Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Climate change, blue crabs

So global warming, climate change.  What are you going to do?  According to some, nothing.  They argue it’s too expensive.  Not according to the World Health Organization:

5 December 2018
News Release
Katowice, Poland
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • français
  • русский
  • español
AddThis Sharing Buttons
Share to PrintShare to EmailShare to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to Google+Share to More
Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone. The latest estimates from leading experts also indicate that the value of health gains from climate action would be approximately double the cost of mitigation policies at global level, and the benefit-to-cost ratio is even higher in countries such as China and India.
A WHO report launched today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland highlights why health considerations are critical to the advancement of climate action and outlines key recommendations for policy makers.
Exposure to air pollution causes 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated US$ 5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally. In the 15 countries that emit the most greenhouse gas emissions, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated to cost more than 4% of their GDP. Actions to meet the Paris goals would cost around 1% of global GDP.
“The Paris Agreement is potentially the strongest health agreement of this century,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “The evidence is clear that climate change is already having a serious impact on human lives and health. It threatens the basic elements we all need for good health - clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply and safe shelter - and will undermine decades of progress in global health. We can’t afford to delay action any further.”
The same human activities that are destabilizing the Earth’s climate also contribute directly to poor health. The main driver of climate change is fossil fuel combustion which is also a major contributor to air pollution.
“The true cost of climate change is felt in our hospitals and in our lungs. The health burden of polluting energy sources is now so high, that moving to cleaner and more sustainable choices for energy supply, transport and food systems effectively pays for itself,” says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “When health is taken into account, climate change mitigation is an opportunity, not a cost.”
Switching to low-carbon energy sources will not only improve air quality but provide additional opportunities for immediate health benefits. For example, introducing active transport options such as cycling will help increase physical activity that can help prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
WHO’s COP-24 Special Report: health and climate change provides recommendations for governments on how to maximize the health benefits of tackling climate change and avoid the worst health impacts of this global challenge.
It describes how countries around the world are now taking action to protect lives from the impacts of climate change – but that the scale of support remains woefully inadequate, particularly for the small island developing states, and least developed countries. Only approximately 0.5% of multilateral climate funds dispersed for climate change adaptation have been allocated to health projects.
Pacific Island countries contribute 0.03% of greenhouse gas emissions, but they are among the most profoundly affected by its impacts. For the Pacific Island countries, urgent action to address climate change — including the outcome of COP24 this week — is crucial to the health of their people and their very existence.
“We now have a clear understanding of what needs to be done to protect health from climate change – from more resilient and sustainable healthcare facilities, to improved warning systems for extreme weather and infectious disease outbreaks. But the lack of investment is leaving the most vulnerable behind,” said Dr Joy St John, Assistant Director-General for Climate and Other Determinants of Health.
The report calls for countries to account for health in all cost-benefit analyses of climate change mitigation. It also recommends that countries use fiscal incentives such as carbon pricing and energy subsidies to incentivize sectors to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. It further encourages Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to remove existing barriers to supporting climate-resilient health systems.
WHO is working with countries to:
  • Assess the health gains that would result from the implementation of the existing Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement, and the potential for larger gains from the more ambitious action required to meet the goals of limiting global warming to 2oC or 1.5oC.
  • Ensure climate-resilient health systems, especially in the most vulnerable countries such as small island developing states (SIDS); and to promote climate change mitigation actions that maximize immediate and long-term health benefits, under a special initiative on climate change and health in SIDS, launched in partnership with the UNFCCC Secretariat and the Fijian Presidency of COP-23 and operationalized by the Pacific Islands Action Plan on Climate Change and Health.
  • Track national progress in protecting health from climate change and gaining the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation measures, through the WHO/UNFCCC Climate and Health country profiles, currently covering 45 countries, with 90 due for completion by the end of 2019.

WHO’s COP24 Special Report: health and climate change 


Parties to the UNFCCC could advance climate, health and development objectives by:
  • Identifying and promoting actions that both cut carbon emissions and reduce air pollution, and by including specific commitments to cut emissions of Short Climate Pollutants in their National Determined Contributions.
  • Ensuring that the commitments to assess and safeguard health in the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement are reflected in the operational mechanisms at national and global levels.
  • Removing barriers to investment in health adaptation to climate change, with a focus on climate resilient health systems, and climate smart healthcare facilities.
  • Engagement with the health community, civil society and health professionals, to help them to mobilize collectively to promote climate action and health co-benefits.
  • Promoting the role of cities and sub-national governments in climate action benefiting health, within the UNFCCC framework.
  • Formal monitoring and reporting of the health progress resulting from climate actions to the global climate and health governance processes, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Inclusion of the health implications of mitigation and adaptation measures in economic and fiscal policy. 

So it’s more expensive to do nothing.  Remember that. 

Staying with this topic,  FUTURITY notes climate change can effect blue crabs adversely.

Inhabiting a vast network of estuaries along the Atlantic coast, blue crabs are ecologically important and represent one of the valuable and prized catches in the United States. The crabs spawn in estuaries at a time of year when water-quality issues such as low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) and low pH (acidification) can be the most persistent and severe.

I love crabs.  Yes, to eat.  But I also happen to love crabs, the way they look and blue crabs are my favorites.

Blue crabs face dire threat thanks to climate change - Futurity: Research News

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, December 11, 2018.

If you missed it, the US government congratulated the Iraqi government yesterday on the onen year anniversary of the defeat of ISIS.  Set aside that ISIS has not been defeated.  With that to the side, do you wonder why the US government is congratulating the Iraqi government about that?

If so, grasp that this is because there's nothing else to even remotely praise.

The United Nations notes:

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has ramped up efforts to provide warm clothes and life-saving supplies to more than 150,000 displaced children across northern Iraq whose lives are threatened by freezing temperatures.
Many families in the region have been left with next to nothing after being on the move for years due to conflict and resulting economic hardship. It is “impossible” for them afford fuel for heating and winter clothes to keep their children warm, the UN agency warned.
Flash floods last month worsened the situation, said Peter Hawkins, the head of UNICEF operations in Iraq.
“The devastating floods have made this winter even more difficult for displaced children who are extremely vulnerable to hypothermia and respiratory diseases,” he said, underscoring that every child “deserves to be warm and healthy.”
Upping its response, UNICEF is providing winter clothes, including boots, scarves, and hats to approximately 161,000 children in Sinjar, Erbil, Dohuk, Ninawa, Anbar, Diwaniya, Basra, Salaheddin, Baghdad and Suleimaniah, including through cash support.
According to the UN agency, those receiving assistance age between 3-months and 14-years, in hard-to-reach areas, having been through years of violence, including gender-based violence, and trauma of war.

UNICEF, the Red Crescent, etc.  All in Iraq, all giving.  There are a lot of poor nations in need -- in dire need.  They don't sit on oil reserves.  From Iraq Oil Wealth:

If oil in the ground is money in the bank, Iraq is wealthy. Iraq can produce 2 billion barrels per year. At $100 per barrel, that oil would sell for $200 billion. The population of Iraq is 24 million and that oil income translates to $8000 per person. If Iraq sells a quarter of its potential reserves at an average price of $100 for the next 20 years, that would generate 90 billion x $100 = $9 trillion. If the population of Iraq grows to 30 million that would be $300,000 per capita for 20 years, or $15,000 annual income per capita. Productive capital assets are $60,000 per capita in the US, and $5,000 in the entire world. If Iraq invests only a quarter of its oil revenue for the next 20 years, it will match current US productive assets per capita.
The total value of Iraq potential oil reserves at an average profit of $75 per barrel over next 100 years is 360 billion x $75 = $27 trillion or $900,000 per capita, making every Iraqi a millionaire. These calculations do not include natural gas revenue, lately about equal to oil revenue. Also, most of Iraq has not been explored for gas or oil. In the Arab Gulf region, proven oil reserves are 195 trillion barrels. Selling this at an average profit of $75 per barrel for the next 100 years will generate $15,000 trillion income. If half of that is invested, it would amount to $7,500 trillion or a quarter of the present total capital assets in world.

In 2017, Iraq's gross domestic product was 197.7 billion.  By contrast, Haiti's gross domestic product the same year was 8 billion.

Iraq has more than enough money to take care of its people . . . if the officials would stop stealing.  But they don't and Iraq remains one of the most corrupt nation-states in the world.

By refusing to care for their own people, the Iraqi government not only harms the Iraqi people, they also prevent assistance from going to non-oil rich nation-states.

The corruption should be stamped out in Iraq because it seriously hurts the Iraqi people; however, it also hurts non-Iraqis in need as well.

Back in July, residents of Basra took to the streets to protest.  With a break for a religious holy day, they've more or less been protesting non-stop.

Basra’s demonstrators to continue protests ‘until demands are met’ | -Rubaie | AW

The response from the Iraqi government?  They've attacked the protesters.  They've offered empty promises.

They haven't addressed the demands of the protesters: jobs, security, water that you can drink (over 100,000 residents have ended up in the hospital from drinking Basra's water) an end to corruption, etc.

Can't praise the government of Iraq for addressing the needs of the people, so praise them for a meaningless one year anniversary.

They can't praise the human rights situation in Iraq.

Human rights sources: In just two years, more than 1,200 human rights activists have been killed in the world, and a large number of human rights defenders in Iraq have been subjected to harassment and multiple crimes, including arrest, torture and assassination.
Human rights sources: The humanitarian situation in Iraq is not good; it has been going on for years because of the serious events that have taken place in the country, which have contributed to the violation of the economic, social, cultural,political and civil rights of Iraqis.

What about the press?  The US government spent years and years on the media in Iraq.  They failed to defend the media from Nouri al-Maliki who began attacking it in the spring of 2006.  But surely, life is better for journalists in Iraq now then at the start of the war, right?  Wrong.   MIDDLE EAST MONITOR notes,  "Some 40 journalists were killed and 76 others were wounded in Iraq between 2015 and 2017, the Association for the Defence of Press Freedom in Iraq said on Sunday."

Earlier, we noted ISIS remained active in Iraq despite the hype.  Today, Campbell MacDiarmid (THE NATIONAL) notes:

Meanwhile, ISIS sleeper cells have maintained a low-level insurgency, carrying out bombings and assassinations. In May, the coalition and Iraqi forces launched Operation Roundup to track down remnants of the group, which have reportedly taken refuge in underground tunnels in remote and mountainous regions. Recent coalition airstrikes have struck targets outside of Mosul, in the Hamrin mountains, near Hawija, and around Kirkuk.

Well at least the Iraqis have freedom, right?  Bully Boy Bush said this was about freedom -- back at the start of the war, so long ago few remember.

Reality: Women have less freedoms post-2003 invasion and anyone suspected of being gay in Iraq knows how hollow "freedom" rings in Iraq.  In addition, Saad Salloum (AL-MONITOR) reports:

Deputy Justice Minister Hussein al-Zuhairi recently said Bahaism is not a religion or faith during a dialogue with the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as it considered a report on measures taken to implement the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Zuhairi expressed the Iraqi government’s commitment to legislation prohibiting the Baha’i religion in 1970 and added that there is no religion above Islam since the Iraqi Constitution set the tenets of Islam as a source of law. He said that as Iraqi society is Muslim, it is not possible to ignore the tenets of Islam in legislation.
Zuhairi’s statement angered representatives of civil society and the delegations of organizations that presented parallel reports to the government’s report in which they outlined the Iraqi government’s and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s violations of the rights of minorities.
Al-Namaa Center for Human Rights director Hassan Wahab said, “The parallel reports put forward by civil society organizations confirmed that minorities face discrimination. The religious discrimination against Baha’is has created controversy given the statements of the head of the Iraqi government’s delegation.”


And there's still no full Cabinet.  14 ministers were confirmed October 24th and none since.  It's eight ministers short -- including the security posts of Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior.

Stalled government formation in shows that parties still outweigh a weak PM. A year after militarily defeating , the necessary political solution to tackle the roots of conflict is still a distant prospect. My latest for
Replying to  
But Al Maliki was a powerful prime minister and he was not able to form a complete cabinet in his second term. Like all Iraqis I believe that the real root of this problem lies outside Iraq, specifically in the regional conflict, notably US & Iraq.

Excuse me?

Nouri didn't have a full Cabinet when he became prime minister the first time.  No one has ever followed the Constitution.  That is appalling and Majeed can dry hump Nouri's leg all he wants, Nouri is, was and will always be a thug.  Majeed goes on to Tweet that Nouri "was not a dictator but he was forced to be" -- save it for your bodice ripper, Majeed, save it for your bodice ripper.

Thug Nouri needs to be behind bars.  Instead, he seeks to remain one of Iraq's three vice presidents.

Nouri al-Maliki says he expects to be selected as vice president in radio interview

There is no accountability in Iraq and there is no progress.  The proof is that Nouri is not behind bars.  All this time later, despite all the deaths, all teh corruption.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT --  updated:

  • Wow
    8 hours ago