World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Deadly storms, deadly addiction: oil and coal

Deadly storms, deadly addiction

By now we all know the science: no single hurricane can be blamed on climate change, in the same way that no single cigarette can be blamed for a cancer death. But as devastating as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may be, they are nothing compared to the devastation that climate change will wreak on our planet if governments fail to address our world's oil and coal addictions.

In the US, some people have lost everything because their government will not take urgent steps to curb global warming. Instead, American taxpayers pay for their country’s oil dependency at the petrol pump and in uninsured liabilities for extreme-weather related damages.

In the Pacific, sea levels rise and cause flooding. In Australia, we suffer drought and soaring temperatures which intensify bushfires. Yet the Howard government will not take action against climate change or lessen our coal addiction.

Global warming, caused by ever increasing consumption of fossil fuels like oil and coal, means extreme weather events are becoming more frequent.

The frequency of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, even though the total number of hurricanes, including weaker ones, has dropped since the 1990s. Katrina was a Category 4 storm when it hit land. Rita was a Category 5 on 22 September.

In the four weeks that the world's press has put a magnifying glass on Katrina and Rita, typhoons in Asia and floods in Europe and India have left ruin and death in their wake. A warming world will bring more destructive storms like Rita and Katrina, as well as increased outbreaks of malaria, the prospect of massive crop failures, desertification and sea level rise.

While everyone on the planet is at risk from global warming, impacts are felt more severely by the most vulnerable, including the sick, aged and poor. And the developing world will suffer far more than those who can afford to subsidise rebuilding.

If the evacuation of Louisiana and Texas looked difficult, imagine the entire country of Bangladesh having to flee rising waters into Pakistan. Imagine entire island nations of the Pacific having to find new homes.

"Rita and Katrina are merely warnings of what our world will look like if we fail to treat climate change as the emergency it is. They're the calm before the storm, and unless the US government wakes up to the danger and responds, we'll need an evacuation plan for planet Earth." Greenpeace International executive director, Gerd Leipold.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>