We kid you not: Climate change kills, Arctic mining escalates

Issue 

Climate change could kill 100 million by 2030: report

More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday …

“More than 90% of those deaths will occur in developing countries, said the report that calculated the human and economic impact of climate change on 184 countries in 2010 and 2030. It was commissioned by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a partnership of 20 developing countries threatened by climate change ...

“It said the effects of climate change had lowered global output by 1.6 percent of world GDP, or by about [US]$1.2 trillion a year, and losses could double to 3.2 percent of global GDP by 2030 if global temperatures are allowed to rise, surpassing 10 percent before 2100.

“It estimated the cost of moving the world to a low-carbon economy at about 0.5 percent of GDP this decade.”

— September 16 Reuters article.

Bangladesh: Floods worsened by climate change spread fresh misery

“According to a survey carried out in the flood-prone north-east districts of Bangladesh, two-thirds of households short of food often have to buy food on credit or borrow from other families; more than 90% sometimes reduce the size of their meals, and close to 60% sometimes skip a meal altogether.

“Data on child malnutrition shows that the region is substantially worse off than Bangladesh as a whole: 55% of children under five years old are underweight, compared with a national average of 41% ...

“After severe flooding in 1998, studies showed that a child living in a household exposed to the floods faced a seven times greater risk of wasting — low weight for height — than one not exposed at all. Many children never recovered to pre-flood levels of health.

“Poor sanitation, lack of food, water-borne diseases and loss of family income all contribute to increased malnutrition among children during floods. Experts say the destruction of home gardens is particularly harmful, because vegetables represent the most important source of micronutrients in the diet.”

— August 23 article in The Guardian

Record melting heats up Arctic resource race

“The record pace of the Arctic's melting ice remains an environmental crisis of global import, but has also begun to clear the way for a bonanza of natural resource extraction that is gaining international attention ...

“As Global Post reported in August, the US Department of the Interior granted Shell permission to begin exploratory drilling off the coast of Alaska. That project was quickly put on hold, however, when drifting ice floes and equipment issues made safe drilling impossible.

“These setbacks underscore the economic and environmental risks associated with exploitation of the Arctic's substantial resources, estimated as 10 percent of the world's untapped oil and 30 percent of its natural gas.

“Meanwhile the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) warned that exploration and extraction could further speed the pace of the Arctic's ice melt.

“'There is a grim irony here that as the ice melts,' said UNEP spokesman Nick Nuttall. 'Humanity is going for more of the natural resources fueling this meltdown.'”

— September 26 GlobalPost.com article.

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