Stephen Hawking: ‘This is the most dangerous time for our planet’

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The Guardian

As a theoretical physicist based in Cambridge, I have lived my life in an extraordinarily privileged bubble. Cambridge is an unusual town, centred around one of the world’s great universities. Within that town, the scientific community that I became part of in my 20s is even more rarefied.

And within that scientific community, the small group of international theoretical physicists with whom I have spent my working life might sometimes be tempted to regard themselves as the pinnacle. In addition to this, with the celebrity that has come with my books, and the isolation imposed by my illness, I feel as though my ivory tower is getting taller.

So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both America and Britain is surely aimed at me, as much as anyone. Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate toreject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a cry of anger by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders.

It was, everyone seems to agree, the moment when the forgotten spoke, finding their voices to reject the advice and guidance of experts and the elite everywhere.

I am no exception to this rule. I warned before the Brexit vote that it would damage scientific research in Britain, that a vote to leave would be a step backward, and the electorate – or at least a sufficiently significant proportion of it – took no more notice of me than any of the other political leaders, trade unionists, artists, scientists, businessmen and celebrities who all gave the same unheeded advice to the rest of the country.

Brexit supporters form a counter demonstration as Pro-Europe demonstrators protest during a “March for Europe” against the Brexit vote result earlier in the year, in London, Britain Thomson Reuters

What matters now, far more than the choices made by these two electorates, is how the elites react. Should we, in turn, reject these votes as outpourings of crude populism that fail to take account of the facts, and attempt to circumvent or circumscribe the choices that they represent? I would argue that this would be a terrible mistake.

The concerns underlying these votes about the economic consequences of globalisation and accelerating technological change are absolutely understandable. The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.

This in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world. The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive.

We need to put this alongside the financial crash, which brought home to people that a very few individuals working in the financial sector can accrue huge rewards and that the rest of us underwrite that success and pick up the bill when their greed leads us astray. So taken together we are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent.

It is also the case that another unintended consequence of the global spread of the internet and social media is that the stark nature of these inequalities is far more apparent than it has been in the past. For me, the ability to use technology to communicate has been a liberating and positive experience. Without it, I would not have been able to continue working these many years past.

But it also means that the lives of the richest people in the most prosperous parts of the world are agonisingly visible to anyone, however poor, who has access to a phone. And since there are now more people with a telephone than access to clean water in sub-Saharan Africa, this will shortly mean nearly everyone on our increasingly crowded planet will not be able to escape the inequality.

The consequences of this are plain to see: the rural poor flock to cities, to shanty towns, driven by hope. And then often, finding that the Instagram nirvana is not available there, they seek it overseas, joining the ever greater numbers of economic migrants in search of a better life. These migrants in turn place new demands on the infrastructures and economies of the countries in which they arrive, undermining tolerance and further fuelling political populism.

Donald Trump welcomes Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the British UKIP party, to speak at a campaign rally in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Gerald Herbert/AP

For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.

To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world’s leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present.

With not only jobs but entire industries disappearing, we must help people to retrain for a new world and support them financially while they do so. If communities and economies cannot cope with current levels of migration, we must do more to encourage global development, as that is the only way that the migratory millions will be persuaded to seek their future at home.

We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species; but it will require the elites, from London to Harvard, from Cambridge to Hollywood, to learn the lessons of the past year. To learn above all a measure of humility.

worldwide to save world heritage Sundarbans In Bangladesh

 

The committee announced the protests at a rally at the Central Shaheed Minar on Saturday organised to demand cancellation of the Rampal power plant project at the vicinity of the forest.

CLAIM OVER POOR (COP22)

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Some countries on climate change hit-list.All the countries are Low Income &Middle Incomeing countries.The people are faceing every moment,how the climate changing.But they are not helping by the cop properly.But,the cop conference is spending a lot of money every year.We think,do not spend a lot of money.Give the advice and money to climate change hit-list countries.Organized a small conference every year.
Drought     Flood              Storm
Malawi    Bangladesh   Philippines
Ethiopia     China           Bangladesh
Zimbabwe India           Madagascar
India        Cambodia          Vietnam
WE are doing something our own money,idea,advice.

https://disqus.com/home/discussion/channel-theweather/claim_over_poor_of_conference_of_parties_cop/

4 Big Questions For This Year’s Climate Change Conference

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World leaders are preparing to gather in Morocco to build on a year of momentous action.

Now, thousands of officials are preparing to meet in Marrakech, Morocco, for the 22nd Conference of the Parties, with the hopes of figuring out many of the specifics regarding putting that deal into action ― including how to pay for the necessary changes and speed up the transition away from planet-warming fossil fuels.

“We’re coming into this COP with a tremendous amount of positive momentum,” John Morton, director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council, said in a call with reporters last week. “2016 has been a truly historic year for international climate action,” he added, with the Paris deal coming into effect “months, years faster than expected.”

But as past meetings have shown, failure can hover around the corner as countries struggle to agree on how ambitious emissions cuts can be. And a U.S. election led by two candidates with vastly different views on environmental policy could affect America’s place in any future negotiations.

Here are four big things to pay attention to at this year’s COP, which starts Monday and ends Nov. 18:

How Do We Live Up To Paris?

The Marrakech meeting will focus on how to implement the Paris agreement now that it’s been ratified into force. While last year’s deal put countries on record with their individual commitments for cutting emissions, many still need to determine how they will implement those plans.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union for Concerned Scientists, a science advocacy group based in the U.S., said the conversation in Morocco will largely focus on solidifying nations’ efforts by a deadline set for 2018. And the challenge is vast.

“There are more than 100 elements spelled out that [officials] have to grapple with, some of them more technical, some more political,” Meyer said. “But they’ll all take time.”

Under the Paris framework, each country’s goals are voluntary, and a country that fails to adhere to promised emissions cuts won’t face any repercussions. But many countries, including the China and the U.S., have already announced plans curb emissions. There has also been a recent international agreement on phasing out the use of a heat-trapping refrigerant called hydrofluorocarbons, which is seen as progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris deal.

Meyer said the Marrakech meeting will seek to build on that momentum, aiming to keep global warming well below the 2-degree Celsius limit laid out in Paris ― the level scientists say we must stay beneath to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

CREDIT: AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Small, low-lying nations like the Marshall Islands often bear the brunt of climate change’s effects, but don’t emit nearly as much greenhouse gas emissions as richer countries.

How Do We Pay For It?

The transition to a low- and no-carbon economy will be expensive, requiring a reallocation of up to $90 trillion in investments toward renewable infrastructure, according to a recent report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

Much of that burden is expected to fall on the shoulders of rich nations like the U.S. and the European Union, and rapidly developing nations like China ― which also happen to be the world’s biggest polluters. The Paris agreement includes a pledge to jointly raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing nations cope with climate change.

But the private sector and local governments around the world are also expected to play a big role in any transition to a low-carbon future, according to Andrew Steer, CEO of the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based environmental organization.

“We live in a totally different world now. … This is not just about government-to-government [action],” Steer said during a press call last week. “One of the reasons that we have the Paris deal is that we had other actors that were helping governments to raise their game.”

But both rich and developing nations ― namely in Africa and Southeast Asia, which are expected to grow quickly as more than a billion people still lack basic energy ― will need to participate in the conversation about raising and spending that money.

“It’s very important in the context of sustainable development goals that we speak of prosperity for everyone,” said Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, the World Wildlife Fund’s senior director of international climate cooperation. “We need to convert energy systems for those that have energy, but also laying groundwork for those that don’t.”

What Do We Need?

Sustainable transit, land and forest protection, investment in renewables and a carbon tax are all expected to be discussed in Marrakech, both within the official negotiations and in the hundreds of side events that aim to increase the ambition laid out in Paris.

What Will It Mean For The U.S.?

President Barack Obama has made climate action and environmental protection central to his presidency, saying, “No challenge  poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.”

But the U.S. election is taking place on the second day of the climate summit, and the two major-party candidates disagree on the country’s role in that fight: Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is an ardent supporter of emissions cuts, but Republican nominee Donald Trump denies that climate change is even happeningand has threatened to leave the Paris deal if he wins.

While Morton noted the “candidates have very different views on climate,” he said in recent years there has been “a recognized inevitability of the transition to a low-carbon economy.” The world is moving forward, with or without the U.S.

“I think the question will be what role and how quickly the U.S. moves,” he said. “The question of commitment to action is no longer one that is being debated … it’s how quickly it will move forward, and who will lead.”

Kate Sheppard contributed reporting.

Medicinal plants free service, running..

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Remembering the old days of the past, tree nuts  Mohammed Ali, has been met with a lack of real life extreme. The lack of arable land next to his house for the family members of wage dumutho made bread. Sometimes families have Ardhahare people were starving. But he let her have changed due to ausudhi tree. When you take money from someone who is not sick for medicinal plants. No trees for any disease, but how he can help with information on what to eat.

Khandaker Mohammad Ali, 16 years old when he was diagnosed with complex diseases. The lack of proper treatment due to his father’s family, she became increasingly ill. Her family gave up hope of being fit. At one point, the mother tried herbal doctor from a nearby village, was cured with treatment. Since then, his belief in the benefits of trees friend. Medicinal trees, a lot of power. He promised to save their lives, if not medicinal plant garden. He believed, with medicinal plants can be used to benefit the people on the one hand, on the other hand will earn from the sale. From the past, the planning side of the house has a nursery and medicinal plant garden. Now local people are benefiting from the garden of medicinal plants on the one hand, on the other hand medicinal plants and fruit trees are sold in the last 34 years, you’re family. The 76-year-old. That’s why his life after being infected with the disease kaisare trees make it out alive. As a result, the emphasis of the tree.

http://www.alokitobangladesh.com/online/details/15965

GLOBAL WARMING: TEN MOST AFFECTED ARE

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As scientists claim that the snows of Kilimanjaro are disappearing, where else in the world are the effects of climate change being most keenly felt?

Bangladesh

People living in the flood-prone delta nation are feeling the full force of climate change. Frequent flooding wipes out crops, spreads disease and destroys homes. The UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has pledged £75m over the next five years to help the people of Bangladesh cope with the impact of global warming.

Sudan

Rising temperatures are causing the Sahara Desert to expand, eating into the farmland on the edge of the wastelands and causing immense pressure for food. Rainfall in the northern regions of Sudan, including war-torn Darfur, is down by 30 per cent over the past 40 years, with the Sahara advancing by well over a mile every year. Scientists believe that Darfur is an example of climate change conflict, with tribal disputes being exacerbated by increased demand for scarce fertile land and water reserves.

Caribbean

Warmer seas are believed to be bolstering the power of hurricanes, which rip through the Caribbean regions with increasing frequency and savagery. Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans in 2005, killing 1,600 people and causing an estimated $40 billion of damages, while research published in this summer in the science journal Naturesuggests that hurricanes in the Atlantic are more frequent than at any time in the last 1,000 years.

Australia

Australia’s arid climate means it has always been prone to forest fires, but scientists believe the ferocity of recent blazes is linked to climate change. The temperature has been rising steadily since the 1950s and this is increasing the intensity and frequency of outbreaks.

Siberia

In one of the world’s last wildernesses, global warming is causing profound changes to the lives of its people. Winters that used to reach -50 degrees are now a comparatively mild -30, which is causing the permafrost to melt. Arctic houses are subsiding, and the nomadic people of the tundra find that their annual migrations are disrupted by unseasonably warm temperatures or unexpected snow falls.

Tuvalu

The low-lying Pacific islands of Tuvalu face the very real threat that they could be wiped out by climate change. The highest point of the islands reaches only four and a half metres above sea level, and the coral upon which the islands are built is seeping sea water, making much of the land too salty to farm.

Great Barrier Reef

Climatologists believe that Australia is experiencing “accelerated climate change”, which puts the vast Great Barrier Reef at severe risk. Rising ocean temperatures cause bleaching of the coral, when the plants expel the tiny animals living inside them and turning into colourless calcium skeletons.

Alps

The much-loved European winter playground is increasingly under threat from warmer temperatures, disrupting the snowfall and causing the ice to melt. Scientists from the Convention for the Protection of the Alpspublished a report in June this year claiming that the Alps were gradually being split in two, with the southern regions receiving 10 per cent less precipitation over the past 100 years and the northern regions facing flooding and landslides.

Britain

Although climate change in Britain may not be as keenly felt as in Bangladesh or Tuvalu, scientists still maintain its effects are noticable. The National Trust warns of threats to historic properties and estates from flooding and storm surges, and highlights the worrying loss of wildlife habitats.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/6486612/Global-warming-ten-most-affected-areas.html

From theguardian

Southern Africa appeals for billions to cope with El Niño devastation

 Villagers attempt to collect water from a dry river bed in drought-hit Masvingo, Zimbabwe on 2 June 2016.
Villagers attempt to collect water from a dry river bed in drought-hit Masvingo, Zimbabwe, on 2 June 2016. Photograph: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

Southern African countries have launched an emergency appeal for $2.8bn (£2.1bn) to help feed nearly 40 million people hit by one of the worst regional droughts in 35 years.

According to the South African Development Community, which comprises 15 countries, 23 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance and a further 13 million are food insecure following the strongest El Niño event recorded.

Food shortages are expected to peak between October, when supplies will run lowest, and March, when the next harvest is due, so the number of people in extreme need is expected to rise significantly if insufficient assistance is given.

The US has pledged $127m (£97m), lifting its contribution to the region to about $300m. Britain has delivered $250m to Africa since July 2015 as part of its El Niño response, and the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy last week announced pledges totalling $22m.

But the gap between funds needed and pledged is thought to have risen to more than $4bn. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, $6bn has been requested by the governments of the 60-odd countries affected by El Niño but less than $2bn has been pledged.

“Mobilising humanitarian assistance will be critical to save lives and reduce suffering. Our additional contribution will help meet growing needs by providing emergency food assistance, nutrition and health support, access to safe drinking water, and seeds ahead of the upcoming planting season to promote agricultural recovery,” said a USAid spokesman.

“It has been clear for months that this drought is having a devastating impact on the southern Africa region, and we know things could get even worse. People are struggling now. They have watched their crops wither and their animals starve to death. Even in the best-case scenario the next major harvest is not expected until early next year,” said Rebecca Sutton, Oxfam’s El Niño campaign manager.

“Given the scope of the disaster globally the shortfall of $4bn needed for this crisis is shocking. This disaster is too big for just a handful of donors who have given generously to be relied upon; others need to step up.”

“The full force of the emergency will be felt over the coming months,” said Save the Children’s east and southern Africa regional director, David Wright. “Harvests will continue to fail; families will run out of essentials as their livelihoods dry up or are washed away; and children forced from their homes will leave healthcare, security and loved ones behind.

“The sheer scale of the crisis far outstrips the coping capacities of communities and the resources of governments, putting decades of development gains at risk.”

Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme who was recently in Malawi, said the situation was worrying. “I heard and saw first-hand the hardships and worries … El Niño’s impact in Malawi alone has been severe: 6.5 million people will endure food insecurity, almost 40% of the population.”

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The UK’s international development minister James Wharton said, “Widespread drought means millions of people across Africa are being forced to go without vital food and clean water, while others are being displaced by severe flooding, losing their homes and their livelihoods.

“The UK is leading the way in helping to prevent and prepare for the impact of El Niño by providing lifesaving food, water and shelter to people in urgent need. Support for people affected by El Niño is important to Africa and firmly in Britain’s interest.”

The UN has warned that humanitarian disasters are to be expected with climate change.

“This is a human-induced aggravation of a traditional weather pattern. We’re into a new normal where it is no longer El Niño – it is El Niño affected by climate change,” said Mary Robinson, UN special envoy on El Niño and climate.

“The international community has to take responsibility, particularly the countries that are more responsible for [carbon] emissions.”

Countries across five continents have called states of emergency. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, other countries seriously affected by El Niño include: