Global environmental challenges
In a global stunt, a U.S. environmental activist is poised to lodge a $1 billion damages class action lawsuit at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against all world leaders for failing to prevent global warming.
Activist and blogger Dan Bloom says he will sue world leaders for “intent to commit manslaughter against future generations of human beings by allowing murderous amounts of fossil fuels to be harvested, burned and sent into the atmosphere as CO2″.
He intends to lodge the lawsuit in the week starting Sunday, Dec. 6.
The prosecutor’s office at the ICC, the world’s first permanent court (pictured below right) for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, says it is allowed to receive information on crimes that may fall within the court’s jurisdiction from any source.
“Such information does not per se trigger a judicial proceeding,” the prosecutor’s office hastened to add.
On Friday he ordered the state to study how high waters could rise and what to do about it, in an executive order which could be seen as the Cliffs Notes of why climate change is a big deal financially.
You probably guessed — both give away identity.
Jane Waterman, a Canadian biologist at the University of Central Florida, is asking any tourist who takes a photo of a polar bear around Churchill, Canada, to send it to her to help study the bears. Here’s her website.
It’s not often that greenhouse gases spewed out by human activities get praise as potential saviours of the planet in a leading scientific journal — they’re normally viewed as villains for causing global warming.
But a study in Nature today shows that heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide can help avert an even worse problem in thousands of years’ time — a shift to a freeze worse than an Ice Age that could blanket much of the northern hemisphere with ice (see picture on the left and story here).
But does that confirm a long-term trend of global warming, stoked by human emissions of greenhouse gases, or show that it has stalled? The warmest year on record is now a while ago, in 1998.
New research shows that both Antarctica and the Arctic are getting less icy – and the best explanation is mankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
But will that convert anyone who doubts that global warming is caused by human activities, led by burning fossil fuels?
No pun intended but for the world’s carbon community, times are looking a little black.
The global financial crisis, or GFC as it is being called this week during Australia’s largest ever carbon market gathering, is deeply troubling many participants. But a larger, more worrying issue remains “post 2012″.
Grass has been growing on the backs of the sheep on the island Vega off Norway’s northwest coast — apparently from seeds that fell onto them during the night when they were sleeping in a shed under some stacks of hay.
With worries about recession in many countries, does it make sense to try out some more radical ideas for fighting global warming, like placing mirrors in the sky to block the sun or fertilising the oceans to soak up greenhouse gases?
They sound like great proposals at first sight: simple, probably cheaper and in some cases reversible. See a story about the technologies here. But there’s a lot of scepticism among scientists in the U.N. Climate Panel – there could be nasty side effects.
But there may be a silver lining even to the worst storm clouds; hurricanes and typhoons may help — at least a bit – to slow global warming by washing huge amounts of leaves, branches, tree trunks, roots and soil into the ocean, according to research in the journal Nature Geoscience. Read a story about the findings here.