Climate change set to worsen resource degradation, conflict, report says

Climate change set to worsen resource degradation, conflict, report says
Clouds gather but produce no rain as cracks are seen in the dried up municipal dam in drought-stricken Graaff-Reinet, South Africa, November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

LINK TO ARTICLE: https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/embargo-climate-change-set-worsen-resource-degradation-conflict-report-says-2021-10-07/

A vicious cycle linking the depletion of natural resources with violent conflict may have gone past the point of no return in parts of the world and is likely to be exacerbated by climate change, a report said on Thursday.

Food insecurity, lack of water and the impact of natural disasters, combined with high population growth, are stoking conflict and displacing people in vulnerable areas, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) think-tank said.

IEP uses data from the United Nations and other sources to predict the countries and regions most at risk in its “Ecological Threat Register”.

Serge Stroobants, IEP director for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa said the report identified 30 “hotspot” countries – home to 1.26 billion people – as facing most risks.

This is based on three criteria relating to scarcity of resources, and five focusing on disasters including floods, droughts and rising temperatures.

“We don’t even need climate change to see potential system collapse, just the impact of those eight ecological threats can lead to this – of course climate change is reinforcing it,” Stroobants said.

Afghanistan gets the worst score on the report, which says its ongoing conflict has damaged its ability to cope with risks to water and food supplies, climate change, and alternating floods and droughts.

Conflict in turn leads to further resource degradation, according to the findings.

Six seminars including governments, military institutions and development groups last year returned the message that “it is unlikely that the international community will reverse the vicious cycles in some parts of the world”, IEP said.

This is particularly the case in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, which has seen more and worsening conflicts over the last decade, it said.

“With tensions already escalating, it can only be expected that climate change will have an amplifying effect on many of these issues,” the report said.

(This story corrects to remove extraneous word from headline, no change to text.)

Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Barbara Lewis

 

Shed A Light: Rupert Read – This civilization is finished: so what is to be done?

Rupert Read, Environmental Philosopher and Chair of Green House Think Tank.

The Paris Agreement explicitly commits us to use non-existent, utterly reckless, unaffordable and ineffective ‘Negative Emissions Technologies’ which will almost certainly fail to be realised. Barring a multifaceted miracle, within a generation, we will be facing an exponentially rising tide of climate disasters that will bring this civilization down. We, therefore, need to engage with climate realism. This means an epic struggle to mitigate and adapt, an epic struggle to take on the climate-criminals and, notably, to start planning seriously for civilizational collapse.

Dr Rupert Read is a Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia. Rupert is a specialist in Wittgenstein, environmental philosophy, critiques of Rawlsian liberalism, and philosophy of film. His research in environmental ethics and economics has included publications on problems of ‘natural capital’ valuations of nature, as well as pioneering work on the Precautionary Principle. Recently, his work was cited by the Supreme Court of the Philippines in their landmark decision to ban the cultivation of GM aubergine. Rupert is also chair of the UK-based post-growth think tank, Green House, and is a former Green Party of England & Wales councillor, spokesperson, European parliamentary candidate and national parliamentary candidate. He stood as the Green Party MP-candidate for Cambridge in 2015.

About the series
Shed A Light is a series of talks that seek to present alternative framings of future human-nature interactions and the pragmatic solution pathways that we could take to get there.

By recognising the interlinkages between struggles for ecological, social and economic justice in addition to the desperate need for immediate societal transformation, Shed A Light aims to engage everyone with the green agenda and prompt broad-based discussions on sustainability issues.

Filmed at Churchill College, 7 November 2018.

Merlin: The Influence Of King Arthur’s Magical Mentor | Merlin – The Legend | Chronicle

This ancient story was an influence on Xen: The Zen of the Other

Merlin is the archetypal wizard, Welsh and Celtic in origin but with connections across the water in Cornwall and middle Europe, and, of course, the Arthurian legends. The powerful wizard is portrayed across folklore with many magical powers, including the power of shapeshifting, and is well-known for being King Arthur’s mentor, ultimately guiding him towards becoming the king of Camelot. In this documentary, we take a deep dive into the fantastic world of Merlin and his influence in today’s society.

Climate Change and the Future of Cities | Eric Klinenberg

What qualities help assure that a community can survive the threat of disaster? The population density of cities leads to inherent vulnerabilities to mass climate disasters: such as single point of failure transit systems and utilities built prior to today’s environmental realities. At the same time the resources of cities offer tremendous potential for preparation and innovation.

As a sociologist, Klinenberg brings insights on how neighborhood dynamics (what he calls “social infrastructure”) can help individuals & communities prepare for extreme weather including flooding and heat waves. He discusses how cities can be wiser and think more long-term by planning traditional infrastructure projects which also enable such social infrastructure in their design.

“Climate Change and the Future of Cities” was given on March 07, 02017 as part of The Long Now Foundation’s “Conversations at The Interval” Salon Talks. These hour long talks are recorded live at The Interval, our bar, cafe, & museum in San Francisco. Since 02014 this series has presented artists, authors, entrepreneurs, scientists (and more) taking a long-term perspective on subjects like art, design, history, nature, technology, and time. To follow the talks, you can:

A Former College Professor Accused Of Serial Arson Is Denied Bail In California

Investigators say they’ve linked the Ranch Fire, pictured here shortly after its discovery, and other blazes to Gary Maynard, a former college professor. He is charged with starting only the Ranch Fire.
U.S. Forest Service

 

Firefighters battling the Dixie Fire have also been facing a second enemy: a serial arsonist who went on a spree of setting fires in July and August — and who sought to trap fire crews with his fires, according to agents from the U.S. Forest Service. They allege former college professor Gary Maynard is the culprit, citing their tracking of his movements and other evidence.

“Where Maynard went, fires started. Not just once, but over and over again,” the government said in a court memorandum arguing for Maynard to be denied bail.

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE: https://www.npr.org/2021/08/11/1026700103/former-college-professor-arson-charges-california-dixie-fire

The Heroes of This Novel Are Centuries Old and 300 Feet Tall

THE OVERSTORY
By Richard Powers
502 pp. W.W. Norton & Company. $27.95.

Trees do most of the things you do, just more slowly. They compete for their livelihoods and take care of their families, sometimes making huge sacrifices for their children. They breathe, eat and have sex. They give gifts, communicate, learn, remember and record the important events of their lives. With relatives and non-kin alike they cooperate, forming neighborhood watch committees — to name one example — with rapid response networks to alert others to a threatening intruder. They manage their resources in bank accounts, using past market trends to predict future needs. They mine and farm the land, and sometimes move their families across great distances for better opportunities. Some of this might take centuries, but for a creature with a life span of hundreds or thousands of years, time must surely have a different feel about it.

And for all that, trees are things to us, good for tables, floors and ceiling beams: As much as we might admire them, we’re still happy to walk on their hearts. It may register as a shock, then, that trees have lives so much like our own. All the behaviors described above have been studied and documented by scientists who carefully avoid the word “behavior” and other anthropomorphic language, lest they be accused of having emotional attachments to their subjects.

LINK TO REST OF STORY: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/books/review/overstory-richard-powers.html

LIBGEN LINK: http://libgen.rs/book/index.php?md5=F6AA2C30BD11C9BE06D379C41119B979