full scale plants.
Rolls-Royce’s 470MW units cost £1.8bn each. As well as the Finns, the
Czech government is also considering purchasing the technology as part of
efforts to decarbonise energy systems. Despite international interest,
Rolls-Royce has warned that deals may collapse unless Britain signals it
backs the technology by placing its own orders.

 Telegraph 21st March 2023

March 23, 2023 Posted by | marketing, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Mini nuclear reactors all the rage, but are they the answer?

Mini nuclear reactors have appeared on the scene as an exciting prospect since the
spring budget, but how do they weigh up to traditional plants?

London-based start-up Newcleo laid out plans over the weekend to raise £900mln to build
small reactors in the UK on the back of the news. US-based developer Last
Energy then announced it had signed a deal to sell 24 of its mini nuclear
plants to UK customers on Monday, with these set to cost just £100mln

Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, a key player in the industry and the only
firm with SMR tech currently going through the UK’s regulatory process,
said it welcomed the government’s new stance, meanwhile.

What it may not
welcome is heated-up competition, though, with Newcleo among six rival
firms which have already applied to enter the UK’s stringent SMR design
assessment process, and the announcement likely to prompt more –
including Last Energy. Cavendish Nuclear/X-Energy, GE-Hitachi Nuclear
Energy, GMET Nuclear, Holtec Britain, UK Atomics, mark the others which
have submitted applications for their tech, though none are set to match
the size and output of Rolls-Royce’s.

 Proactive Investors 21st March 2023

March 23, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

World on ‘thin ice’ as UN climate report gives stark warning

By Associated Press, CNN Mar 21, 2023,

Humanity still has a chance, close to the last one, to prevent the worst of climate change‘s future harms, a top United Nations panel of scientists says.

But doing so requires quickly slashing carbon pollution and fossil fuel use by nearly two-thirds by 2035, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said.

The United Nations chief said it more bluntly, calling for an end to new fossil fuel exploration and rich countries quitting coal, oil and gas by 2040.

“Humanity is on thin ice — and that ice is melting fast,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

“Our world needs climate action on all fronts — everything, everywhere, all at once.”

Stepping up his pleas for action on fossil fuels, Guterres not only called for “no new coal” but also for eliminating its use in rich countries by 2030 and poor countries by 2040.

He urged carbon-free electricity generation in the developed world by 2035, meaning no gas-fired power plants too.

That date is key because nations soon have to come up with goals for pollution reduction by 2035, according to the Paris climate agreement.

“The climate time-bomb is ticking,” Guterres said, describing the IPCC report as a “a how-to guide to defuse” it.

The report draws on the findings of hundreds of scientists to provide a comprehensive assessment of how the climate crisis is unfolding.

After contentious debate, the UN science panel calculated and reported that to stay under the warming limit set in Paris the world needs to cut 60 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, compared with 2019, adding a new target not previously mentioned in the six reports issued since 2018.

“The choices and actions implemented in this decade will have impacts for thousands of years,” the report, said calling climate change “a threat to human well-being and planetary health”.

“We are not on the right track but it’s not too late,” said report co-author and water scientist Aditi Mukherji.

“Our intention is really a message of hope, and not that of doomsday.”

With the world only a few tenths of a degree away from the globally accepted goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees since pre-industrial times, scientists stressed a sense of urgency. The goal was adopted as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement and the world has already warmed 1.1 degrees.

This is likely the last warning the Nobel Peace Prize-winning collection of scientists will be able to make about the 1.5 mark because their next set of reports will likely come after Earth has either breached the mark or locked into exceeding it soon, several scientists, including report authors, told The Associated Press.

‘We are pretty much locked into 1.5’

After 1.5 degrees “the risks are starting to pile on,” said report co-author Francis X Johnson, a climate, land and policy scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute.

The report mentions “tipping points” around that temperature of species extinction, including coral reefs, irreversible melting of ice sheets and sea level rise on the order of several metres.

“The window is closing if emissions are not reduced as quickly as possible,” Johnson said in an interview.

“Scientists are rather alarmed.”

“1.5 is a critical critical limit, particularly for small islands and mountain (communities) which depend on glaciers,” said Mukherji, who’s also the climate change impact platform director at the research institute CGIAR.

Many scientists, including at least three co-authors, said hitting 1.5 degrees is inevitable.

“We are pretty much locked into 1.5,” said report co-author Malte Meinshausen, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

“There’s very little way we will be able to avoid crossing 1.5 C sometime in the 2030s” but the big issue is whether the temperature keeps rising from there or stabilises.

Guterres insisted “the 1.5-degree limit is achievable”. Science panel chief Hoesung Lee said so far the world is far off course

“This report confirms that if the current trends, current patterns of consumption and production continues, then … the global average 1.5 degrees temperature increase will be seen sometime in this decade,” Lee said.

Scientists emphasise that the world, civilisation or humanity won’t end if and when Earth hits and passes the 1.5 degree mark. Mukherji said “it’s not as if it’s a cliff that we all fall off”. But an earlier IPCC report detailed how the harms – from coral reef extinction to Arctic sea ice absent summers to even nastier extreme weather – are much worse beyond 1.5 degrees of warming.

“It is certainly prudent to be planning for a future that’s warmer than 1.5 degrees,” said IPCC report review editor Steven Rose, an economist at the Electric Power Research Institute in the United States.

Threats from fossil fuels

If the world continues to use all the fossil fuel-powered infrastructure either existing now or proposed Earth will warm at least 2 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times, blowing past the 1.5 mark, the report said.

Because the report is based on data from a few years ago, the calculations about fossil fuel projects already in the pipeline do not include the increase in coal and natural gas use after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said report co-author Dipak Dasgupta, a climate economist at The Energy and Resources Institute in India.

The report comes a week after the Biden Administration in the United States approved the huge Willow oil-drilling project in Alaska, which could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day.

The rich vs poor divide

The report and the underlying discussions also touch on the disparity between rich nations, which caused much of the problem because carbon dioxide emissions from industrialisation stay in the air for more than a century, and poorer countries that get hit harder by extreme weather.

If the world is to achieve its climate goals, poorer countries need a “many-fold” increase in financial help to adapt to a warmer world and switch to non-polluting energy. Countries have made financial pledges and promises of a damage compensation fund.

If rich countries don’t cut emissions quicker and better help victim nations adapt to future harms, “the world is relegating the least developed countries to poverty”, said Madeline Diouf Sarr, chair of a coalition of the poorest nations.

Despite the risk, ‘a message of hope’

The report offers hope if action is taken, using the word “opportunity” nine times in a 27-page summary. Though opportunity is overshadowed by 94 uses of the word “risk.”

The head of the IPCC said the report contains “a message of hope in addition to those various scientific findings about the tremendous damages and also the losses that climate change has imposed on us and on the planet”.

“There is a pathway that we can resolve these problems, and this report provides a comprehensive overview of what actions we can take to lead us into a much better, liveable future,” Lee told The Associated Press.

Lee was at pains to stress that it’s not the panel’s job to tell countries what they should or shouldn’t do to cap global temperature rise at 1.5 Celsius.

“It’s up to each government to find the best solution,” he said, adding that scientists hope those solutions will stabilise the globe’s temperature around 1.5 degrees.

Asked whether this would be the last report to describe ways in which 1.5 degrees can be achieved, Lee said it was impossible to predict what advances might be made that could keep that target alive.

“The possibility is still there,” he said.

“It depends upon, again I want to emphasise that, the political will to achieve that goal.”

Activists also found grains of hope in the reports.

“The findings of these reports can make us feel disheartened about the slow pace of emissions reductions, the limited transition to renewable energy and the growing, daily impact of the climate crisis on children,” said youth climate activist Vanessa Nakate, a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

“But those children need us to read this report and take action, not lose hope.”

March 22, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment