As fires devastate the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, much of the world has been outraged, arguing the loss will accelerate climate change. French President Emmanuel Macron harshly criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for encouraging deforestation. The Group of Seven nations offered $22.2 million to help fight the fires. Some activists want to try Bolsonaro at The Hague for ecocide.
Meanwhile, similarly vast forest fires in Indonesia and Malaysia receive far less attention. In both parts of the world, forest fires usually start as controlled burns set by farmers or plantation companies wanting to clear land for agriculture: soybeans, corn or cattle ranching in the Amazon, and palm oil in Southeast Asia.… Seguir leyendo »
Can democracy and technology help poor countries adapt to extreme weather events? If we look at how one extremely poor state in India managed to save so many citizens from this spring’s devastating cyclone, we might conclude that the answer is yes.
Cyclone Fani was extremely dangerous
Cyclone Fani hit the state of Odisha on India’s eastern coast on May 3. Since Fani had an average wind speed of 120 miles per hour, the India Meteorological Department classified it as an “extremely severe cyclone.” Such cyclones are infrequent: There have only been 39 in the last 50 years. Nearly 60 percent of those are recorded in October through December, after India’s monsoon season, which generally runs from June to September.… Seguir leyendo »
This week India’s capital city, Delhi has been hit with extreme air pollution – so extreme that the city’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described it as a gas chamber. The city’s Air Quality Index has been in the range of 700 to 1,000; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers anything over 300 to be hazardous. The index measures the concentration of particulate matter, microscopic particles that can harm the lungs, causing cancer, exacerbating asthma, and damaging organs.
In response, the city is taking extreme measures. On Tuesday, the Delhi government closed schools for the week. The National Green Tribunal has banned construction, one source of particulate pollution, in the region through November 14; truck and car travel has also been limited.… Seguir leyendo »