Apr 21, †Ј As the world recovers from COVID, we must not let short-term fixes prevent us from addressing longer-term risks like climate change. The response to the pandemic illustrates five actions we can take to address the global climate change crisis. These include making people the priority, listening to global perspectives and trusting experts. Dec 10, †Ј How much renewable energy do we need to stop climate change? We need to increase renewable energy at least nine-fold from where it is today to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid the worst climate change impacts. Every watt that we can shift from fossil fuel to renewables like wind power or solar power is a step in the right.
Sign up here to get it nightly. In the American Southwest, birds fell dead from the sky by the tens of thousands, succumbing mid-flight to starvation, emaciated by climate change.
Across the horn of Africa swarmed billion locusts, 25 for every human on earth, darkening the sky in clouds as big as whole cities, descending on cropland and chewing through as much food as tens of millions of people eat in a day, eventually dying in such agglomerating mounds they stopped trains in their tracks Ч all told, 8, times as many locusts as could be expected in the absence of warming.
The fires, you know. Or do you? In California intwice as much land burned as had ever burned before in any year in the modern history of the state Ч five of the six biggest fires ever recorded.
All year, a planet transformed by the burning of carbon discharged what would have once been called portents of apocalypse. Our time has been so stuffed with disasters that it was hard to see the arrival of perhaps the unlikeliest prophecy of all: that the plague year may have marked, for climate change, a turning point, and for the better.
When trying to share good news about climate, it pays to be cautious, since so many have looked foolish playing Pollyanna. Already, a future without profound climate suffering has been almost certainly foreclosed by decades of inaction, which means the burden of managing what can we do against climate change impacts equitably will be handed down, generation to generation, into an indefinite and contested climate future.
But if the arrival of Joe Biden in the White House feels like something of a fresh start, well, to a degree it is. The change is much bigger than the turnover of American leadership. By the time the Biden presidency finds its footing in a vaccinated world, the bounds of climate possibility will have been remade. Now, thanks to the rapid death of coal, the revolution in the price of renewable energy, and a global climate politics forged by a generational awakening, the expectation is for about three degrees.
Recent pledges could bring us closer to two. All of these projections sketch a hazardous and unequal future, and all are clouded with uncertainties Ч about the climate system, about technology, about the dexterity and intensity of human response, about how inequitably the most punishing impacts will be distributed. Yet if each half-degree of warming marks an entirely different level of suffering, we appear to have shaved a few of them off our likeliest end stage in not much time at all.
The next half-degrees will be harder to shave off, and the most what are the different types of shorelines increment Ч getting from two degrees to 1. It also appears, miraculously, within reach. In December, a month after Biden was elected promising to return the U. They were five of the six hottest on record. The sixth wasthe year the agreement was signed. They were also the years with the highest levels of carbon output in the history of humanity Ч with emissions equivalent to what was produced by all human and industrial activity from the speciation of Homo sapiens what is a carriage style home the start of World War II.
They have also been the five years in which the nations of the world Ч and cities and regions, individuals and institutions, corporations and central banks Ч have made the most ambitious pledges of future climate action. Most of them were made in the past 12 months, in the face of the pandemic. Or, perhaps, to some degree, because of it Ч because the pandemic demanded a full-body jolt to the global political economy, provoking much more aggressive government spending, a much more accommodating perspective on debt, and a much greater openness to large-scale actions and investments of the kind that might plausibly reshape the world.
And because decarbonization has come to seem, even to those economists and policy-makers blinded for decades to the moral and humanitarian cases for reform, a rational investment.
There are two ways of looking at these seemingly contradictory sets of facts. The first is that how to spot fake china glaze nail polish distance between what is being done and what needs to be done is only growing.
This is the finding of, among others, the U. To bring the planet in reach of the 1. It is also the perspective of Greta Thunberg, who has spent the pandemic year castigating global leaders for paying mere lip service to far-off decarbonization targets and who called the E.
The second is that all of the relevant curves are bending Ч too slowly but nevertheless in the right direction. Today, business as usual no longer means a fivefold increase of coal use this century, as was once expected. It means pretty rapid decarbonization, at least by the standards of history, in which hardly any has ever taken place before. Both of these perspectives are true. The gap is real, and the world risks tumbling into it, subjecting much of the global South to unconscionable punishments all the way down.
But they did win something. Instead, to an unprecedented degree, they infiltrated it. Or perhaps they were appropriated by it. It will take time, of course, for voters to see empty rhetoric for what it is, and for consumers to learn to distinguish, say, between the claims of guiltless airline tickets, or between carbon-free foods in the supermarket aisle.
In the political sphere, the uneasy alliance between activists and those in power will be tested, producing new conflicts, or new equilibria, or both. Climate expertise has been distributed throughout the incoming administration, as was promised during a campaign that closed, remarkably, with a climate-focused advertising blitz.
In the U. Did you even notice? That does limit what can be achieved, but it also means avoiding a protracted battle over climate as a referendum on the identity of the nation. And at least nominally, having been pressured by activists to do so, Biden is promising to multiply the green how to get rid of painful verrucas in that recent stimulus by a factor of The numbers are numbingly large Ч reminders that in the midst of pandemic turmoil, the rules of state spending have been dramatically revised and perhaps even suspended.
Is this global free-spending binge the beginning of a new era or merely a crisis interregnum to be followed by a new new austerity? That is going to determine the logic, the what does an overshoot of an ecological footprint mean, and certainly the carbon intensity of the global economy at least for a decade, if not more.
For those dreaming of a climate recovery, the first round of spending was not so encouraging. The E. The U. But in October, a team of researchers including Joeri Rogelj of the Imperial College of London calculated that just one-tenth of the COVID stimulus spending already committed around the world, directed toward decarbonization during each of the next five years, would be sufficient to deliver the goals of what can we do against climate change Paris agreement and stop global warming well below two degrees.
That analysis may be a touch optimistic, but the level of spending seems, now, doable. But the past four years of missing leadership have produced astonishing gains.
The price of solar energy has fallen ninefold over the past decade, as has the price of lithium batteries, critical to the growth of electric cars. Wind power is 40 percent cheaper than it was a decade ago, with offshore wind experiencing an even steeper decline.
Overall, renewable energy is less expensive than dirty energy almost everywhere on the planet, and in many places it is simply cheaper to build new renewable capacity than to continue running the old fossil-fuel infrastructure.
Oil demand and carbon emissions may both have peaked this year. This summer, I heard the Australian scientist and entrepreneur Saul Griffith talk about what it would take to get the U. He said it would mean that how to scare away hawks from yard inthis year, every single person buying a new car would have to be buying an electric one.
That seems unrealistic, I thought, making how to repaint barbie face note of it as a useful benchmark illustrating just how far we have to go. Then, in the fall, the U. Similar plans are now in place in 16 other countries, plus Massachusetts and California. Canada recently raised its tax on carbon sixfold.
Italy cut its power-sector emissions 65 percent between andand Denmark is now aiming to reduce its overall emissions 70 percent by Now, of course, we have set even higher standards. In the midst of the pandemic, new net-zero pledges, far more ambitious than those offered at Paris, were independently made by Japan, South Korea, the E.
These are all just paper promises, of course, and the history of climate action is littered with the receipts of similar ones uncashed. Plot the growth of carbon concentration in the atmosphere against the sequence of climate-action conferences and a distressing pattern emerges: the World Meteorological Conference ofthe U.
Before the industrial revolution, humans had never known an atmosphere with even parts per million. Inevitably now, within a few years, the concentration will reach levels not seen since 3. And for all their momentum, renewables still only make up 10 percent of global electricity production. But alarmists have to take the good news where they find it. And while mood affiliation is not always the best guide to the state of the world, infor me, there were three main sources of hope. The first is the fact how to password protect onenote 2010 the age of climate denial is over, thanks to extreme weather and the march of science and the historic labor of activists Ч climate strikers, Sunrise, Extinction Rebellion Ч whose success in raising alarm may have been so sudden that they brought an end to the age of climate Jeremiahs as well.
Their voices now echo in some unlikely places. The cultural cachet of oil companies is quickly approaching that of tobacco companies. Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil aside, practically every leader of every country and every major figure in every corporate and industrial sector now feels obligated Ч because of protest and social pressure, economic realities, and cultural expectation Ч to at least make a show of support for climate action.
It would be nice not to have to count that as progress, but it is. The questions how to find q1 and q3 How much does it matter? And what will follow? Disinformation and human disregard are not the only instruments of delay, and the age of climate denial is likely to yield first not to an age of straightforward climate deliverance but to one characterized by climate hypocrisy, greenwashing, and gaslighting.
But those things, ugly and maddening and even criminal as they are, have always been with us. It is the other thing that is new.
The second source of good news is the arrival on the global stage of climate self-interest. A decade ago, many of the more ruthless capitalists to analyze that project deemed it too expensive to undertake.
Today, it suddenly appears almost too good a deal to pass up. The logic may be clearest in considering the effects of air pollution, which kills an estimated 9 million people per year.
In India, where more than 8 percent of GDP is lost to pollution, poor air quality is also responsible formiscarriages and stillbirths every year. Globally, coal kills one person for every thousand people it provides power to, and even in the U. Of course, countries all around the world are incorporating those considerations too, turning the page on a generation of economic analysis that said decarbonization was too costly and its benefits too small to sell to the public as upside.
What is perhaps most striking about all the new climate pledges is not just that they were made in the absence of American leadership but that they were made outside the boundaries of the Paris framework. They are, instead, plans arrived at internally, in some cases secretly. There was, in other words, no collective-action problem on climate after all. For a generation, the argument for climate action was made on a moral how to make buttoned headboard. That case has only grown stronger.
And now there are other powerful, more mercenary arguments to offer.
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Jan 01, †Ј For: There is a conclusive body of evidence to support the existence of manmade climate change. By Peter Landon. Speaking as a palaeoclimatologist, reconstructing past climates, one of the key lines of evidence for human impact on climate change is that over the past few millennia we have never seen such a rate or magnitude of warming that we see now.. Past climate tells us about trends . Oct 12, †Ј The United Nations report on climate change released this week contains some dire news for humanity: It says we have less than two decades and plenty of . Climate change can no longer be siloed from our other priorities. It must be at the center of policymaking. This is crucial for U.S. territories and Freely Associated States, which suffer the most.
Around the world, people are experiencing both the subtle and stark effects of climate change. Gradually shifting weather patterns, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events are devastating evidence of both a rapidly changing climate and an urgent need for solutions.
People already burdened by poverty and oppression often suffer the harshest consequences, while having the least ability to cope. Their struggle to earn a living, feed their families and create stable homes is made more difficult every day the climate crisis continues.
The increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires and droughts threaten lives in these front-line communities, driving people from their homes and jeopardizing food sources and livelihoods. All these effects increase the likelihood of more conflict, hunger and poverty. Still, the people most at risk are persisting despite it, fighting to grow food, maximize dwindling resources and withstand recurring disasters.
The actions people in hard-hit regions are taking every day to overcome the burdens of the climate crisis are just as vital as widespread solutions. And the steps we take now as a global community, including supporting those on the front lines who are braving the challenge, will determine our resilience for the future.
The time for this action is now, with the U. The climate crisis discriminates, but the efforts to fight it cannot. Mercy Corps partners with people and communities facing the starkest effects of climate change, connecting them to information and tools to protect themselves, overcome challenges and thrive in the changing environment. Read on to learn more about how climate change triggers conflict and exacerbates hunger and poverty for these communities, as well as what Mercy Corps is doing to help them become stronger and more resilient in the face of change.
Climate change places compounded stress on our environment, as well as the economic, social and political systems people depend on for food, safety and income. Climate change threatens the cleanliness of our air, depletes our water sources and limits food supply. It disrupts livelihoods, forces families from their homes and pushes people into poverty. Research from revealed the planet had lost around one-third of its arable land in the previous 40 years, in large part due to climate disasters and poor conservation.
And every year more trees and soil are lost. More than 1. Soil, which is essential for healthy crops and ecosystems, is being lost between 10 and times faster than it is forming, though recent research suggests conservation measures can help substantially.
Meanwhile, natural disasters have become more frequent and destructive. These damages can be nearly impossible for families living in poverty to overcome. As climate events worsen, people are also threatened by more gradual changes, such as climbing temperatures and declining rainfall. Droughts alone impact around 55 million people every year , and the damage hits the agriculture industry Ч the primary source of food and income for many people in developing countries Ч particularly hard.
As these situations grow more desperate, food shortages can force families to leave their homes and migrate to other countries.
Where institutions and governments are unable to manage the stress or absorb the shocks of a changing climate, instability will remain an ongoing threat.
Increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, shifting seasons and natural disasters disproportionately threaten these populations, endangering their livelihoods and increasing their risk of poverty and hunger. The majority of people living in poverty rely on agriculture and natural resources to survive. For these people, the effects of climate change Ч shifting weather, limited water sources and increased competition for resources Ч are a real matter of life and death.
Climate change has turned their lives into a desperate guessing game. As the effects of climate change increase for these populations, so must the ingenuity of our response. Conflict is the primary cause of poverty and suffering in the world today.
By amplifying existing environmental, social, political and economic challenges, climate change increases the likelihood of competition and conflict over resources. It can also intensify existing conflicts and tensions.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, shifts in the timing and magnitude of rainfall undermine food production and increase competition for remaining arable land, contributing to ethnic tensions and conflict. And in places like central Nigeria and Karamoja, Uganda, where resource scarcity has been a long-standing challenge, climate change has further reduced pasture and water sources and resulted in increased competition and violence.
But while climate change can lead to conflict, it can also provide an opportunity for collaboration. These challenges present a unique opportunity for collective action and partnership in order to mitigate the impacts, and the security of front-line communities will depend on cooperation over conflict. Floods and droughts brought on by climate change make it harder to produce food.
As a result, the price of food increases, and access becomes more and more limited, putting many at higher risk of hunger. Undernutrition is the largest health impact of climate change in the 21st century. The vast majority live in low- and middle-income countries Ч research shows hunger to be most prevalent in Africa and rising fastest in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The number of undernourished people in the Latin America and Caribbean region increased by 9 million between and Much of the increase is linked to progressively extreme weather and the growing number of conflicts, which can be driven or exacerbated by climate-related stresses. The Global Report on Food Crises recently reported its highest number of acutely food insecure people on record, some million people across 55 countries and territories, in part due to climate shocks and natural disasters such as flooding, erratic rain, climate-induced displacement and the devastating locust invasion in East Africa.
Rising sea levels, extreme weather events and prolonged drought force millions of people to lose or move away from their homes every year in search of food, water, shelter or jobs.
Meanwhile, gradual changes brought on by deforestation, overgrazing and decreased rainfall slowly transform pastures to dust, destroy crops and kill livestock, effectively challenging the livelihoods of millions of farmers.
Many of these families are forced to leave their homes behind in search of basic necessities and new work. Almost all of these displacements are occurring in low- and middle-income countries, where people have fewer options to cope with progressive shifts or sudden disasters.
The negative impacts of climate change continue to worsen and multiply at dramatic rates, and more ambitious global efforts are necessary to cut emissions and limit the effect of climate change on the planet. Access to clean water is likely to become even more limited, and the risk of hunger and famine will become even greater than it is today. The majority of those at risk live in Africa.
Tens of millions of people are expected to be forced from their homes in the next decade as a result of climate change. This would be the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen. In , the World Health Organization reported climate change is expected to kill an additional , people every year between and , from climate-linked malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress, all while continuing to jeopardize clean air, safe drinking water and sufficient food supply.
A crisis of this scale demands a united, immediate response of an even greater magnitude: one in which we work together to help communities worldwide confront the challenges of today while developing solutions for a safer, more stable future.
In places as diverse as Puerto Rico, Ethiopia, Mongolia and Indonesia, we listen to the climate challenges each community is facing and collaborate with them to develop solutions that will make the biggest impact. This work aims to remove barriers so communities can adapt, innovate and thrive amidst the impacts of climate change, particularly in three areas: disappearing livelihoods and rising hunger, increasing disaster and escalating violence. We support farmers and communities to better manage unpredictable weather patterns and maximize the resources they do have by connecting them with information, tools and services for growing hardier yields and raising livestock.
This includes helping farmers diversify their crops and redesign their farmland to improve their productivity and protect the soil, so they are better equipped to continue growing food and earning income in the face of drought.
We also train herders on how to keep their animals healthy in drier conditions. We link farmers and herders with banking services, such as loans and savings, as well as insurance products , that can help them protect their work and build a financial safety net.
And we use mobile technology to connect them to critical information Ч weather updates, crop prices, e-learning Ч they can leverage to make informed choices on when to plant and sell and how to treat their crops and animals. We also work with communities to strengthen and adapt their local market systems and secure economies that can thrive in a changing climate.
This includes introducing new, locally-produced agricultural supplies, such as drought-resistant seeds and drip irrigation, which helps farmers in places like water-scarce Jordan use limited resources more efficiently.
We also link farmers in Afghanistan and other farming communities with new buyers, enabling individuals to increase their income and encouraging job creation in rural economies. We help communities rebound from disasters while strengthening them to be more resilient for the future. We do this by partnering with them to decrease the risk of damage while equipping themselves to respond in the event of another disaster. To resolve climate-related tension and stop violence before it starts, we help communities and their governments build an environment in which people work together to protect and share natural resources.
We provide opportunities for people to overcome their differences and collectively manage resources, like training community leaders to build conflict management skills and helping people identify shared concerns and solutions. In Uganda, for example, we facilitate resource-sharing agreements and promote cooperation between communities to reduce conflict.
In Nigeria, we teach farmers and herders how to peacefully resolve disagreements over land and water that could otherwise spiral into violence.
Just as the fight against climate change is a collective effort, we see the shared experience of its local impacts as an opportunity for cooperation and collaboration that can reduce the risk of conflict and foster a better future.
Skip to main content. The facts: How climate change affects people living in poverty. What are the biggest effects of climate change? Who is most affected by climate change? How does climate change increase conflict? How does climate change create climate refugees? How is Mercy Corps helping?
There are no yields, and when you go to the shops you find that food prices have gone up, yet you are still jobless. The family relies largely on their crops of coffee, greens and vegetables to survive.
Climate change has lengthened the dry season, and, with it, the time when families must go without food. Mercy Corps is working with farmers like these to grow hardier crops and help strengthen their families. Photo: Sean Sheridan for Mercy Corps. Want to stay connected to our work around the world? We will not share your data and you can unsubscribe at any time. Sign up for our emails.
The relationship [between people] is no longer that good. Take farms and cattle for instance. Since the land is not enough, cattle tend to encroach into farmers' crops. It brings about trouble, crises and the involvement of law enforcement agents. Climate change threatens the world's food supply. Mercy Corps is helping people around the world adapt to climate change. Building climate-resilient livelihoods and food sources We support farmers and communities to better manage unpredictable weather patterns and maximize the resources they do have by connecting them with information, tools and services for growing hardier yields and raising livestock.
Helping communities prepare for worsening disasters We help communities rebound from disasters while strengthening them to be more resilient for the future.
Addressing conflict caused by climate change To resolve climate-related tension and stop violence before it starts, we help communities and their governments build an environment in which people work together to protect and share natural resources.
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