Friday, May 29, 2009

Global Warming Causes 300,000 Deaths a Year, Says Kofi Annan thinktank

By John Vidal for the Guardian/UK

Climate change is greatest humanitarian challenge facing the world as heatwaves, floods and forest fires become more severe.
Global Warming is already responsible for 300,000 deaths a year and
is affecting 300m people, according to the first comprehensive study of
the human impact of global warming.
[A family wades through flood waters to catch a relief boat, north-east of Patna, India. Photograph: Manish Swarup/AP]A family wades through flood waters to catch a relief boat, north-east of Patna, India. Photograph: Manish Swarup/AP
projects that increasingly severe heatwaves, floods, storms and forest
fires will be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year by 2030,
making it the greatest humanitarian challenge the world faces.

Economic losses due to climate change today amount to more than $125bn
a year - more than the all present world aid. The report comes from
former UN secretary general Kofi Annan's thinktank, the Global
Humanitarian Forum. By 2030, the report says, climate change could cost
$600bn a year.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

US Climate Bill Falls Short


WASHINGTON - A drastically weakened U.S. climate bill released
Monday favors polluting industries over truly sustainable clean energy
solutions, argues Daphne Wysham, director of a sustainable energy and
economy think tank.

What's the Story?

"Right out of
the starting gate, the [American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009]
provides a ridiculous number of giveaways to industry," writes Wysham,
Institute for Policy Studies fellow and director of the Sustainable
Energy & Economy Network.

Specifically, 85 percent or more of
pollution permits would be given free of cost to the electricity
sector, leaving low- to moderate-income families vulnerable to
inevitable energy price hikes.

The bill would also create the
largest market for carbon emissions in the world. This will enable
industries that pollute above permitted emissions levels to buy carbon
credits from companies that pollute below these levels. However, "the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) claims it's virtually impossible
to verify whether carbon offsets represent real emissions reductions,"
notes Wysham.