Medio ambiente

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo launched the Women4Climate initiative to nurture the next generation of women climate leaders in cities around the world.

While climate change touches us all, its impacts — from heat waves and droughts to hurricanes and floods — disproportionately affect those least responsible for causing it. The elderly, the very young and other marginalized communities are the most at risk. In addition, climate-related disasters affect women disproportionately, throwing into sharp relief the existing societal inequalities between men and women.

Recently a powerful phenomenon has swept the globe. Women are speaking up and rising to leadership positions across business, government and civil society, to deliver urgent action to avert the looming climate crisis.

It was thanks to the tenacity of an exceptional group of women led by Christiana Figueres, former head of the U.N.…  Seguir leyendo » “Empower women to avert climate crisis”

Las empresas y la biodiversidad

En la reunión anual del Foro Económico Mundial celebrada el mes pasado en Davos, la evidencia de las crecientes amenazas que enfrenta la naturaleza y del aporte que esta hace a la humanidad ocupó un lugar mucho más destacado que nunca en la agenda. Los dirigentes empresariales de todo el mundo tienen ante sí la tarea de aceptar esta evidencia y comenzar a actuar como custodios, no saqueadores, de nuestros activos naturales vitales.

La última edición del Informe Global de Riesgos del Foro no se equivoca cuando concluye: “De todos los riesgos, es en relación con el medioambiente donde más se evidencia que el mundo va camino de una catástrofe”.…  Seguir leyendo » “Las empresas y la biodiversidad”

In 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT after mounting evidence of its adverse environmental and toxicological effects.CreditAssociated Press

The age of climate panic is here. Last summer, a heat wave baked the entire Northern Hemisphere, killing dozens from Quebec to Japan. Some of the most destructive wildfires in California history turned more than a million acres to ash, along the way melting the tires and the sneakers of those trying to escape the flames. Pacific hurricanes forced three million people in China to flee and wiped away almost all of Hawaii’s East Island.

We are living today in a world that has warmed by just one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s, when records began on a global scale.…  Seguir leyendo » “Time to Panic”

Wild brumbies running through Australia’s high country.CreditCreditFairfax Media, via Getty Images

Since this country’s founding in the early 20th century, the packs of untamed horses that roam freely through our beautiful and hostile alpine landscape have captured the public’s imagination. The savage grace and freedom of the horses — known here as brumbies — have made them into a popular symbol of the national spirit.

Today, environmentalists want the brumbies shot.

Not since cattle roamed the mountain parks (before a ban in the 1950s) have animals done such damage to the alpine regions that Australians proudly call the “high country.”

A 2014 survey estimated there were more than 9,500 wild horses in the Australian Alps.…  Seguir leyendo » “The Alarming Allure of Australia’s Brumbies”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addresses a crowd at the annual Women's March on 19 January 2019. Ocasio-Cortez is one of the newly-elected Democrats pushing for a Green New Deal. Photo: Getty Images.

Given the partisan state of US politics, how can discussion on climate change be depoliticized? Is there a path forward for bipartisan action on the climate without major changes in US politics?

Donald Trump has taken an active interest in combating the basic facts of climate science. But it hasn’t worked. Indeed Trump’s rhetorical attacks on climate science appear to have backfired. The percentage of Americans that believe in climate science has increased 3 per cent since last March, bringing the total to roughly 73 per cent, and 7 in 10 Americans take this issue personally.

Trump’s attacks on internationalism also seem to be failing at least when it comes to the environment.…  Seguir leyendo » “The Future of US Climate Politics”

Por qué los vehículos eléctricos son necesarios en América Latina

In November, 100 brand-new electric buses rolled off a cargo ship from China at the port of San Antonio on the Chilean coast. Their impressive convoy from the coast to the capital, Santiago, where they will be incorporated into the city’s public fleet, was shared widely on Twitter as evidence of where public transportation is headed in Chile — toward 100 percent electrification by 2050, according to the government’s plans. The new fleet followed a 2016 deal between Italian energy company Enel and Chinese manufacturer BYD to test two pilot buses which proved to considerably cut costs in comparison with diesel vehicles.…  Seguir leyendo » “Why Electric Vehicles Are Gathering Speed in Latin America”

Por qué los vehículos eléctricos son necesarios en América Latina

En noviembre, cien autobuses eléctricos nuevos descendieron de un buque de carga proveniente de China y atracado en el puerto de San Antonio, en la costa chilena. La impresionante caravana desfiló desde la costa hasta la capital, Santiago, donde los vehículos se incorporarán a la flotilla de transporte público de la ciudad. El suceso se compartió en Twitter y ha hecho patente el rumbo que lleva el transporte público en Chile. De acuerdo con los planes del gobierno, para 2050 tendrán un transporte 100 por ciento eléctrico. La nueva flotilla se adquirió gracias a un convenio suscrito en 2016 entre la empresa energética italiana Enel y el fabricante chino BYD para probar dos autobuses piloto, los cuales demostraron recortar considerablemente los costos en comparación con los vehículos que utilizan diésel.…  Seguir leyendo » “¿Por qué los vehículos eléctricos son necesarios en América Latina?”

The Niederaussem coal-fired power plant in Bergheim, Germany. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/EPA

Many agree that one of the most pressing problems the world faces today is climate change. The question of what to do about it, however, has become highly politicised. Scepticism about climate change is typically a conservative position and trust in the conclusions of the scientific community a more progressive one. While this politicisation is perhaps most evident in the United States, it is well known in many other countries.

But this wasn’t always the case. Between 1972 and 1995, a US agency named the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) existed to provide the practical means to help overcome such politicisation.…  Seguir leyendo » “In 1993 my agency warned of climate change. In 1995 it was abolished”

A worker prepares to clean graffiti reading “Macron resignation” on the Arc de Triomphe the day after a French protest of plans to increase the taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.CreditCreditThibault Camus/Associated Press

The angry graffiti have been blasted off the Arc de Triomphe with water jets, leaving unnaturally white patches scarring the base of France’s national monument. The husks of incinerated cars have been cleared from the streets, the glass from shattered store windows swept up. The government has taken steps to appease the demonstrators, which may be working.

With a bit of calm upon us, now would be a good time for those of us concerned about climate change to engage in some introspection.

The violent demonstrations that flared this fall in France were a culmination of decades of rising anger among the working class, it is true, but they were triggered by plans to impose a tax hike on gasoline and diesel fuel at the pump in the name of fighting climate change.…  Seguir leyendo » “Forget the Carbon Tax for Now”

A car burning near the Champs-Élysées during a demonstration in Paris on Saturday.CreditCreditKamil Zihnioglu/Associated Press

The recent publication of the Fourth National Climate Assessment is being hailed as a potent rebuke to President Trump for his do-nothing approach to climate change. Meanwhile, another president is learning that perhaps the only thing worse than doing nothing about climate, politically speaking, is doing something about it.

Emmanuel Macron’s government was forced this week to suspend a planned 6.5-cent-per-liter tax increase on diesel and 2.9 cents on gasoline — collected for the purpose of speeding France’s transition to renewables — after weeks of protests and violent rioting throughout the country. French consumers already pay more than $6 for a gallon of gas, compared to a current national average of $2.44 in the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo » “France’s Combustible Climate Politics”

Una planta geotérmica en Chile Credit Meridith Kohut para The New York Times

Turning Point: A landmark climate report from the United Nations described a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040.

Por mucho tiempo se ha adoptado la actitud de que la naturaleza es un elemento estático al servicio de la humanidad. Sin embargo, aquellos más informados entre nosotros se han dado cuenta de que pensarlo así provocará nuestra ruina. El medioambiente no es una preocupación secundaria; de hecho, es el imperativo que debería dirigir todas nuestras decisiones futuras sobre el desarrollo a largo plazo.

A medida que las naciones industrializadas como Brasil y China siguen creciendo, con sus clases medias en expansión, y después del retiro de Estados Unidos del Acuerdo de París, es más importante que nunca que países pequeños como Chile —aquellos que usualmente padecen de manera más directa los daños costeros por el cambio climático— trabajen para preservar el medioambiente mientras buscan mantener un impulso económico.…  Seguir leyendo » “El medioambiente debería dirigir todas nuestras decisiones sobre desarrollo”

Un parque de remolques destruido por el fuego que arrasó Paradise, California, este mes Credit John Locher/Associated Press

No hace falta decir que el gobierno de Donald Trump está profundamente en contra de la ciencia. De hecho, está en contra de la realidad objetiva. Sin embargo, su control del gobierno sigue siendo limitado: no se extendió lo suficiente para evitar que se diera a conocer la más reciente Evaluación Nacional del Clima, que detalla los impactos actuales y futuros esperados del calentamiento global en Estados Unidos.

Es cierto, el informe se dio a conocer el Viernes Negro, evidentemente con la esperanza de que se perdiera en el alboroto. La buena noticia es que la estrategia no funcionó.

En esencia, esta evaluación confirma, con una gran cantidad de detalles adicionales, lo que cualquiera al tanto de la ciencia climática ya sabía: el cambio climático supone una gran amenaza para el país y ya se están comenzando a sentir algunos de sus efectos adversos.…  Seguir leyendo » “La inmoralidad del negacionismo del cambio climático”

Tourists watching the Perito Moreno Glacier, at Los Glaciares National Park, near El Calafate in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz, last March.CreditCreditWalter Diaz/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Plant and animal species are estimated to be disappearing at a rate 1,000 times faster than they were before humans arrived on the scene. Climate change is upending natural systems across the planet. Forests, fisheries and drinking water supplies are imperiled as extractive industries chew further into the wild.

But there is another, encouraging side to this depressing story: how a simple idea, born in the United States in the 19th century and now racing around the globe, may yet preserve a substantial portion of our planet in a natural state.

It is the idea that wild lands and waters are best conserved not in private hands, locked behind gates, but as public national parks, wildlife refuges and marine reserves, forever open for everyone to experience and explore.…  Seguir leyendo » “We Have to Save the Planet. So I’m Donating One Billion Dollars”

How Scientists Cracked the Climate Change Case

The latest report from the world’s climate scientists has made clear the size of the challenge if the world is to stay below the global warming limit hoped for in the Paris climate agreement. Unfortunately, with current trends we are likely to cross this threshold within the next two decades because we are already two-thirds of the way there.

But how do we know what is driving these climate trends? It comes down to the same kind of detective work that typifies a crime scene investigation, only here we are dealing with a case that encompasses the whole world. Let me give you my view, which does not necessarily represent the position of NASA or the federal government.…  Seguir leyendo » “How Scientists Cracked the Climate Change Case”

Un pingüino adelaida, una de dos especies de pingüinos que viven en la Antártida, en el este del continente Credit Pauline Askin/Reuters

El océano austral de Antártida ha sido explotado por su abundancia, en todos los niveles de la cadena alimenticia, durante más de doscientos años. Los cazadores de focas llegaron a finales del siglo XVIII y para 1825 el lobo fino estaba cerca de la extinción. Los cazadores entonces se enfocaron en otras especies de foca y en los pingüinos para extraer los aceites de su cuerpo. La caza de ballenas comenzó a principios del siglo XX y la presión ejercida por la caza alejó a algunas especies de las aguas antárticas.

Incluso son recogidas cientos de miles de toneladas anuales de kril, aquellas criaturas parecidas al camarón que son una fuente de alimento clave para ballenas, pingüinos, focas y aves marinas.…  Seguir leyendo » “Está en nuestras manos: ¿protegeremos la Antártida o la explotaremos?”

Un pingüino adelaida, una de dos especies de pingüinos que viven en la Antártida, en el este del continente Credit Pauline Askin/Reuters

Antarctica’s Southern Ocean has been exploited for its teeming bounty, from the top of its food chain to the bottom, for more than 200 years. Seal hunters arrived there in the late 1700s and by 1825 fur seals were nearing extinction. Hunters then turned to other seal species, and to penguins, to extract oil from their body fat. Whaling arrived at the turn of the 20th century, with the hunting pressure driving some species from Antarctic waters.

Even krill, the tiny shrimplike creatures that are a key source of food to whales, penguins, seals and seabirds, are being scooped up in hundreds of thousands of tons per year.…  Seguir leyendo » “Will We Protect Antarctica or Exploit It?”

Sunrise over Urmia lake in the north-west region of Iran. Urmia lake has shrunk 80 per cent over the last 30 years due to climate change. Photo: Getty Images

Almost 200 countries signed the Paris agreement in 2015 which included the target of limiting global temperatures to ‘well below 2°C and pursue efforts to below 1.5°C’. However the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published a report warning governments of the significant difference of a 1.5°C warmer world compared with 2°C. How is this different from previous warnings?

Myles Allen, Coordinating Lead Author, IPCC Report: At the time of the Paris agreement there wasn’t a lot of research on what a 1.5°C world meant so governments commissioned the IPCC to write this report. Crucially this report doesn’t tell governments what to do – it’s not the job of the IPCC to prescribe policy – we, as a group of scientists, are just here to inform governments about what the implications of different policies are.…  Seguir leyendo » “Hitting 1.5°C: The Stark Climate Choices for Governments”

El cambio climático es un engaño.

El cambio climático está ocurriendo, pero no es provocado por el hombre.

El cambio climático es provocado por el hombre, pero hacer algo al respecto podría destruir empleos y acabar con el crecimiento económico.

Estas son las etapas de la negación climática. O tal vez sea incorrecto llamarlas etapas, pues los negacionistas en realidad nunca abandonan un argumento, sin importar qué tan plenamente haya sido refutado por la evidencia. Es mejor describirlas como ideas cucaracha: afirmaciones falsas que uno pensaría de las que ya se deshizo, pero que siguen regresando.

De cualquier modo, el gobierno de Trump y sus aliados —a la defensiva por otro huracán mortífero aumentado por el cambio climático y un amenazante informe de las Naciones Unidas— han utilizado todos esos malos argumentos en los últimos días.…  Seguir leyendo » “Trump y los negacionistas del cambio climático”

Last week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was bad news from top to bottom. Dangerous planetary warming is underway, it’s happening faster than scientists predicted, and time is running out to stop it.

The problem seems so intractable, the challenges of addressing it so monumental, as to defy solving. But the history of technology offers reasons for optimism. Major technological transformations can occur over 10 to 30 years. That’s why the time lost since 1992, when governments first signed a landmark climate treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is so distressing. If we had set to work then, as President George H.W.…  Seguir leyendo » “Fixing the Climate Requires More Than Technology”

Stopping Climate Change

On Monday, the world’s leading climate scientists are expected to release a report on how to protect civilization by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Given the rise already in the global temperature average, this critical goal is 50 percent more stringent than the current target of 2 degrees Celsius, which many scientists were already skeptical we could meet. So we’re going to have to really want it, and even then it will be tough.

The world would need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions faster than has ever been achieved, and do it everywhere, for 50 years.…  Seguir leyendo » “Stopping Climate Change Is Hopeless. Let’s Do It.”