Buscador avanzado

Members of the Spanish Emergency Military Unit try to put out a wildfire near the village of Verin in northwestern Spain on Aug. 4. Migue Riopa/AFP via Getty Images

As the war in Ukraine continued this summer, with billions of dollars’ worth of military aid pouring into Kyiv from its allies and partners, governments around the world were also busy deploying their militaries to deal with a less conventional threat: climate change.

In Poland, troops disposed of thousands of fish on the banks of the Oder River that had died due to rising water temperatures and pollution. In Mexico, military airplanes tried to spur rain after weeks of drought by seeding clouds with silver iodide and acetone. In Switzerland, the army airlifted water to thirsty livestock in dry mountain pastures.…  Seguir leyendo »

Will our species still exist in a thousand years? Humans have been pootling around on this planet for a tiny slice of its existence, so it stands to reason that at some point in the future, it will be game over for our descendants.

If our time is up long before 3022, then it would be reasonable to assume that the world would not look so very different from today. The atmosphere would be cleaner, of course, in the absence of fossil fuels being burned. The landscape would be a lot greener too, with forests, flowers and weeds reclaiming cities and towns—nature takes back its territory once people disperse or disappear.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un tramo seco del río Jialing, un importante afluente del río Yangtsé, en Chongqing, China. Stringer/EPA vía Shutterstock

El mes pasado viajé con mi esposa y mi hija de cinco años para ir a acampar desde nuestra casa en el suroeste de China.

Nuestro destino era una región de la provincia de Sichuan en la que ríos de agua clara bajan de los Himalayas por entre valles estrechos antes de irrigar las fértiles tierras bajas que ayudan a alimentar al país más poblado del mundo. Mi hija, Evelyn, aprendió a nadar el año pasado y estábamos deseosos de zambullirnos en las frescas y espectaculares pozas de las montañas.

Lo que pasó más bien fue que nos encontramos con una prueba atroz de las consecuencias del cambio climático causadas por la histórica ola de calor en China este verano: paisajes devastados, ciudades paralizadas y poblaciones llevadas al extremo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Unprecedent flooding in Pakistan

August will be one to remember for all the worst reasons. From epic flooding in Pakistan and along the Mississippi, to drought in China and out-of-control fires in Europe, the climate crisis is wreaking havoc on planet Earth on a new scale.

Yet, these disasters and their fallout are not evenly distributed. The Global South -- low or middle income countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean -- is suffering disproportionately, as climate scientists say it will for years to come.

If indeed it is global warming that is causing or even simply aggravating these extreme weather events, as scientists generally concur, then the South's ever angrier nations are completely justified in their demands that the world's wealthier regions -- those ultimately responsible for this made-in-the-developed-world crisis -- pay for its losses.…  Seguir leyendo »

El precio de la energía constituye un verdadero problema social, los expertos indican que son numerosas las causas que han generado la actual espiral inflacionista, entre ellos: la agresión de Rusia a Ucrania, el cierre de yacimientos en explotación, los cambios de modelos productivos y de transporte, las nuevas y más exigentes regulaciones ambientales, etc. Todo ello obliga a realizar una profunda reflexión sobre la necesidad de generar nuevas fuentes de energía que sean estables, sostenibles, asequibles y que aseguren, en la medida de posible, la independencia energética de España.

Asumiendo que no hay una solución única y que la diversificación energética es uno de los puntos clave hacia un nuevo modelo energético, parece que ha llegado el momento de desarrollar nuevas fuentes y sistemas de producción incluyendo el desarrollo masivo de la producción fotovoltaica, el desarrollo de energía geotérmica de alta, media y baja temperatura, la instalación de energía eólica en la plataforma costera.…  Seguir leyendo »

A worker at a farm in Iraq's central Diwaniya province. After decades of war, Iraq faces the challenge of severe water scarcity driven by climate change. Photo: Haidar Indhar, AFP, Getty Images.

The number of armed conflicts in the world has risen markedly over the last decade resulting in large-scale human suffering. Violent conflict is a major driver of humanitarian funding needs and, by the end of this decade, up to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor are expected to live in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Russia’s war in Ukraine is aggravating fragility and conflict challenges globally as soaring food and energy prices hit countries already grappling with instability, unemployment and poverty as well as the health and economic repercussions of COVID-19.

Climate change – a ‘ threat multiplier’ – is also getting worse.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tuvalu, a low-lying South Pacific island nation of about 11,000 people, has been classified as extremely vulnerable to climate change by the United Nations Development Programme. Photo: Getty Images.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent 10-day tour of the Pacific Islands has put China’s Pacific strategy into the global spotlight. Drawing attention to growing US-China strategic competition in the region, the tour has raised the spectre of securitization of the South Pacific. But such concern is overshadowing a long-standing Pacific call for security from a threat of a different kind.

‘Climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific,’ according to the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security, outlined by the Pacific Islands Forum. The need for climate security was re-emphasized recently by Fijian Defense Minister, Inia Seruiratu, who stated, ‘The single greatest threat to our very existence is […] human-induced climate change.…  Seguir leyendo »

A sea turtle swims with scuba divers in the depth of Ras Mohammed protection area near Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. Photo by TARIK TINAZAY/AFP via Getty Images.

As COP26 drew to a close in Glasgow, Egyptian officials announced their priorities for COP27, emphasizing climate finance and climate adaptation – a new approach given previous COPs mainly focused on mitigation, reducing emissions to limit climate damage.

This was followed by the COP27 presidency outlining its vision at MENA Climate Week 2022 to achieve ‘substantive and equal progress’ on all aspects of the negotiations, and Egypt emphasizing its intention to focus on implementing existing carbon reduction targets rather than pushing for further carbon cuts.

Egypt argues it is hosting COP27 on behalf of African nations and that, while it is promoting the interests of the developing world, it will be an impartial arbiter.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘It was none other than Justice Neil Gorsuch’s mother, Anne Gorsuch, who helped Reagan try to strip the EPA for parts.’ Photograph: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

In remarks to the first Earth Day gathering in 1970, the Maine senator Edmund Muskie made the case for the Clean Air Act – a bill he helped draft – in stark terms. “There is no space command center, ready to give us precise instruction and alternate solutions for survival on our spaceship Earth”, he told the crowd. “Our nation – and our world – hang together by tenuous bonds which are strained as they have never been strained before – and as they must never be strained again. We cannot survive an undeclared war on our future”.

In its Thursday ruling on West Virginia v EPA in line with a string of decisions that will make life here more dangerous – the US supreme court all but declared that war, curtailing the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate power plants under a provision of the Clean Air Act and – more worryingly – striking an opening blow to the government’s ability to do its job.…  Seguir leyendo »

US soldiers from the 6th Marine Regiment participate in the international military exercise Cold Response 22, at Sandstrand, North of in Norway, a Norwegian-led exercise for NATO and partner countries. Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and ongoing debates about how to strengthen defence and deterrence on NATO’s eastern flank will rightly dominate discussions and drive the Strategic Concept at the NATO summit in Madrid.

But it is also imperative the summit and the new Strategic Concept lay the groundwork for NATO’s sustained and long-term role in tackling climate change-induced security challenges. In 2021, NATO presented an ambition to become the leading organization in understanding and adapting to the impact of climate change on security.

It is expected to issue its first Climate Change and Security Progress Report in Madrid and it is crucial this maintains the same level of determination to prepare the alliance for climate-related instability.…  Seguir leyendo »

Blade Runner y el motor de explosión

Vi Blade Runner de Ridley Scott nada más estrenarse porque consideraba a Scott un genio del cine (había visto Los duelistas, pero no Alien) y desde ese momento convertí esa película en un argumento constante en mis clases de Filosofía porque no la tomé como una cinta de ciencia ficción sino como una reflexión bastante honda sobre lo que consideramos como humano. Luego leí la novela de Philip K. Dick ¿Sueñan los androides con ovejas eléctricas?, en la que se basaba la cinta, pero la fuerza de las imágenes de Ridley Scott, y la música casi hipnótica de Vangelis, siempre se ha sobrepuesto, en mi caso, al recuerdo lector.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tomates en un invernadero AppHarvest en Morehead, Kentucky. Luke Sharrett para The New York Times

Todo parece indicar que este será un mal año para la agricultura: en el oeste de Estados Unidos hay sequías nunca antes vistas; los agricultores del Valle Central de California están dejando grandes extensiones de tierra fértil sin cultivar. Una ola de frío en enero en Florida devastó los cultivos de tomate y dejó los cultivos vulnerables a las enfermedades. Dos meses después, una helada inusualmente fuerte en las Carolinas dejó a algunos agricultores con muy pocas fresas y arándanos.

Sin embargo, ni la sequía ni las heladas preocupan a los productores de tomates, fresas y otros cultivos que crecen en este momento en enormes invernaderos, algunos de los cuales se extienden a lo largo de 70 hectáreas, en Norteamérica y Europa.…  Seguir leyendo »

The weather station on Bishop Rock on Mount Everest. Tenzing Gyalzen Sherpa/National Geographic

A new landmark greeted mountaineers nearing the summit of Mount Everest this spring: a seven-foot-tall mast of scientific instruments bolted into the coarse shale of an outcropping known as Bishop Rock. It’s only about 130 vertical feet from the 29,032-foot summit, where one can look down the opposite side of the mountain, into China, and see another weather station about an equal distance from the top.

These installations are the highest outposts of two networks of automatic weather stations that stretch up Everest’s two popular routes. This being Everest, where controversy is no stranger, it wasn’t long before a quibble arose over bragging rights.…  Seguir leyendo »

The climate crisis is not a concern only of the rich. Water had to be brought by train to India's state of Rajasthan during May’s global heating-induced heatwave. Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

“What do you mean, ‘why am I working in this heat?’ If I don’t work, we will die of hunger”.

That was how Shiv Kumar Mandal, a Delhi rickshaw driver, explained why he continued to transport passengers during a prolonged and horrific temperature spike that experts attribute to global heating.

Mandal, one presumes, does not consider planetary warming a topic relevant only to the rich.

Yet, in the wake of the Australian federal election, we’re hearing versions of that claim again and again and again.

Think of how Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes – one of the Coalition’s senior spokespeople on climate, no less – recently dubbed warming “almost like a luxury issue”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ya estamos viendo los efectos del cambio climático

Hace unos días, The New York Times publicó un reportaje sobre la desecación del Great Salt Lake o Gran Lago Salado, una historia que me avergüenza admitir que había pasado por alto. No estamos hablando de un acontecimiento hipotético en un futuro lejano: el lago ya ha perdido dos tercios de su superficie y los desastres ecológicos —la salinidad aumenta hasta el punto de que la vida silvestre muere; las ocasionales tormentas de tierra venenosa que recorren un área metropolitana de 2,5 millones de personas— parecen inminentes.

Como nota al margen, me sorprendió un poco que el artículo no mencionara los obvios paralelismos con el mar de Aral, un enorme lago que la Unión Soviética consiguió convertir en un desierto tóxico.…  Seguir leyendo »

The World Can’t Keep Fishing Like This

The World Trade Organization has been struggling for over two decades to reach an agreement among its members to restrict global subsidies to the fishing industry that are pushing some fish stocks to the brink of collapse. As recently as last November, trade negotiators seemed poised to rein in these subsidies, until a spike in Covid-19 delayed the deal.

Now the question is whether an agreement can still be reached when trade ministers from the W.T.O.’s members, representing most of the world’s nations, gather in Geneva for several days of meetings, beginning Sunday. The session comes as some of the world’s fish stocks continue to decline from rampant overfishing that threatens their sustainability.…  Seguir leyendo »

El tren bala japonés emitía un ruido ensordecedor cada vez que salía de un túnel. Un ruido que podía escucharse a 400 metros de distancia y que traía de cabeza a los vecinos que vivían cerca de las vías. Por suerte para ellos, uno de los ingenieros de la compañía ferroviaria japonesa, Eiji Nakatsu, era un ávido pajarero. En una de sus salidas al campo, se fijó en un martín pescador, esa vistosa ave azul eléctrico que custodia nuestros ríos. Es conocida su habilidad para zambullirse y pescar, un proceso en el que llega a alcanzar velocidades de 40 kilómetros hora, midiendo apenas un palmo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Chinese President Xi Jinping makes an inspection tour in Hebei province, China, on Aug. 23, 2021. Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via Getty Images

During a 2013 visit to Kazakhstan, Chinese President Xi Jinping first articulated his vision of an eco-friendly developmental policy. He announced: “We want to have not only mountains of gold but also mountains of green. If we must choose between the two, we would rather have the green than the gold. And in any case, green mountains are themselves gold mountains”.

Since 2013, this “two mountains” theory, as Chinese state-run media calls it, has become a core part of Xi’s political rhetoric and strategic vision for China’s eco-friendly economic future. It might seem a strange choice for an ecological vision usually more associated with forests and fields than jagged slopes.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Devegecidi Dam in Diyarbakir, Turkey is in danger of drought due to climate change. Photo: Bestami Bodruk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

In October 2021, the Turkish government announced a U-turn in its climate policy. Having joined the Paris Agreement last year, after years of tactical delay, the government announced a series of climate policies, from an unexpected 2053 carbon neutrality target, alongside a national Green Development Initiative, to the development of a National Green Finance Strategy by the end of 2023.

This policy shift has been driven by a number of changes in Turkey’s economic and political landscape. Firstly, Ankara has attempted to position itself better in order to access growing climate finance flows, and a promise made by the World Bank, and a number of European development banks, to Turkey to provide climate finance if Turkey joins the Paris Agreement has been pivotal.…  Seguir leyendo »

Gasoline prices hover around $4 a gallon for the least expensive grade at several gas stations in Washington, D.C., on April 11. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As motorists make plans for the summer driving season, U.S. gasoline prices are near record highs. Yet some relief may be in sight: Falling oil prices mean pump prices should dip below $4 per gallon in the coming weeks—though the looming risk of further disruptions to Russian oil supply means the relief risks proving short lived.

A key reason for the lower oil prices was the Biden administration’s recent announcement of the largest release of oil in U.S. history from the nation’s strategic stockpiles, followed by a smaller, but still sizable, release from European countries. In explaining this move, U.S. President Joe Biden acknowledged a difficult truth: More fossil fuels are required at this time to meet the world’s current energy needs.…  Seguir leyendo »