Connect with us

Living

UK’s leader warns climate change threatens world security

Published

on

UK's leader warns climate change threatens world security

UNITED NATIONS — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned world leaders Tuesday that climate change is a threat to security of all nations and sharply criticized people across the globe who say this is “green stuff from a bunch of tree-hugging, tofu-munchers and not suited to international diplomacy and international politics.”

He pointed to the 16 million people displaced by weather-related disasters each year, some becoming easy prey to violent extremists, farmers losing another wheat harvest because of drought and switching to growing opium poppies, and girls forced to drop out of school to search for water becoming prey to human traffickers. He also cited the impacts of changing sea levels and wildfires.

“Whether you like it or not, it is a matter of when, not if, your country and your people will have to deal with these security impacts of climate change,” he warned leaders at a high-level Security Council meeting on climate-related risks to international peace and security.

Chairing the meeting of the U.N.’s most powerful body during the United Kingdom’s presidency this month, Johnson urged the council to demonstrate leadership to protect global peace, security and stability.

John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, thanked European nations for stepping up to tackle climate change during the “inexcusable absence” of the United States during the previous administration.

Former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The world has already warmed 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit since the mid-19th century and the goal now is to prevent an additional 0.3 degrees Celsius (0.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming from now.

Kerry said President Joe Biden knows there is “not a moment to waste” and his administration aims to put the United States on a route to cutting fossil fuel emissions in a way that is, “and I emphasize, irreversible by any president, by any demagogue in the future.”

That appeared to be one of the most explicit assurances from the Biden administration that foreign countries should go ahead and make deals with the administration on climate despite fears that Trump or one of his populist “America First” supporters will take power again in 2024.

Kerry called the climate crisis “indisputably a Security Council issue,” saying the Pentagon has described it as “a threat multiplier.” But even though climate change has been repeatedly called “an existential threat,” he said, “we honestly have yet as a world to respond with the urgency required.”

He called the U.N. climate conference that Britain is hosting in Glasgow in November “literally our last best hope to get on track and get this right.” Nations are expected at the conference to come up with more ambitious pollution cuts.

Saying he was “very happy” to see the United States back at the table, France’s President Emmanuel Macron warned that “a failure on climate would undermine efforts to prevent conflicts and consolidate peace.”

He called on U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a U.N. envoy for climate security, who would be required to report annually, saying “what is at stake is our health, our lives and the stability of our planet.”

China’s special envoy for climate change, Xie Zhenhua, echoed that “climate change has become a pressing and serious threat to the survival, development and security of humankind.”

“The country met its 2020 targets ahead of schedule,” Xie said, adding that “China now has the largest number of new energy vehicles in the world.”

China and Russia have repeatedly objected to the Security Council discussing climate change.

Xie called it “a development issue” and Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who welcomed the U.S. return to the Paris climate agreement, said it should be discussed in other U.N. bodies.

“We agree that climate change and environmental issues can exacerbate conflict, but are they really the root cause of these conflicts?” Nebenzia asked. “There are serious doubts about this.”

Reflecting Moscow’s opposition to council involvement, Nebenzia was the only U.N. ambassador to join presidents, prime ministers, other ministers and climate envoys in speaking.

U.S. envoy Kerry countered opponents of council involvement, calling the climate threat “so massive, so multifaceted,” and warning: “We bury our heads in the sand at our own peril. It is time to start treating the climate crisis like the urgent security threat that it is.”

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta stressed the impact of climate and security on Africa, which he lamented “unfortunately will suffer the worst consequences of climate change despite being the least responsible for global greenhouse gases.”

He said the drought-stricken Horn of Africa, drying of the Lake Chad basin, shrinking of the Sahel and savannah grasslands “and worsening economic vulnerabilities have set in motion political, demographic, migratory dynamics that increase the threat of insurgency and violent extremism.”

Secretary-General Guterres said “much more needs to be done” and urged a greater focus on reaching the Paris goals, saying “we look to the major emitters to lead by example in the coming months.”’

The U.N. chief called for a dramatic increase in investments to protect countries, communities and people “from increasingly frequent and severe climate impacts,” a scaling up of early warning systems, and addressing the poverty, lack of food and displacement caused by climate disruptions that contribute to conflict.

Renowned British broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough, in a video message played just before Johnson officially opened the meeting, warned that “if we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that bring us our security” including good, water, habitable temperatures and food from the oceans.

“We have left the stable and secure climatic period that gave birth to our civilization,” he said. “There is no going back.”

But Attenborough said “if we act fast enough we can reach a new stable state” and the U.N. conference in November “may be our last opportunity to make this step change.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Living

Bill Gates said to be growing potatoes for McDonald’s fries

Published

on

By

Bill Gates said to be growing potatoes for McDonald's fries

Next time you savor a McDonald’s french fry, remember to thank Bill Gates for the tasty spud.

As reported in The Post, the soon-to-be single computer magnate happens to own more farmland than anyone else in the United States. Known for loving fast food — although his burger of choice comes from the Washington-based chainlet Burgermaster — Gates, according to NBC News, grows potatoes for McDonald’s in fields so vast they can be scoped from outer space.

Although Gates has focused his energies on saving our climate, he has made clear that the tater patches are strictly money-making operations.

“My investment group chose to do this,” stated Farmer Bill during an AMA on Reddit. “It is not connected to climate.”

Considering that Gates is said to own 269,000 acres of fertile land in 18 states, it’s easy to imagine him keeping track of it all on some souped-up series of spreadsheets. If so, gangs of divorce lawyers — including some who worked on the Jeff Bezos bust-up — have surely been scrutinizing the potato haul. Gates, the fourth-richest person in the world, married his impending ex, Melinda, without a prenuptial agreement, so they will be splitting property via a so-called “separation contract.”

No word on whether or not she will soon reign as McDonald’s potato queen.

Continue Reading

Living

Honeybee worker can produce millions of identical clones, study shows

Published

on

By

Honeybee worker can produce millions of identical clones, study shows

A South African subspecies of the honeybee is reportedly able to produce millions of clones of itself. 

According to new research published in the journal Current Biology and Proceedings of the Royal Society B, one such insect – known as the Cape honeybee or Apis mellifera capensis– has managed to do so many times over the past 30 years. 

It’s a process called thelytokous parthenogenesis, which a group of international scientists said is akin to the “virgin birth of a female.” 

While asexual reproduction is fairly common, genetically identical offspring is not. 

The exchange of genetic material between different organisms, or “recombination,” normally leads to the production of offspring with combinations of different traits.

If there even is only one parent, New Scientist noted, offspring born from thelytokous parthenogenesis will still be born with a slightly different genetic makeup.

And yet, the worker Cape honeybee has reportedly found a way to reduce recombination and remain genetically healthy, whereas asexual reproduction has been lethal in honeybees before, resulting in inbred larvae that don’t survive. 

“For workers, it is important to reduce the frequency of recombination so as to not produce offspring that are homozygous.”

In order to learn more, the paper’s authors “experimentally manipulated” Cape workers and Cape queens to reproduce thelytokously.

“The two female castes of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, differ in their mode of reproduction. While workers always reproduce thelytokously, queens always mate and reproduce sexually,” the researchers explained in the paper’s abstract.

Performing fieldwork at South Africa’s Plant Protection Research Institute in Stellenbosch, the team instrumentally inseminated a queen with the semen of a single male and then introduced a brood comb holding several hundred eggs laid by the queen into a colony to be reared. 

Queens were made to reproduce asexually using what researchers said amounted to a “chastity belt.”

“When the queens were 5 days post eclosion we constrained them in an artificial insemination apparatus [37] without narcosis. We then glued a 5 mm piece of surgical tape (Micropore, 3M, Minnesota) over the sting chamber using nail varnish,” the paper explained. 

The researchers monitored the queens, confirming the chastity belts were intact after each flight around the colony and, eventually, compared asexually reproduced larvae of the queen to those of the workers.

“We monitored the queens closely for the next two weeks, to determine if and when oviposition had commenced. We collected larvae as soon as they appeared into ethanol,” the researchers wrote.

“Not all queens flew, not all returned from mating flights, and not all laid. In the end, we were able to harvest one queen and 25 of her larval progeny into ethanol.”

The group also genotyped four workers and 63 of their larvae.

Ultimately, the authors found that the queen showed levels of genetic recombination 100 times more than seen in the cloned offspring of the worker bees.

“Using a combination of microsatellite genotyping and whole-genome sequencing we find that a reduction in recombination is confined to workers only,” the abstract concluded.

Continue Reading

Living

Russia’s navy kicks off large-scale drills in Pacific ocean

Published

on

By

Russia's navy kicks off large-scale drills in Pacific ocean

Large-scale drills of Russia’s Pacific Fleet began in the central part of the Pacific Ocean, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported on Thursday, June 10.

According to the ministry, 20 warships, submarines and support vessels are taking part in the exercises. In particular the missile cruiser “Varyag”, the large anti-submarine ship “Admiral Panteleev”, the frigate “Marshal Shaposhnikov” as well as other military and support vessels.

In addition, about 20 aircraft are involved in the exercise, including Tu-142mz long-range anti-submarine aircraft and MiG-31BM high-altitude fighter-interceptors.

Continue Reading

Trending