La COVID-19 llevó a la muerte de más de 500 000 personas en el mundo, enfermó a millones y sigue causando estragos. Pero, como dice el refrán —y sin pretender minimizar esta tragedia humana de manera alguna— no hay mal que por bien no venga. Si tomamos las decisiones correctas a medida que los confinamientos se relajen, tal vez la pandemia le haya tendido una mano a la humanidad para lidiar con el desafío mucho mayor del cambio climático.
Antes de que el coronavirus nos golpeara, los activistas como yo habíamos prácticamente renunciado a la esperanza de que el mundo cumpliría la meta del pacto climático de París de limitar el calentamiento global a entre 1,5 y 2 °C sobre los niveles preindustriales, parecía que en lugar de eso el mundo se calentaría entre 3 y 4 °C.… Seguir leyendo »
Call it the “Coalition of the Ignorant.” By the first week of October, 17 European countries — including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland — had used new European Union rules to announce bans on the cultivation of genetically modified crops.
These prohibitions expose the worrying reality of how far Europe has gone in setting itself against modern science. True, the bans do not apply directly to scientific research, and a few countries — led by England — have declared themselves open to cultivation of genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.s. But the chilling effect on biotech science in Europe will be dramatic: Why would anyone spend years developing genetically modified crops in the knowledge that they will most likely be outlawed by government fiat?… Seguir leyendo »
Mohammed Rahman doesn’t know it yet, but his small farm in central Bangladesh is globally significant. Mr. Rahman, a smallholder farmer in Krishnapur, about 60 miles northwest of the capital, Dhaka, grows eggplant on his meager acre of waterlogged land.
As we squatted in the muddy field, examining the lush green foliage and shiny purple fruits, he explained how, for the first time this season, he had been able to stop using pesticides. This was thanks to a new pest-resistant variety of eggplant supplied by the government-run Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute.
Despite a recent hailstorm, the weather had been kind, and the new crop flourished.… Seguir leyendo »
What a strange turn of events. Instead of uniting the environmental movement in renewed opposition to nuclear power, the Fukushima disaster in Japan has divided it still further. An increasing number of green advocates, including some very prominent voices, have declared their support for nuclear power as a clean energy option, even as radioactive water accumulates and the timeline for cleaning up the contaminated areas extends by decades. Can they be serious?
They can. The irony of Fukushima is that in forcing us all to confront our deepest fears about the dangers of nuclear power, we find many of them to be wildly irrational — based on scare stories propagated through years of unchallenged mythology and the repeated exaggerations of self-proclaimed "experts" in the anti-nuclear movement.… Seguir leyendo »
Sometimes we need to think the unthinkable, particularly when dealing with a problem as dangerous as climate change - there is no room for dogma when considering the future habitability of our planet. It was in this spirit that I and a panel of other specialists in climate, economics and policy-making met under the aegis of the Stockholm Network thinktank to map out future scenarios for how international policy might evolve - and what the eventual impact might be on the earth's climate. We came up with three alternative visions of the future, and asked experts at the Met Office Hadley Centre to run them through its climate models to give each a projected temperature rise.… Seguir leyendo »
The battle to find the funds
Easy. They must sustain a two-pronged approach: mitigation and adaptation. The only suitable response is a binding international framework to curb greenhouse gas emissions beyond the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. We have to take steps to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities to the impact of climate change. To achieve the global development agenda, we must integrate environmental policies with social and economic policies. It will take huge resources to fund the adaptation to the actual impact of climate change on communities around the world. Funding must be a part of any serious solution to the climate change predicament we face.… Seguir leyendo »