With severe weather changes occurring everywhere in the world as it continues to become warmer, an IPCC report shows the damages and exposes the lacklustre motivation of governments to act.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s third major climate assessment report, greenhouse gas emissions cuts must be enacted as soon as today as the world may experience the worst effects of climate change quicker than expected. A 40-70% reduction within the next half-century will be needed to preserve the world’s environment and slow down the effects of global warming.
The report describes the steps needed to reduce global warming and severely changing weather. It also recommended revolutionizing the systems of energy production and consumption in all countries, which is a “long, hard and costly undertaking” according to Energy Expert Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California.
Economists said that reducing greenhouse and carbon emissions will mean a great effort to instantly “reverse a cruise ship that is firing full steam ahead.”
The report outlined that humanity’s influence on a warming climate is clear and that it has accelerated since the 1950’s because of the industrial age, namely burning oil, coal and other fossil fuels, which electricity and other energy-generating mechanisms use as sources.
UK media recently exposed that some of the big four banks, namely Lloyds, RBS and Barclays, have used a regulatory provision called “alternative redress” or “comparative redress” to justify replacing single-premium PPI with regular-premium PPI for many consumers, which had saved them millions of pounds. According to ex-finance and now journalist Cliff D’arcy, it was a “scandal coming out of a scandal.”
Mis sold PPI has a current total of £28.5 billion earmarked for refunding millions of UK consumers swindled to buying the policy. Around £13.3 billion had been paid out to consumers. However, the total amount set aside might increase in the next few years because of the new developments discovered by UK investigators and journalists.
It was found that Lloyds Banking Group had used the provision from February 2013, allowing them to save 50% off of many consumer repayments. Some consumers who approached UK news and media said that they questioned the validity of “alternative redress” found in their PPI refund letters.
According to D’Arcy, many of the refunds by Lloyds were uncontested since the claimants or their PPI claims company did not forward the case to the Ombudsman.
The FOS advises consumers to call their bank and ask if they were given alternative or comparative redress and they should demand to get their full recompense. They can forward the situation to the Financial Ombudsman if the banks do not agree or fail to take action within four weeks regarding the refund.
The UK Ministry of Defence will lose its capability to regulate Scotland’s environment regarding radioactivity as Scottish ministers pointed out that the environmental powers of the MOD had been abused. A problem from 2012 regarding Scotland’s Highland nuclear test facility emerged the previous week. The entire incident had misled the public.
Scottish ministers said that all of Scotland’s environmental regulation will be run from Scotland and without the intervention of the United Kingdom.
UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond pointed out that low levels of radioactivity were detected in the waters of the Naval Reactor Test Establishment in 2012. Hammond had told the incident to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, who did not inform the Scottish government of the development because it posed no safety risk.
Hammond said the incident was a “Level 0”, indicating it has no safety significance and he pointed out that SEPA decided promptly not to inform the government because there was really no issue. He said that government will have been informed if it posed a threat to nearby villagers, animals and natural life.
Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Environment Secretary, said that the Ministry of Defence had clearly demonstrated a “culture of secrecy” and had misled locals in believing that all was fine when there was a risk of nuclear contamination.
According to scientists, newly-discovered ozone-destroying chemicals are hampering the progress of the Antarctic ozone hole’s recovery. These chemicals are not included in the previously-discovered 13 CFCs and HCFCs that destroy the ozone layer. However, scientists have found four unknown compounds that have the same effect. They added that there can be more of such chemicals.
The research analysed air samples captured during the mid-1970s. The research team had found three new CFCs and one HCFC that had not been noted by past researchers. According to Dr. Johannes Laube and his team, they were surprised it did not show up in any database. They found at least 74,000 tonnes of the newly discovered chemicals emitted in the atmosphere.
According to the researchers, the concentration of the four new chemicals were quite small, but it slowed down the recovery progress of the ozone hole.
Last December, NASA researchers have also discovered a new greenhouse gas 7,000 more dense than carbon dioxide. The newly-discovered chemicals might also trap heat more than carbon dioxide.
The ozone layer protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays from direct exposure to the sun. Exposure to the ultraviolet rays can cause skin cancer and could also destroy plant, marine and animal life.
I had a contractor start on making my own house. They’re the best in town and they’ve developed the house where my grandparents and parents have lived. Their quality is superb and they get the job done on schedule. This is probably the best contractor you’ve heard of, but still, there are imperfections even with the best.
At one point midway before they completed my home, I asked a worker to do some manual lifting for me. His foreman and supervisor approved because the objects he was to carry were supplies I ordered for the creation of my home. Unfortunately, upon the first lift of the worker, he broke his arm.
The contractor and I disputed that because the supervisors were working the employee in overtime for at least a week in different projects, his body weekend and he had not enough rest. However, the contractor said that the employee signed a waiver for his voluntary overtime, which removes them of any responsibility of the dangers he could encounter except for his insurance. This tricky situation was complicated because technically, the work environment was my home and it was my order that had him carry the supplies in the first place.
I consulted a no win no fee solicitor to help me out with this situation. It got straightened out that it is still the contractor’s responsibility to give the worker insurance that includes medical bills, loss of wages and possible loss of consortium. However, I also had due diligence for emotional damages because it was not his responsibility to lift the objects for me.
I paid my dues properly because the person deserves the proper compensation. I still have no doubts about the contractor and they will have my house finished by next year.
With the Help to Buy scheme allowing many UK nationals the easier opportunity to own their own homes, depreciating the housing bubble needs a good supply of homes. However, developing new properties not only costs contractual fees, but can also damage the environment. Our government actually thinks that it could be done, signifying the need for a good biodiversity offsetting.
However, it can become a method to use every remaining forests in the country to get the needed supplies to create new homes. Biodiversity offsetting can leave urban areas out of green spaces to satisfy an economic need. In this case, the UK’s lust for new properties to quell the prices of properties as the value of many homes appreciates elsewhere.
The irony of our economy and the entire world is that activity must flourish at the expense of the environment. Economy only improves if there is activity, and sometimes, destructive and unsustainable business and industry activities leave many of our natural heritages left to dust.
How many oil spills had happened for the sake of quenching the thirst of millions of vehicles nationwide? Most of them are only media-released information that we wouldn’t really know the specifics of the destruction. But one thing’s for sure, there won’t be time to replace the natural life we’ve taken from our environment in a few decades, or even thousands of years.
Maybe it’s just that I’m cynical or because I’m seeing some pretentiousness in people who highly value the environment. It is nice to know some people who are motivated to help preserve the environment, but sometimes, you can find some rotten eggs here and there. There are people who are just saying the world needs saving to advance their particular influence, or widen their social scope.
It is true that the planet needs saving. We are in a time of developing global warming and no sustainable and renewable energy sources and technology had been developed yet. The ocean levels are increasing and seasons are becoming more unpredictable, making it much more difficult to produce local consumables.
I know all these things, but only a drastic solution is the key to saving the world. It is inevitable to just re-plant trees after foresting, or limiting carbon emissions. Technology is not a bad thing, but if it could provide a drastic solution instead of just increasing business capital and personal productivity, there is never a solution for the earth except to abandon the technology in itself.
But if the world focused on sustaining the environment with technology instead of using it to cultivate business and profits (thus empowering the pursuit of power as many past philosophers and observers had seen, the world wouldn’t need saving.
Hey, maybe even the world won’t have political troubles too.
British Prime Minister David Cameron dismisses fears of a housing bubble grown buy the Help to Buy scheme and instead hails the policy as a success having sold 750 homes and 6,000 offers made in the previous year. Cameron argued that the house prices were only up 3% and he was only concerned about the growth concentrating only in London.
The Help to Buy scheme enables any homebuyers to only provide a 5% downpayment for a £600,000 property, which enabled many starting families to purchase a home for their own.
Cameron also argued that increased property prices would simply be impossible because the housing prices from 2007 the policy could not even reach even after 2019. He also said that house prices have gone up only 3% excluding London, whose property prices have grown to more than 5-7% in the past few years.
Lloyds, RBS, HSBC, Virgin Money, Aldermore, Barclays and Santander are respective banks who are now complying with the Help to Buy scheme of the government.
However, UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said that the housing scheme could introduce a “raging house boom” in London and the South East and he warns of the prices going out of control unless interest rates get raised again. However, the solution to the inflation would mean hitting parts of the country that haven’t recovered from the property fall.
University of Oregon Law professor Mary Christina Wood said that the state laws protecting the environment are not actually working. Laws to preserve the environment, from illegal mining, the limitation of fracking and climate change, are failing because federal and state governments are failing to implement the laws.
According to the Oregon Law professor, “the political branches of government are doing next to nothing to address this crisis, which is threatening the future survival and welfare of the youth of this nation and future generations.” Wood also said that across the board on all levels of government the agencies are not using the laws to protect nature but instead justify damage to the environment.
Laws, such as the “atmospheric trust” is to only apply the public trust doctrine to the atmosphere, which is not a big step in protecting the environment. The trust states that it protects critical resources that the public relies on for its survival, including the atmosphere.
She cited the Philippine government as an example. The pollution of Manila Bay had the Supreme Court of the Philippines force a dozen agencies to clean it up. However the agencies failed in fulfilling their obligations.
Wood said that if environmental laws do work, there is no need for judicial intervention. Environmental changes and hazards are clear evidences that the laws are not working, yet the public is kept in the dark.
As the world celebrates the arrival of 2014, scientists’ new climate model takes account of cloud changes, bringing the world 4 degrees Celsius hotter in 2100.
Professor Steven Sherwood from the University of New South Wales in Australia said their new study breaks new ground by identifying the factors that control cloud change and by discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming to get the specific damages the current unchecked climate change could bring.
A change of 4 degrees Celsius, while small, has catastrophic consequences, according to Sherwood. According to him, it can guarantee the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet, which can increase the world’s sea levels to disastrous heights. Weather disasters will elevate higher as weather polarity from cold and hot temperatures get a greater margin.
Fewer clouds, according to Sherwood’s study, mean a hotter temperature in the world. According to Hideo Shiogama and Tomoo Ogura from Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies, the study was convincing and the future climate projected by Sherwood and his team were realistic.
The study and the discovery comes timely as progress on developed and developing countries’ carbon emissions remain unchecked with many governments still unable to provide an exact amount of curbing needed in congress.