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Forests, methane and finance - Cop26

shows its first cards

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The pandemic had zero

effect on emissions

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Climate scientists warn the world - there

is no time left to

  fool ourselves 

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GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS

Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Rebecca Solnit

The world as we knew it is coming to an end, and it’s up to us how it ends and what comes after. It’s the end of the age of fossil fuel, but if the fossil-fuel corporations have their way the ending will be delayed as long as possible, with as much carbon burned as possible. If the rest of us prevail, we will radically reduce our use of those fuels by 2030, and almost entirely by 2050. We will

meet climate change with real change, and defeat the fossil-fuel industry in the

next nine years.

 

If we succeed, those who come after will look back on the age of fossil fuel as an age of corruption and poison. The grandchildren of those who are young now will hear horror stories about how people once burned great mountains of poisonous stuff dug up from deep underground that made children sick and birds die and the air filthy and the planet heat up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We must remake the world, and we can remake it better. The Covid-19 pandemic is proof that if we take a crisis seriously, we can change how we live, almost overnight, dramatically, globally, digging up great piles of money from nowhere, like the $3tn the US initially threw at the pandemic.

 

The climate summit that just concluded in Glasgow didn’t get us there, though many good and even remarkable things happened. Those people who in many cases hardly deserve the term “leader” were pulled forward by what activists and real leaders from climate-vulnerable countries demanded; they were held back by the vested interests and their own attachment to the status quo and the profit to be made from continued destruction.

 

As the ever-acute David Roberts put it: “Whether and how fast India phases out coal has nothing at all to do with what its diplomat says in Glasgow and everything to do with domestic Indian politics, which have their own logic and are only faintly affected by international politics.”

Six months ago, the usually cautious International Energy Agency called for a stop to investment in new fossil-fuel projects, declaring: “The world has a viable pathway to building a global energy sector with net-zero emissions in 2050, but it is narrow and requires an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported and used globally.” Pressure from activists pushed and prodded the IEA to this point, and 20 nations committed at Cop26 to stop subsidies for overseas fossil fuel projects.

The emotional toll of the climate crisis has become an urgent crisis of its own. It’s best met, I believe, by both being well grounded in the facts, and working towards achieving a decent future – and by acknowledging there are grounds for fear, anxiety and depression in both the looming possibilities and in institutional inaction. What follows is a set of tools I’ve found useful both for the inward business of attending to my state of mind, and for the outward work of trying to do something about the climate crisis – which are not necessarily separate jobs.

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1. Feed your feelings on facts

Beware of feelings that aren’t based on facts. I run across a lot of emotional responses to inaccurate analysis of the situation. Sometimes these are responses to nothing more than a vague apprehension that we’re doomed. One of the curious things about the climate crisis is that the uninformed are often more grim and fatalistic than the experts in the field – the scientists, organisers and policymakers who are deep in the data and the politics. Too many people like to spread their despair, saying: “It’s too late” and “There’s nothing we can do”. These are excuses for doing nothing, and erase those doing something. That’s not what the experts say.

 

We still have time to choose the best rather than the worst scenarios, though the longer we wait the harder it gets, and the more dramatic the measures are required. We know what to do, and that knowledge is getting more refined and precise, but also more creative, all the time. The only obstacles are political and imaginative.

 

2. Pay attention to what’s already happening

 

Another oft-heard complaint is “nobody is doing anything about this”. But this is said by people who are not looking at what so many others are doing so passionately and often effectively. The climate movement has grown in power, sophistication and inclusiveness, and has won many battles. I have been around long enough to remember when the movement against what was then called “global warming” was small and mild-mannered, preaching the gospel of Priuses and compact fluorescent lightbulbs, and mostly being ignored.

One of the victories of climate activism – and consequences of dire climate events – is that a lot more people are concerned about climate than they were even a few years years ago, from ordinary citizens to powerful politicians. The climate movement – which is really thousands of movements with thousands of campaigns around the world – has had enormous impact.

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In the US, where I live, a lot is happening at the local, state and federal levels. Local measures can seem insignificant, but often they scale up. For example, a few years ago the Californian city of Berkeley decided to ban the installation of gas appliances in new buildings. Berkeley is one small city, so it would be easy to dismiss the impact – but now more than 50 California municipalities have followed suit, and all-electric could become standard far beyond the state. In the UK, the group Insulate Britain has staged blockades while demanding that the government improve building insulation standards, which is something I never imagined people would protest about. But insulation is a survival and justice issue in this coming winter of rising fuel costs and scarcity, as well as a climate issue.

There are organisations, initiatives and legislation on various scales, and there is a scale that is right for everyone. Sometimes it’s getting your college to divest, or your city to change building regulations, or your state to adopt an aggressive clean-energy plan (as Oregon did this summer) or ban fracking (as New York State did a few years ago) or protect an old-growth forest.

If some past victories are hard to see, it’s because there’s nothing left behind to see: the coal-fired plant that was never built, the pipeline that was stopped, the drilling that was banned, the trees that weren’t chopped down. As my friend Daniel Jubelirer of the Sunrise Project advises, if you find the sheer volume of data and issues overwhelming, join up, learn as you go and perhaps pick an area to master.

3. Look beyond the individual and find good people

 

When I ask people what they’re doing about the climate crisis, they often cite virtuous lifestyle choices, such as being vegan or not flying. Those are good things to do. They are also relatively insignificant. The world must change, but it won’t happen because one person does or does not consume something – and I would prefer we not imagine ourselves primarily as consumers.

 

As citizens of the Earth, we have a responsibility to participate. As citizens massed together, we have the power to affect change, and it is only on that scale that enough change can happen. Individual choices can slowly scale up, or sometimes be catalysts, but we’ve run out of time for the slow. It is not the things we refrain from doing, but those things we do passionately, and together, that will count the most. And personal change is not separate from collective change: in a municipality powered by clean energy, for instance, everyone is a clean-energy consumer.

 

If you live on a diet of mainstream news – which focuses on celebrities and elected politicians, and reserves the term “powerful” for high-profile and wealthy individuals – you will be told in a thousand ways that you have no role in the fate of the Earth, beyond your consumer choices. Movements, campaigns, organisations, alliances and networks are how ordinary people become powerful – so powerful that you can see they inspire terror in elites, governments and corporations alike, who devote themselves to trying to stifle and undermine them. But these places are also where you meet dreamers, idealists, altruists – people who believe in living by principle.

 

You meet people who are hopeful, or even more than hopeful: great movements often begin with people fighting for things that seem all but impossible at the outset, whether an end to slavery, votes for women or rights for LGTBQ+ people.

Values and emotions are contagious, and that applies whether you’re hanging out with the Zapatistas or the Kardashians. I have often met people who think the time I have spent around progressive movements was pure dutifulness or dues-paying, when in fact it was a reward in itself – because to find idealism amid indifference and cynicism is that good.

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Planned fossil fuel output

to vastly exceed

1.5C degree target

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The world has crashed the biodiversity

safety barrier

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Windermere

  is dying 

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4. The future is not yet written

 

People who proclaim with authority what is or is not going to happen just bolster their own sense of self and sabotage your belief in what is possible. There was, according to conventional wisdom, never going to be marriage equality in Ireland or Spain, or a US president honouring trans visibility day, or Canada ceding 20% of its land mass to indigenous self-governance as Nunavut, or an end to Britain running on coal, or Costa Rica coming close to 100% clean energy. The historical record tells us that the unexpected happens regularly – and by unexpected, I mean unexpected to people who thought they knew what was going to happen.

In 2015, Christiana Figueres led 192 nations to a successful global climate treaty in Paris. But when she was first asked to take on the job, she blurted out that it was impossible. She took it on anyway, and the night before the treaty was announced, people around me were still saying it was impossible, and preparing for failure. Then it succeeded – not in finishing the job, but in moving it forward.

The future is not yet written. We are writing it now.

5. Indirect consequences matter

In September, Harvard University announced it would divest from fossil fuel. It took organisers 10 years to make that happen. For more than nine years you could have looked at the campaign as unsuccessful, even though it was part of a global movement that got trillions of dollars out of fossil-fuel investments, recast the fossil-fuel industry as criminal and raised ethical questions for all investors to consider. This month, Bloomberg News reported that the “cost of capital” for fossil fuel and renewable energy projects used to be comparable, but thanks largely to shareholder and divestment activists, the cost for fossil projects is now about 20%, while that for renewables is between 3% and 5%. This affects what gets funded and what is profitable.

 

The campaign against the Keystone XL oil pipeline was, for many years, a jumble of wins and losses and stalls and setbacks – and then finally the pipeline was completely halted when Joe Biden came into office. This was not a gift from Biden; it was a debt being paid to the climate activists who had made it an important goal. Patience counts, and change is not linear. It radiates outward like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond. It matters in ways no one anticipates. Indirect consequences can be some of the most important ones.

 

The Keystone XL campaign was long and hard, and the heroes who fought it did a lot of things besides stop one pipeline. They made the Alberta tar sands – one of the filthiest fossil fuel operations on Earth – far better recognised as an environmental atrocity and a global climate bomb that had to be defused. The organisers built beautiful coalitions between farmers, Native landholders, local communities and an international movement. They taught us why pipelines are a pressure point, and inspired people to fight and win many other pipeline battles.

 

The Keystone XL campaign may have helped inspire the Lakota leaders at Standing Rock who stood up against the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016. That struggle didn’t stop the pipeline but it may yet. It’s not over. And it did so much else. A friend from Standing Rock told me it gave hope to the Native youth there and elsewhere, and a sense of their own agency and value that mattered. It led to many remarkable things, including a huge intertribal gathering and the healing of old wounds – notably when hundreds of former US soldiers got down on their knees to apologise for what the US army did to Native Americans.

 

And it inspired one young woman, who had driven there from New York with her friends, to decide to run for office. You wouldn’t have heard of her then, but you have now: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As a congresswoman, she did so much to amplify the need for a Green New Deal. The deal hasn’t passed Congress, but it did change the sense of what is possible, and it undid the old false divide between jobs and the environment. It seems to have shaped the Biden administration’s emphasis on green jobs as part of an energy transition, and as such it’s out there in the world now in the form of the Build Back Better legislation plan.

 

If you follow the ripples from Standing Rock, to a young woman’s decision to run for Congress, and the Sunrise Movement’s espousal of a new framework on climate action, you can see indirect change – which demonstrates that our actions often matter, even when we don’t achieve our primary goal immediately. And even if we do, the impact may be far more complex than we had anticipated.

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6. Imagination is a superpower

There is a sad failure of imagination at the root of this crisis. An inability to perceive both the terrible and the wonderful. An inability to imagine how all these things are connected, how what we burn in our powerplants and car engines pumps out carbon dioxide that goes up into the sky. Some cannot see that the world, which has been so stable for 10,000 years, is now destabilised, and full of new perils and dangerous feedback loops. Others cannot imagine that we can actually do what is necessary – which is nothing less than building a new and better world.

 

This is one of the remarkable things about this crisis: though the early climate movement emphasised austerity, a lot of what we need to give up is poison, destruction, injustice and devastation. The world could be far richer by many measures if we do what this catastrophe demands of us. If we don’t, catastrophes such as the violent flooding that recently cut off Canada’s largest port and stranded the city of Vancouver are reminders that the cost of addressing the crisis is dwarfed by the cost of not doing so.

 

7. Check the facts (and watch out for liars)

 

Thinking about the future requires imagination, but also precision. Waves of climate lies have washed over the public for decades. The age of climate denial is largely over, succeeded by more subtle distortions of the facts, and by false solutions from those who seek to benefit from stasis.

Oil companies are spending a lot on advertising that features outright lies and the hyping of minor projects or false solutions. These lies seek to prevent what must happen, which is that carbon must stay in the ground, and that everything from food production to transportation must change.

There is a lot of fuss about carbon capture technologies – and a very nice old joke that the best carbon capture technology of all is called a tree. The nonexistent technology of large-scale, human-made carbon capture is often brought up to suggest that we can keep producing those emissions. We cannot. Geoengineering is another distraction beloved by technocrats, apparently because they can imagine big, centralised technological innovation, but not the impact of countless small, localised changes.

 

In 2017, Mark Jacobson of Stanford University’s Solutions Project concluded that almost every nation on Earth already has the natural resources it needs to transition to renewable energy. “We have the solutions” read a banner at the huge 2014 New York City climate march, and they have only grown more effective since then.

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8. History can guide us

The American left, someone once told a friend of mine, is bad at celebrating its victories. (The same may well go for the left in other countries, too.) We have victories. Some of them are very large, and are why your life is the shape it is. The victories are reminders that we are not powerless, and our work is not futile. The future is not yet written, but by reading the past, we see patterns that can help us shape that future.

 

To remember that things were different, and how they were changed, is to be equipped to make change – and to be hopeful, because hope lies in the possibility of things being different. Despair and depression often come from the sense that nothing will change, or that we have no capacity to make that change.

Sometimes it helps to understand that this very moment is astonishing. Early in this century, we had no adequate alternative to fossil fuel. Wind and solar were relatively expensive and inefficient, and battery technology was still in its infancy. The most unnoticed revolution of our era is an energy revolution: solar and wind costs have plummeted as new, more efficient designs have been invented, and they are now widely considered to be more than adequate to power our future.

 

The scale of change in the past 50 years is evidence of the power of movements.

The nation I was born into 60 years ago had tiny lesbian and gay rights movements, nothing resembling a feminist movement, a Black-led civil rights movement whose victories mostly lay ahead, and a small conservation movement that had not yet morphed into an environmental movement – and few recognised the systemic interdependences at the heart of environmentalism. A lot of assumptions were yet to be dismantled; a lot of alternatives yet to be born.

 

9. Remember the predecessors

We are the first generations to face a catastrophe of the reach, scale and duration of climate change. But we are far from the first to live under some kind of threat, or to fear what is to come. I often think of those who were valiant and principled in the death camps of Nazi Germany. I think of my Latin American neighbours, some of whom braved terrifying migrations, walking across the desert for days to escape death squads, dictatorships and climate catastrophe. I think of the Indigenous people of the Americas, who already lived through the end of their worlds when their lands were stolen, their populations decimated and colonial domination disrupted their lives and cultures in every possible way. What it took to persevere under those conditions is almost unimaginable, and also all around us.

 

Indigenous leadership has mattered tremendously for the climate movement, in specific campaigns and as ongoing testimony that there are other ways to think about time, nature, value, wealth and human roles. A report that came out this summer demonstrated how powerful and crucial Native leadership has been for the climate movement: “Indigenous resistance has stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual US and Canadian emissions.”

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10. Don’t neglect beauty

Climate chaos makes us fear that we will lose what is beautiful in this world. I want to say that in 50 years, and 100 years, the moon will rise, and be beautiful, and shine its silvery light across the sea, even if the coastline isn’t where it used to be. In 50 years, the light on the mountains, and the way every raindrop on a blade of grass refracts light will still be beautiful. Flowers will bloom and they will be beautiful; children will be born, and they, too, will be beautiful.

 

Only when it is over will we truly see the ugliness of this era of fossil fuels and rampant economic inequality. Part of what we are fighting for is beauty, and this means giving your attention to beauty in the present. If you forget what you’re fighting for, you can become miserable, bitter and lost.

 

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Cop26 agreement unlikely

to reverse global forest

loss by 2030

Posted November 3, 2021

 

As the world's leaders scatter across the world in an invisible but deadly cloud of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, they leave behind them in Glasgow three gifts for the Cop26 crowd, and the rest of us, to feel grateful for - proposals for significant initiatives on global deforestation, methane emissions and a new set of demands for bankers.

I am linking here to THE CONVERSATION, an impressive webservice authored by international scholars and specialists, with a massive brief and almost infinite sources of expertise. Ask a question and they are likely to have an interesting and authoritative answer. I am leading into two of their articles with an introduction from Jack Marley, Environment + Energy Editor and host of the Climate Fight podcast series.

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 The COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow yielded their first major deal yesterday: a commitment by more than 100 countries to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. Forests have absorbed roughly 15pc of global greenhouse gas emissions, so to cut carbon in the atmosphere, we must stop cutting down the world’s trees. But Julia Jones, a professor of conservation science at Bangor University, doubts this new plan is up to the task.

A similar declaration in New York in 2014 saw 200 countries and civil society groups pledge to halve deforestation by 2020. Instead, it rose by 41pc. Jones argues that people living in and alongside forests do not receive enough support to manage them sustainably, to take up benign livelihoods or exclude those who destroy the ecosystem. World leaders do seem to be moving in the right direction though. At least this time, Russia and Brazil – which contain the vast Siberian Taiga and Amazon rainforests – signed up to the deal and there is now far more recognition of where earlier agreements went wrong.

US President Joe Biden brought another deal to the table in Glasgow: the Global Methane Pledge. This commits 90 countries (including Brazil but excluding China, India and Russia) to reducing emissions of methane – a potent greenhouse gas produced by livestock, oil and gas wells and landfill sites* – by 30pc in a decade. Michelle Caine, a visiting researcher at the University of Oxford who studies this gas in the atmosphere, is pleased but wary. A sense of triumph around tackling methane emissions could, she said, “displace efforts away from the main driver of global warming – fossil CO₂ emissions.”

[*plus vast expanses of drying wetlands across the globe GD]

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Forests, methane and finance -

Cop26 shows its first cards

Julia P G Jones. Bangor University

 

More than 100 world leaders meeting at COP26 have committed to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.The countries that have signed the agreement contain 85pc of the world’s forests.

 

The announcement includes £14 billion (US$19.2 billion) of public and private funds for conservation efforts. In addition, 28 countries have committed to ensuring trade in globally important commodities such as palm oil, cocoa and soy, does not contribute to deforestation.

 

Saving the world’s dwindling forests is essential if we are to avoid dangerous climate change. Forests soak up carbon from the atmosphere and cutting them down releases it. On balance, forests removed about 7.6 billion tonnes of carbon every year over the last two decades. This is roughly 15pc of global emissions.

Much of Madagascar has been deforested to make way for small-scale agriculture.  But forests around the world are moving from net sinks of carbon, which soak up more than they release, to net sources. While the Amazon rainforest as a whole remains a carbon sink (for now), ongoing land clearance in parts of the Brazilian Amazon mean forests there are already emitting more carbon than

they absorb. Increasing global temperatures are causing more forest fires too, further raising emissions from forests and so driving global temperatures higher. 

 

Given that the window for keeping global warming below 1.5°C, or even 2°C, is rapidly closing, humanity desperately needs remaining forests to stay standing. So is the Glasgow leaders’ declaration on forests and land use up to the task? This is only the most recent commitment to stop forest loss in a series of similar initiatives. Back in 2005, the UN Forum on Forests committed to “reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide” by 2015. In 2008, 67 countries pledged to try and reach zero net deforestation by 2020. This was followed by the New York declaration on forests in 2014 which saw 200 countries, civil society groups and indigenous peoples’ organisations commit to halve deforestation by 2020

and end it by 2030.

 

These earlier efforts clearly failed to meet their targets. On average, rates of forest loss have been 41pc higher in the years since the New York agreement was signed. It’s almost impossible to know what deforestation rates would have been without these pledges. 

 

It is important not to vilify those clearing tropical forests. In most cases, whether it’s oil-palm plantation workers in southeast Asia, or the owner of a family-run cocoa farm in Ghana, these are just ordinary people trying to make a living. Where those clearing forest are poor subsistence farmers with few alternatives, such as many in Madagascar for example, preventing forest clearance can mean some of the poorest people on the planet are bearing the cost of tackling climate change.

 

Given that such people contribute relatively few emissions, this isn’t very fair.

What we do know is that progress on slowing deforestation has been wildly inadequate. The good news is Brazil, Russia and China, who did not sign the 2014 declaration, have this time. However, words are cheap, actually slowing deforestation is difficult to achieve.

The causes of forest loss vary from place to place, but the problem boils down to a conflict between those who benefit from deforestation and those who benefit from keeping forests intact, and whose ability to influence what happens on the ground wins out.Conserving forests benefits everybody by stabilising the climate. But logging, or clearing a patch of forest for farming, benefits the people involved in a much more direct and tangible way. Ultimately, to keep forests intact, those who benefit from forests (that’s all of us) need to fund efforts to conserve them.

 

Despite criticism, and problems with implementation, this is the underlying rationale to REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) – the UN mechanism whereby tropical nations are paid for efforts to conserve forests. 

Just before flying to Glasgow, Madagascar’s minister of environment and sustainable development, Dr Baomiavotse Vahinala Raharinirina, visited a village to ask people their views on what would make forest conservation more effective. They spoke about the lack of alternative livelihoods, the need for more support to help them manage the forest sustainably, and the fact that local communities often lack the ability to exclude those who wish to exploit forests.

Raharinirina said: 

Madagascar has contributed relatively little to climate change, but our people are suffering the consequences. For example, a million people in the south are in need of food aid because of the effects of a drought caused by climate change. We are trying to do our bit to reduce emissions by conserving and restoring our forests and have signed the Glasgow Leaders Declaration, however this won’t be achieved without more resources… We will need support from the international community to help us achieve this.

 

I am cautiously impressed with how much attention is being paid to the question of fairly reducing tropical deforestation at COP26. The first event in the UK-led programme brought forest communities and indigenous people together to discuss lessons from the last decade of forest conservation.

Dolores de Jesus Cabnal Coc, an indigenous leader from Guatemala, shared my cautious optimism, saying:

It’s a slow process and will continue to be, but ever since [COP21 in Paris in 2015] there has been a big difference in that there is now a platform to help ensure more inclusive actions…

Perhaps I am naive, but I sense a helpful change in tone among world leaders, from assuming that forest conservation inevitably delivers triple wins which benefit the climate, biodiversity and local livelihoods, to a more honest acknowledgement that often, there are winners and losers. Only by finding ways for conservation to benefit those who live alongside forests can the world hope to keep those forests absorbing emissions for years to come.

 

So, will this pledge finally halt and reverse deforestation? Unlikely. But given the importance of the issue, the renewed focus on deforestation at COP26 is certainly positive.

Climate scientists warn the world -

there is no time left

 to fool ourselves 

Posted October 28, 2021

On this day's NEWS page I have drawn together some of the devastating messages that climate scientists have been presenting in the days leading up to COP26. Their arguments are clear and consistent: the present effects of climate change are already outpacing any attempts to mitigate them, and there is a wide gap between what world leaders promise to do and what they

are actually achieving.

 

Scientists from all directions have confirmed that, under present circumstances, there is no prospect that the "safe" limit, of a1.5 deg C rise in global temperatures, can be maintained . The perilous figure of 2.7 deg C I, is now much more likely. The radical and immediate cuts in emissions that are required to challenge this calamitous outcome have not yet been attempted by any country.

 

What has become obvious is that the politicians, at last, really have nowhere to hide. Perhaps this will be the most significant achievement of the forthcoming COP26 event - to flood the subject with light in an unprecedented way. Then it has to be up to us, the citizens of the world, to shame our leaders into action, and to act more forcefully ourselves.

 

Even Britain's Boris Johnson is expressing his fears that COP26 will fail to deliver on its actual promises for change.  In an apparent response to the mounting evidence, he reversed the characteristic boostering of his recent speech to the UN. In a question-and-answer session with children, at 10 Downing Street, he said:

“It’s going to be very, very tough, this summit, and I’m very worried because it might go wrong. We might not get the agreements that we need. It’s touch and go, it’s very, very difficult … It’s very far from clear that we’ll get the progress that we need.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia's Scott Morrison is more brazen. His pre - Cop26 statement promises to  achieve everything while changing nothing, at a cost to no-one. It is what he calls "The Australian Way" and what the leader of the Labour opposition calls "a steaming pile of nothingness"

 

Morrison's assertion that technology alone will allow Australia to reach its net zero goal, provoked a wave of criticism about the lack of detail in this new plan. The Australian climate advocate Mike Cannon-Brookes called the updated plan “more bullshit”, saying the government’s claimed technology-driven approach was “inaction, misdirection and avoiding choices”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2020 - the year of pandemic lockdown across the world - emissions of  greenhouse gases continued its rise to unprecedented levels. They surged above the planet's 2011-2020 average, and continued to increase into 2021. These are some of the stark warnings revealed by a new World Meterological Organisation report in the days before the COP26 conference, in Glasgow.

Petteri Taalas, the head of this respected UN agency, pulled no punches:

“At the current rate of increase in concentrations, we will see a temperatures increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5 to

2 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels. We are way off track.

“The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was three to five million years ago, when the temperature was 2 to 3 deg C warmer and sea level was 10 to 20 meters higher than now... But there weren’t 7.8 billion

people then.”

The disturbing catalogue continues by stating that the concentration of carbon dioxide in 2020 was 149 per cent above the pre-industrial level; methane,

262 per cent; and nitrous oxide, 123 per cent. And, although the Coronavirus-driven economic slowdown sparked a temporary decline in new emissions, it has had no discernible impact on the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases or their growth rates.

 

As emissions continue to increase, so too will rising global temperatures. Given the long life of CO2, the current temperature level will persist for decades, even if emissions are rapidly reduced to net zero. From intense heat and rainfall to sea-level rise and ocean acidification, rising temperatures will be accompanied by more weather extremes – all with far-reaching socioeconomic impacts.

 

The pandemic had zero

 effect on emissions

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Leaked documents reveal fossil fuel and meat producing countries lobbying against

climate action

Laurence Carter and Crispin Dowler

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Reproduced from the website of UNEARTHED, the investigate journalism arm of

GREENPEACE

https://unearthed.greenpeace.org

Posted October 21, 2021

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Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  

Jacques Witt/Getty

Some of the world’s biggest coal, oil, beef and animal feed-producing nations are attempting to strip a landmark UN climate report of findings that threaten their domestic economic interests. This emerges from a major leak of documents seen by Unearthed. 

 

These revelations show how this small clutch of nations is attempting to water down the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) assessment of the world’s options for limiting global warming – just days before the start of crucial international climate negotiations in Glasgow. They are revealed in a leak of tens of thousands of comments by governments, corporations, academics and others on the draft report of the IPCC’s ‘Working Group III’ – an international team of experts that is assessing humanity’s remaining options for curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or removing them from the atmosphere.

 

The documents passed to Unearthed show how fossil fuel producers including Australia, Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), are lobbying the IPCC – the world’s leading authority on climate change – to remove or weaken a key conclusion that the world needs to rapidly phase out fossil fuels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In one comment seen by Unearthed, a senior Australian government official rejected the largely uncontroversial conclusion that one of the most important steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was to phase out coal-fired power stations.

Phrases like ‘the need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales’ should be eliminated.

Meanwhile, Brazil and Argentina, two of the world’s biggest producers of beef and animal feed, have been pressing to delete messages about the climate benefits of promoting ‘plant-based’ diets and of curbing meat and dairy consumption. 

 

The news comes just days before these nations take their places at the COP26 negotiations in Glasgow – a UN conference that has been described as the world’s “last best chance to get runaway climate change under control”. It is likely to raise questions about the threat posed to progress at the summit by some economies that remain highly dependent on carbon-intensive industries.

 

IPCC authors can and do reject suggested changes to their drafts if the comments are not supported by the scientific literature. However, the leak of these comments offers an  insight into the positions being adopted by some nations away from the public eye. 

 

Climate scientist Simon Lewis, Professor of Global Change Science at University College London, told Unearthed:  “These comments show the tactics some countries are willing to adopt to obstruct and delay action to cut emissions. 

 

“On the eve of the crucial COP26 talks there is, to me, a clear public interest in knowing what these governments are saying behind the scenes. 

 

 “Like most scientists I’m uncomfortable with leaks of draft reports, as in an ideal world the scientists writing these reports should be able to do their job in peace. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and with emissions still increasing, the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

 

A spokesperson for the IPCC told Unearthed that the processes it used for preparing and drafting reports were “designed to guard against lobbying – from all quarters”. The main elements of this, he added, were “diverse and balanced author teams, a review process open to all, and decision-making on texts by consensus”.

 

The Unearthed analysis of thousands of leaked comments submitted to the IPCC by national governments found that the majority of contributions were constructive comments aimed at improving the text. 

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The documents reviewed by Unearthed comprise swathes of peer review comments on the second draft of Working Group III’s contribution to the IPCC’s landmark Sixth Assessment Report. This group’s report – which is not due to be published until next year – will be a definitive assessment of the ways available to the world to limit global warming. 

 

The executive summary of this draft – which was released in a separate leak earlier this year– details how global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak in the next four years. It states that, even if no new plants come on stream, existing coal- and gas-fired power stations on average need to close or be retrofitted to avoid emissions within the next 10 and 12 years respectively, if warming is to be limited to 1.5°C.

The leaked review comments – which consist of detailed responses to the draft by governments; businesses; civil society and academics submitted earlier this year – reveal how a small number of major fossil fuel producing and consuming nations reject the need  for a rapid phase out of fossil fuels. Instead, this group argues, the IPCC must remain “technology neutral” and acknowledge the role that “carbon capture” technology could theoretically play in reducing the climate impact

of fossil fuels. 

 

The risks here cannot be overstated. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) are the names given to technologies that can capture carbon emissions from industrial sites like power plants, and keep them out of the atmosphere or use them in industrial processes. Australia; Saudi Arabia; Iran, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC); and Japan all make variations of this argument, despite the fact that, according to the Global CCS Institute, there is currently only one power station in operation in the world that successfully captures some of its carbon emissions.

 

Analysis of public data shows that this power station, Boundary Dam in Canada, has missed its original target of capturing 90% of the carbon emissions from one of its generators and is now aiming to capture just 65%. The vast majority of global CCS capacity is, in fact, applied to natural gas processing rather than energy generation.

 

Speaking to Unearthed about the various pathways available for reducing carbon emissions, Siân Bradley, a Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House, told Unearthed: “CCS/CCUS is a critical technology, but there has never been any credible suggestion that it could deal with the bulk of fossil fuel related emissions as they stand today. Delivering the Paris Agreement requires the transformation of global energy and industrial systems, which means phasing out the vast majority of fossil fuel use and rapidly scaling CCS in ‘hard to abate’ sectors.”

But by embracing this technology as a future bet, policy-makers can argue for a delay in action to limit fossil fuel use and justify new oil and gas fields coming on stream – regardless of whether CCS actually delivers.Chief among those pushing back against the recommendation that fossil fuels be urgently phased out of the energy sector are Saudi Arabia and OPEC, which together produce around 40% 

of the world’s oil.

 

Saudi Arabia repeatedly seeks to have the report’s authors delete references to the need to phase out fossil fuels, as well as an IPCC conclusion that there is an “need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales.” 

 

In one comment, an advisor to Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources tells the authors to “omit” from the report a statement that the “focus of decarbonisation efforts in the energy systems sector needs to be on rapidly shifting to zero-carbon sources and actively phasing out all fossil fuels.” He claims that this sentence in the draft “undermines all carbon removals technologies such as CCU/CCS and limits the options for decision [sic] makers to carbon neutrality”. 

Clearly if a nation has huge reserves of fossil fuels they may feel some national interest to protect that interest.

Saudi Arabia even rejects the use of the word “transformation”, which the IPCC uses throughout the report to describe emissions reduction pathways that meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – the international treaty through which countries agreed to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, and preferably to 1.5°C. 

For instance, the IPCC states in its draft Summary for Policymakers that scenarios “that limit warming to 2°C and 1.5°C imply energy system transformations over the coming decades. These involve substantial reductions in fossil fuel use, major investments in low-carbon energy forms, switching to low-carbon energy carriers, and energy efficiency and conservation efforts.” 

 

Instead Saudi Arabia argues that urgent action to tackle the climate crisis is not necessarily needed: “The use of ‘transformation’ should be avoided as it has policy implications by requiring immediate policy actions. Transitioning to low-carbon economies can be achieved through planned interventions and by considering various transitioning options.”

 

In another comment, the Kingdom’s ministry of petroleum advisor claims that “phrases like ‘the need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales…’ should be eliminated from the report.”

 

 

 

Saudi Arabia’s preferred approach to tackling climate change involves relying on as-yet unproven technologies which could enable nations to continue burning fossil fuels by sucking the resulting emissions out of the atmosphere – a concept it packages as the “Circular Carbon Economy.”  In line with this strategy it complains that the IPCC does not give sufficient attention to the feasibility of direct air capture (DAC), a technology in the early stages of development that is intended to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to be stored or used in industrial processes. 

 

Relying on the development of technologies like DAC and CCS would allow nations to emit more greenhouse gases now on the optimistic assumption that they could draw them out of the atmosphere later, opening up the possibility of bringing temperatures back to within the limits agreed in the Paris Accord. The promise of a future technology actually works best for the fossil industry if in practice it’s too expensive to implement

 

In one comment, responding to a section of the IPCC report discussing the “accelerated decarbonisation of electricity through renewable energy”, Saudi Arabia complains that the IPCC is “excluding natural gas and clean fossil fuel technologies e.g. CCUS and DAC from the decarbonization electricity generation Net Zero models.”

 

The reviewer also complains that CCUS and DAC technologies are excluded from a list of lower carbon emissions fuels, which includes renewables, bioenergy and “non-fossil” fuels that will be necessary to accelerate climate change mitigation. 

But, according to Professor Robert Howarth of Cornell University, there is no scientific evidence that humanity can rely on carbon capture or direct air capture in this way:

 

“There’s no objective information out there which would suggest that this is a well proven, functioning, affordable technology. All the information is to the contrary. Clearly if a nation has huge reserves of fossil fuels they may feel some national interest to protect that interest and try to encourage the world to use them. But that’s not in the global interest, you’d hope that countries would have a broader perspective than that.”

 

While the IPCC report does outline how direct air capture and CCS could play a role in the future, it also says there is uncertainty about the feasibility of these technologies. Saudi Arabia takes issue with this, rejecting analysis that “CCS may be needed to mitigate emissions from the remaining fossil fuels that cannot be decarbonised, but the economic feasibility of deployment is not yet clear”. 

Discussing the risks posed by emissions reduction pathways involving technologies that are not yet fully developed, Siân Bradley of Chatham House told Unearthed:  “over-reliance on CCS and negative emissions technologies, should they fail to materialize, would lock-in a high-emissions pathway with no obvious escape route. The risks here cannot be overstated.”

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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman   Mandel Ngan/Getty

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Aramco Oil Refinery, Dahran, Saudi Arabia   MyLoupe/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

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Planned fossil fuel output to vastly exceed 1.5C degree target

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Posted October 20, 2021

 

According to an alarming UN report, fossil fuel production planned by the world’s governments will “vastly exceed” the limit required to keep the rise in global warming to 1.5C degrees.  Contradicting promises of action to avoid the worst effects of climate change, many nations have made no plans to reduce, let alone ban, fossil fuels.. 

These are the key findings of the report, compiled by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change:

 

Governments plan to produce more than twice the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. The production gap has remained largely unchanged since our first analysis in 2019.

Global fossil fuel production must start declining immediately and steeply to be consistent with limiting long-term warming to 1.5°C.

Most major oil and gas producers are planning on increasing production out to 2030 or beyond, and several major coal producers are planning on continuing or increasing production.

G20 countries have directed more new funding to fossil fuels than clean energy since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governments have a primary role to play in closing the production gap and in ensuring that the transition away from fossil fuels is just and equitable.

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Comment

Posted October 14, 2021

 

Armed clashes between sectarian militias briefly turned Beirut neighborhoods into a war zone on Thursday, killing six people and raising fears that new violence could fill the void left by the near-collapse of the Lebanese state.

Rival gunmen, chanting in support of their leaders, hid behind dumpsters to fire automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at their rivals. Residents cowered in their homes, and teachers herded children into the hallways and basements of schools to protect them from the shooting.

The fighting marked a new low in the small Mediterranean country’s descent into an abyss of interlocking political and economic

Posted October 14, 2021

 

Armed clashes between sectarian militias briefly turned Beirut neighborhoods into a war zone on Thursday, killing six people and raising fears that new violence could fill the void left by the near-collapse of the Lebanese state.

Rival gunmen, chanting in support of their leaders, hid behind dumpsters to fire automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at their rivals. Residents cowered in their homes, and teachers herded children into the hallways and basements of schools to protect them from the shooting.

The fighting marked a new low in the small Mediterranean country’s descent into an abyss of interlocking political and economic crises. Since the fall of 2019, its currency has collapsed, battering the economy and reducing Lebanese who were comfortably middle-class to poverty. Instead of finding solutions, the country’s political elite has resorted to increasingly bitter infighting. A huge explosion in the port of Beirut last year exposed the results of what many Lebanese see as decades of poor governance and corruption.

 

Thursday’s clashes broke out at a protest led by two Shiite Muslim parties — Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militant group that the United States considers a terrorist organization, and the Amal Movement. The protesters were calling for the removal of the judge charged with investigating the Beirut explosion and determining who was responsible.

 

As the protesters gathered, gunshots rang out, apparently fired by snipers in nearby high buildings, according to witnesses and Lebanese officials, and protesters scattered to side streets, where they retrieved weapons and went to shoot back.

The resulting clashes raged in an area straddling the line between two neighborhoods, one Shiite and the other a stronghold of the Lebanese Forces, a Christian political party that staunchly opposes Hezbollah. 

 

Hezbollah officials accused the Lebanese Forces of firing the initial shots, and in a statement, Hezbollah and the Amal Movement accused unnamed forces of trying to “drag the country into a deliberate strife.”

The head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, condemned the violence in posts on Twitter, saying that the clashes had been caused by “uncontrolled and widespread weapons that threaten citizens in every time and place,” a reference to Hezbollah’s vast arsenal.

Violence between religious groups is particularly dangerous in Lebanon, which has 18 recognized sects, including Sunni and Shiite Muslims, various denominations of Christians and others. Conflicts between them and the militias they maintain define the country’s politics and have often spilled over into violence, most catastrophically during the country’s 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.

The Sunnis, Shiites and Christians are Lebanon’s largest groups, but Hezbollah has emerged as the country’s most powerful political and military force, with an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets pointed at neighboring Israel and thousands of fighters who have been dispatched to battlefields in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

After about four hours of fighting, the Lebanese army deployed to calm the streets and the clashes appeared to subside, but residents remained in their homes seeking refuge from the violence. In addition to those killed, about 30 people were wounded.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm as the army urged civilians to leave the area, warning that soldiers would shoot anyone who

. Since the fall of 2019, its currency has collapsed, battering the economy and reducing Lebanese who were comfortably middle-class to poverty. Instead of finding solutions, the country’s political elite has resorted to increasingly bitter infighting. A huge explosion in the port of Beirut last year exposed the results of what many Lebanese see as decades of poor governance and corruption.

 

Thursday’s clashes broke out at a protest led by two Shiite Muslim parties — Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militant group that the United States considers a terrorist organization, and the Amal Movement. The protesters were calling for the removal of the judge charged with investigating the Beirut explosion and determining who was responsible.

 

As the protesters gathered, gunshots rang out, apparently fired by snipers in nearby high buildings, according to witnesses and Lebanese officials, and protesters scattered to side streets, where they retrieved weapons and went to shoot back.

The resulting clashes raged in an area straddling the line between two neighborhoods, one Shiite and the other a stronghold of the Lebanese Forces, a Christian political party that staunchly opposes Hezbollah. 

 

Hezbollah officials accused the Lebanese Forces of firing the initial shots, and in a statement, Hezbollah and the Amal Movement accused unnamed forces of trying to “drag the country into a deliberate strife.”

The head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, condemned the violence in posts on Twitter, saying that the clashes had been caused by “uncontrolled and widespread weapons that threaten citizens in every time and place,” a reference to Hezbollah’s vast arsenal.

Violence between religious groups is particularly dangerous in Lebanon, which has 18 recognized sects, including Sunni and Shiite Muslims, various denominations of Christians and others. Conflicts between them and the militias they maintain define the country’s politics and have often spilled over into violence, most catastrophically during the country’s 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.

The Sunnis, Shiites and Christians are Lebanon’s largest groups, but Hezbollah has emerged as the country’s most powerful political and military force, with an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets pointed at neighboring Israel and thousands of fighters who have been dispatched to battlefields in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

After about four hours of fighting, the Lebanese army deployed to calm the streets and the clashes appeared to subside, but residents remained in their homes seeking refuge from the violence. In addition to those killed, about 30 people were wounded.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm as the army urged civilians to leave the area, warning that soldiers would shoot anyone who opened fire.

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The world has crashed through

the biodiversity

safety barrier

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Posted October 11, 2021

 

The world has already entered the danger zone in terms of ecological sustainability. New evidence suggests that, in the foreseeable future, there will not be enough resources available to feed all humankind and meet all their needs This alarming conclusion is revealed by new statistical analysis from the Natural History Museum in London.

A report released today states:

Global biodiversity intactness [the amount of natural life in a defined area] was just 75pc in 2020 - when every square kilometre is given equal weight in calculations - and below 69% if areas are weighted by their ecological productivity.  These figures are both significantly lower than the 90pc average which the Planetary Boundaries framework sets as the "safe limit"’ to prevent the world tipping into an ecological recession – a future in which ecosystems lose resilience and can no longer be relied on to meet human needs.

Another devastating revelation in this report is that Britain's biodiversity figure is one of the worst in the world - 53pc. This puts the UK in the bottom 10pc of the world’s nations, last among the G7 rich states and a long way behind China. Figures from 2020 reveal that more than 66pc of land in the UK is used for agriculture and another 8pc has been built on. This leaves just 25pc for nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The report explains its approach to gathering data:

 

The Natural History Museum has developed the Biodiversity Trends Explorer, (BII) to help negotiators at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), and other policymakers, compare the state of local ecosystems in different countries. It also lets them compare the impacts of different economic futures on nature, in developed and developing countries over the coming decades. Ahead of a pivotal COP meeting next week, Natural History Museum researchers call for evidence-based, ambitious, coordinated action that recognises that all nations are starting from very different levels of biodiversity intactness...

The BII is a rigorous approach to estimating biodiversity loss across an area, using a combination of land use, ecosystem, species and population data to give a simple figure. It is underpinned by a global, open database, which now comprises 4.7 million data points, from over 41,000 sites in over 100 countries – a taxonomically representative set of 58,000 plant, animal and fungal species.

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Professor Andy Purvis led the BII analysis team:   

“Biodiversity loss is just as potentially catastrophic for people as climate change, but the solutions are linked. Stopping further damage to the planet requires big change, but we can do it if we act now, together. Muddling through as we currently are doing is nowhere near enough to halt, let alone reverse, the ongoing worldwide decline in biodiversity.

“It’s imperative world leaders seize this opportunity at COP15 to choose a path to a sustainable future. Global levelling up is also the fairest path. We, the developed world, mustn’t export our biodiversity damage to lower-income countries – which often have many more unique species and whose people often depend critically on what their local ecosystems can provide them with. Governments possess the power – economic, political and legal – to address the planetary emergency, and it looks like there’s still – just – time, but they must act now.

"Many people think of biodiversity as a luxury - as nice-to-have, charismatic, beautiful species. They are good for the soul but no more than that, these people argue. But biodiversity is so much more than that. It is the engine that produces everything that we consume. You can think of it like a wild supermarket that provides us with food and other gifts without us doing anything. The fact that we have several different varieties off apples, tomatoes and other foods is down to biodiversity - and when it is diminished we lose out."

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Comment

This summer I came across one of the most delightful examples of the biodiversity that still exists in the British Isles. It's called a Dryad's Saddle or a Pheasant's Back, and both names seem just right. Apparently, you can cut steaks out of it which are very tasty if the flesh is not too thick nor too old. But I am happy to enjoy this beautiful object's existence for itself, aware that the purpose of nature isn't simply to feed us humans or perform whatever role we designate for it. Nature, of course, is us as well - and the greatest of our tragedies is that we forgot that so long ago, and now we have to relearn it...fast!

 

I am grateful to the Natural History Museum's scientific team for the thoroughness of their research and the precision of their methods - although the message they send to us is hard to take. Let's hope it gets through to the policymakers - not least Boris and his gang of hopers-for-the-best. They keep telling us that soon things will be better, with regard to biodiversity, without actually acting or enacting. Surely even this most indolent and thoughtless of any of the Prime Ministers in my lifetime must get real sometime --- even if only to recognise that being among the worst in the world is not a good look for someone who fancies a place in posterity. GD 

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Windermere

  is dying 

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 Above: Lake Windermere, Cumbria, England   

Top: Algal bloom of Lake Windermere.  Ashley Cooper / Science Photo Library  

Posted October 10, 2021

Windermere - the largest body of water in the English Lake District -  is close to death. As a biological system, this much loved and much exploited lake is under severe stress. This is the claim being made by petitioners to the Environment Secretary, George Eustice, and to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, along with others who are responsible for the health of the lakes, rivers and streams in this precious corner of north-west England. The Lake District is both a National Park and a Unesco World Heritage site. So far, the petitioners' claims remain unchallenged.

“It’s a huge national scandal," says Matt Staniek, a zoologist and conversationist, who is one of the organisers of the protest. "My fear is that with the pressure of increased tourism and climate change, we will soon have an ecologically dead lake in the heart of the national park. Fish and invertebrates are already dying."

 

An agal bloom now covers parts of the lake, a severe symptom of the influx of excessive nitrates and phosphates. This pollution can threaten a wide variety of lifeforms, including human. The petitioners says the major source is a sewage plant in Ambleside, which pours raw sewage into Windermere - for 1,719 hours in 2020. Tourism combined with a lack of modern infrastructure are also to blame: the septic tanks of holiday homes and caravan sites, close to the water, are no longer suitable for such a heavily visited destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Matt Staniek, “the impact this has on the environment is catastrophic. So much so that I have seen a dire reduction of freshwater vegetation, a significant impact on various fish species and an absence of white-clawed crayfish in otter spraint [dung] since 2020. This sort of pollution has a disastrous impact on wildlife.

 

“Recent data from South Cumbria Rivers Trust shows spikes of phosphates which are 1,000 times worse than an ecosystem with high water quality status. Similarly, data from the Salmon and Trout Conservation Trust shows how heavily impacted the River Leven is."

The petition has provoked bland and unconvincing responses from the three organisations that have so far commented. Their comments project complacency rather than action. Perhaps threats from Unesco to withdraw World Heritage status would have a more dramatic effect.

The Lake District National Park Authority said: “We are aware of the lake water quality in Windermere and are working with partners to develop local actions to address this. The strategies set out in our proposed new partnership plan, the management plan for the Lake District, provide a context for this.”

 

United Utilities, responsible for the Ambleside sewage works, said they have already invested £40m in improving both Ambleside and Windermere wastewater treatment plants: "We’re now able to treat much greater volumes of sewage to a much higher standard, reducing the frequency that the system spills into the lake during wet weather.”

 

More than 1,700 hours represents a reduction?

 

The Environment Agency said they take their responsibility to protect the environment very seriously. [Who would have thought?] The regulations are clear and are enforced robustly. Water companies know they have a duty to avoid pollution, and that they must act quickly to address failures and reduce damage if it occurs, or face enforcement action.”

 

The petition can be found online at change.org under the heading "Stop water pollution in the Lake District". It has already gathered more than 80,000 signatures, and has a target of 150,000.

 

 

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