As recently reported in the Financial Times, if every British person sent one fewer thank you email a day, it would save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year, equivalent to tens of thousands of flights to Europe.
In his book After Sustainability, author John Foster approaches the issue of climate change as a philosopher, and he’s convinced that denial is not just something that the bad guys do. We’re all involved in a complex culture of denial, he suggests, and climate activists are as likely to be caught up in it as everyone else.
As seas rise and coastal storms intensify, policymakers and low-lying cities around the globe are increasingly wrestling with the reality of needing to relocate entire communities to higher, safer ground. Scientists estimate that up to 340 million people in coastal areas could be displaced by 2050, and 630 million by 2100, in locations from the United States to Nigeria to the Philippines.
The Sentinel-6 will see details that previous sea level missions couldn’t. Existing satellites can track large phenomena stretching thousands of miles, such as the Gulf Stream and weather patterns like El Niño and La Niña. But smaller sea-level fluctuations near coastlines exceed their abilities. Sentinel-6’s higher resolution measurements will enable researchers to see finer, more complicated ocean features, especially near shorelines. It will also offer faster data turnarounds—collecting, processing, and releasing data within three hours, down from months and years. The data can be used to more quickly and accurately predict, map, and 3D model coastline changes; weather, such as hurricane intensity; ocean current fluctuations, which dissipate climate energy; and ocean topography and circulation, as movement of heat, salt, pollution, and nutrients impacts marine ecosystems.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tabled new legislation today that would force current and future federal governments to set binding climate targets to get Canada to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “Just like with COVID-19, ignoring the risks of climate change isn’t an option,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “That approach would only make the costs higher and the long-term consequences worse. Canadians have been clear — they want climate action now.”
Ask climate scientists how fast the world’s oceans are creeping upward, and many will say 3.2 millimeters per year—a figure enshrined in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, from 2014. But the number, based on satellite measurements taken since the early 1990s, is a long-term average. In fact, the global rate varied so much over that period that it was hard to say whether it was holding steady or accelerating.
“2021 must be the year of a great leap towards carbon neutrality,” said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General to a virtual gathering of influential leaders on Monday. “Every country, city, financial institution and company should adopt plans for transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050.” “By early 2021, countries representing more than 65 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions and more than 70 per cent of the world economy are very likely to have made ambitious commitments to carbon neutrality,” he said. “The signal this sends to markets, institutional investors and decision-makers is clear. Carbon should be given a price. We must shift the tax burden from income to carbon, from taxpayers to polluters.” He added that financial reporting on exposure to climate risks should be made mandatory, while authorities must integrate the carbon neutrality goal into economic and fiscal policies in order to truly transform industry, agriculture, transportation and the energy sector.