Climate Crisis, Diet/Obesity, Covid-19: Eat Correctly, Save the Planet and Self
ENVIRONMENT, 26 Apr 2021
A Cauldron of Evil Affecting Humanoids
Our planet Earth is slowly but surely dying. Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and Earth Day 2021 occurs on Thursday, April 22, the holiday’s 51st anniversary.
Earth Day is an annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EARTHDAY.ORG (formerly Earth Day Network) including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries.
In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be observed on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. Earth Day 2021.
The Earth Day 2021 theme is Restore Our Earth and features five primary programs: The Canopy Project, Food and Environment, Climate Literacy, the Global Earth Challenge, and The Great Global CleanUp. During the week of Earth Day, EARTHDAY.ORG and lead organizers, Education International, Hip Hop Caucus, and Earth Uprising organized three separate parallel climate action summits on climate literacy, environmental justice, and youth-led climate-focused issues. EARTHDAY.ORG also organized the second-annual Earth Day Live livestream event (April 22, 2021) featuring global activists, international leaders, and influencers. The Biden Administration organized a Leaders Summit on Climate on Earth Day 2021.
There was a “relentless” intensification of the climate crisis in 2020, according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization. Climate crisis is a term describing global warming and climate change, and their consequences. The term has been used to describe the threat of global warming to the planet, and to urge aggressive climate change mitigation. For example, a January 2020 BioScience article endorsed by over 11,000 scientists worldwide, stated that “the climate crisis has arrived” and that an “immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis.”
The term is applied by those who “believe it evokes the gravity of the threats the planet faces from continued greenhouse gas emissions and can help spur the kind of political willpower that has long been missing from climate advocacy”. They believe that, much as “global warming” drew out more emotional engagement and support for action than “climate change”, calling climate change a crisis could have an even stronger impact.
A study has shown that the term does invoke a strong emotional response in conveying a sense of urgency but some caution that this very response may be counter-productive, and may cause a backlash effect due to perceptions of alarmist exaggeration. Another definition differentiates the term from global warming and climate change and defines climate crisis as “the various negative effects that unmitigated climate change is causing or threatening to cause on our planet, especially where these effects have a direct impact on humanity.”
According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the value of 1.5°C is mentioned in climate change and global warming. The question which needs to be raised is “Why is 1.5°C important?”
The world will see serious climate impacts at 1.5°C. But after that it gets much worse. The difference between 1.5°C and 2°C is catastrophic. The difference between 70% or 99% of coral reefs dying. It doubles the likelihood that insects, vital pollinators, lose half their habitat. There will be ice-less summers in The Arctic Ocean once per century or once per decade, one meter added in sea-level rise, 6 million or 16 million affected by sea-level rise in coastal areas by the end of this century. The science of climate change is well established. Climate change is real and human activities are the main cause. (IPCC) The concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere is directly linked to the average global temperature on Earth. The concentration has been rising steadily, and mean global temperatures along with it, since the time of the Industrial Revolution. The most abundant greenhouse gas, accounting for about two-thirds of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), is largely the product of burning fossil fuels. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is responsible for more than 25 per cent of the warming we are experiencing today. It is a powerful pollutant with a global warming potential over 80 times greater than CO2 during the 20 years after it is released into the atmosphere. (Methane Emissions fact sheet, UNEP)
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide an objective source of scientific information on climate change. In 2013, the IPCC provided a globally peer-reviewed report about the role of human activities in climate change when it released its Fifth Assessment Report. The report was categorical in its conclusion: climate change is real and human activities, largely the release of polluting gases from burning fossil fuel (coal, oil, gas), is the main cause.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations that provides the world with objective, scientific information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of the risk of human-induced climate change, its natural, political, and economic impacts and risks, and possible response options. The IPCC was established in 1985 by the International Council of Scientific Unions, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide recommendations based on current research. This small group of scientists lacked the resources to cover the increasingly complex interdisciplinary nature of climate science.
The United Nations formally endorsed the creation of the IPCC in 1988. Some of the reasons the UN stated in its resolution include “Certain human activities could change global climate patterns, threatening present and future generations with potentially severe economic and social consequences” The Climate Emergency we currently face requires adequate and immediate action. It is one of the most pervasive and threatening crises of our time.
We are facing an existential threat and rapid prioritization of attention and action is necessary. If we continue along our current path, scientists say that the consequences will be devastating, having implications on where we live, how we grow food and other services vital to our well-being. A 2°C increase could mean more heat waves, a ten-fold increase in Arctic ice-free summers and a complete wipe-out of the world’s coral reefs, home to millions of species.
What can be done? The body states that they work with governments to help them integrate climate change into national policies and development strategies. They also help countries identify new ways to adapt to climate change.
The global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period, according to WMO. 2019 concluded a decade of exceptional global heat, retreating ice and record sea levels driven by greenhouse gases produced by human activities. 30 per cent of the world’s population is exposed to deadly heat waves more than 20 days a year. (Cooling and Climate Change fact sheet, UNEP)
Average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are the highest on record. (WMO) 2019 was the second hottest year on record. (WMO).
In 2019, total greenhouse gas emissions, including land-use change, reached a new high of 59.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Based on the present, insufficient global commitments to reduce climate polluting emissions, a rebound in greenhouse gases from a return to high-carbon societies after the pandemic may push 2030 emissions even higher, up to 60%.
Wildfires are a major problem! What do we need to do to limit global warming and act on the climate emergency? To prevent warming beyond 1.5°C, we need to reduce emissions by 7.6% every year from this year to 2030. (EGR, 2019) 10 years ago, if countries had acted on this science, governments would have needed to reduce emissions by 3.3% each year. Every year we fail to act, the level of difficulty and cost to reduce emissions goes up. (EGR, 2019) Deep reductions in methane will be necessary to help limit global warming to 1.5°C or 2°C, according to IPCC. Over 75 per cent of methane emissions could be mitigated with technology that exists today – and up to 40 per cent at no net cost according to the International Energy Agency. (Methane Emissions fact sheet, UNEP)
Conserving and restoring natural spaces, both on land and in the water, is essential for limiting carbon emissions providing one-third of the mitigation effort needed in the next decade. (Nature for Climate Action fact sheet, UNEP)
Since over half of global GDP has a high or moderately high dependency on nature, investing in nature-based solutions will not only limit global warming but also result in about 4 trillion dollars in revenue for businesses and over 100 million new jobs each year by 2030. (Nature for Climate Action fact sheet, UNEP)
For governments, a green COVID-19 recovery could cut 25 per cent off 2030 emissions, putting the world on track to a 2°C pathway. (EGR 2020)
Nations agreed to a legally binding commitment in Paris to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels but also offered national pledges to cut or curb their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This is known as the Paris Agreement. The initial pledges of 2015 are insufficient to meet the target, and governments are expected to review and increase these pledges as a key objective this year, 2021.
The updated Paris Agreement commitments will be reviewed at the climate change conference known as COP 26 in Glasgow, UK in November 2021. This conference will be the most important intergovernmental meeting on the climate crisis since the Paris agreement was passed in 2015.
The success or otherwise of this conference will have stark consequences for the world. If countries cannot agree on sufficient pledges, in another 5 years, the emissions reduction necessary will leap to a near-impossible 15.5% every year. The unlikelihood of achieving this far steeper rate of decarbonization means the world faces a global temperature increase that will rise above 1.5°C. Every fraction of additional warming above 1.5°C will bring worsening impacts, threatening lives, food sources, livelihoods, and economies worldwide. Countries are not on track to fulfil the promises they have made. The coronavirus pandemic made the accelerating impacts of global heating even worse for millions of people. But the temporary dip in carbon emissions due to lockdowns had no discernible impact on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the WMO report said.
Last year was ranked as the hottest on record, in a tie with 2016 and 2019, despite the cooling effect of the cyclical natural climate phenomenon, La Niña. Without this, 2020 would most likely have been the hottest year yet. The decade 2011-20 was the hottest on record. Extreme weather events broke records across the world, from hurricanes and cyclones in the US and India, heatwaves in Australia and the Arctic, floods in large parts of Africa and Asia, and wildfires in the US.
“All the key climate and impacts information in this report highlight relentless, continuing climate change, an increasing occurrence and intensification of extreme events, and severe losses and damage, affecting people, societies and economies,” said Petteri Taalas, the WMO secretary general. The WMO’s State of the Climate report comes just before a global leaders’ summit, convened by the US president, Joe Biden, and as the UK prepares to host the crucial Cop26 UN climate summit in November, at which urgent action must be agreed to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement, to keep the global temperature increase to well below 2C and 1.5C if possible. In 2020, the temperature was 1.2C above pre-industrial levels.
“This is the year for action,” said the UN head, António Guterres. “The climate is changing, and the impacts are already too costly for people and the planet. Countries need to submit, well ahead of Cop26, ambitious plans to cut global emissions by 45% by 2030.”
The report, produced by the WMO and partners, found that cuts in food production, transport and economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the effects of extreme weather on communities. It said the temporary fall in new carbon emissions had “no discernible impact” on atmospheric concentrations.
The report also found that in 2020, 80% of the oceans experienced at least one marine heatwave, while record heat accumulated in the seas, which absorb 90% of heat resulting from human activities. Sea ice in the Arctic reached its second lowest minimum on record, while hundreds of billions of tons of ice were lost in Greenland and Antarctica, helping to push up sea level. Severe flooding hit large parts of Africa and Asia, helping trigger a locust plague in the Horn of Africa. Extreme drought affected many parts of South America in 2020, with the estimated farming losses near $3bn in Brazil alone, with further losses in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. The largest wildfires ever recorded burned in the US, while Australia broke heat records, including a temperature of 48.9°C in western Sydney. The north Atlantic hurricane season had its largest number of named storms on record with 30, and a record 12 made landfall in the US. Cyclone Amphan hit India and Bangladesh and was the costliest tropical cyclone on record for the north Indian Ocean, while Typhoon Goni which crossed the Philippines was one of the most intense cyclones ever to hit land.
World is on the verge of climate crisis ‘abyss’, warns UN James Bays mentioned that 2020 was the year that, for many, normality stopped. The COVID-19 pandemic meant many factories and offices across the world closed, commuters stayed at home, and airports were largely empty as the global air networks were reduced to skeleton schedules. You might think the resulting drop in carbon emissions had a discernible effect on the environment, it did not. The year, which saw the largest ever wildfires in California and Colorado, and global sea levels rising, was still one of the warmest three years on record.
Antonio Guterres That I think this report should alarm us all. 2020 was 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter than pre-industrial times. We are getting dangerously close to the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit that was set by the scientific community. We are on the verge of the abyss.
The Covid-19-related economic slowdown failed to put a brake on climate change drivers and accelerating impacts, said a UN report. The year 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, with the global average temperature being about 1.2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level, said the report on the State of the Global Climate 2020, compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported. Concentrations of the major greenhouse gases continued to increase in 2019 and 2020. The economic slowdown, because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, temporarily depressed new greenhouse gas emissions, but had no discernible impact on atmospheric concentrations, the report quoted UN Environment Programme.
Meanwhile, the global mean sea level continued to increase in 2020 and at a higher rate recently, partly due to the increased melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Ocean acidification and deoxygenation have continued, impacting ecosystems, marine life and fisheries. The increasing climate-related disasters, such as floods, droughts and storms, combined with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 in a double hit to more than 50 million people, the report said, quoting data from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Driven by conflict and economic slowdown as well as climate variability and extreme weather events, food insecurity, after decades of decline, is now increasing. According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization and UN World Food Program, the number of people classified under crisis, emergency and famine conditions had increased to almost 135 million people across 55 countries in 2019. “This report shows that we have no time to waste. The climate is changing, and the impacts are already too costly for people and the planet,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the launch of the report stated that “This is the year for action. Countries need to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 and they need to act now to protect people against the disastrous effects of climate change,”
Mark Bittman is an American food journalist, author, having written “Animal Vegetable Junk” amongst many others and former columnist for The New York Times. Currently, he is a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Bittman has promoted Agroecological farming in harmony with nature, and he is of the opinion that changing our diet save our planet. Dr Neena Prasad of Toronto most people cannot change diet we can only eat what is grown of which 50 60% is junk food. Not changing diet, it is changing our society. What we plant determines what we eat. The best agricultural land is used to plant future junk food. Children must understand good food. Jennifer Erickson mentions that children are future adults. Health food children equals health adults. Humanoids are eating the planet into destruction. Less healthy diet more susceptible to complications of Covid infection.
Climate Farming is a mechanism offered as a solution to reverse climate change through “Regenerative Agriculture”. This is a system of farming and land management principles and practices which focus on the restoration of ecosystems while actively conserving and enhancing natural resources. As Climate Farmers, we implement and support self-regulating systems that protect biodiversity while producing healthy and nutritious food. Core principles are: Zero tillage: restoring degraded soils, while not disturbing the soil-fungi-structure; Avoid fertilizers and pesticides: Maintaining soil and water quality. The strategy increases biodiversity, improves watersheds, builds soil, and stores carbon in the ground.
Additionally, the large scale, commercial deforestation leads to the development of climate migrants. This is an individual who moves to a new country or area because climate change has made it very difficult for them to continue to live or work where they are. According to one prediction, there will be 200 million climate migrants by 2050. Climate migrants account for at least a third of rural dwellers flooding to Dhaka in Bangladesh, where rising sea levels, due to global warming, is effectively making arable land worthless. Climate migrants are people who must leave their homes because they have become uninhabitable. Most climate migrants are likely to come from rural areas, as their livelihoods often depend on climate sensitive sectors.
The report warns that 143 million people may soon become climate migrants.
There are numerous other, often overlooked causes of global warming, ranging from smaller contributions caused by open funeral pyre cremations in India, where religious dictates must be rightfully observed to candles burning vigils such as in police shootings of the late George Floyd and the young Duante Wright in the states. Another contributor, although miniscule in scale compared to the major violators of global warming are lamp burning in Hinduism, burning incense sticks in the Middle East as well as in Islamic shrines and Far East. Candle lighting in Catholic churches and in Christian holy sites, like Lourdes in the Pyrenes, in France, where St, Bernadette saw an apparition of the Holy Mother in 1858. This site is visited by millions of pilgrims, annually and a region of lighting candles of varying sizes, twenty-four hours, 365 days.
Regarding the Global Climate Summit 2021, hosted by United States of America, it is also commendable that President Joseph Biden of the United States has promoted the economic benefits of combating climate change, has also renewed his commitment to reducing carbon emissions. President Xi Jinping of China agreed to reducing coal sourced energy and commitment from other global leaders to arrest the rampant destructive spectre of global climate change. This is in direct contrast to former president Donald J. Trump’s dissociation from the Paris Agreement in 2015 and augurs well for the future. The rejoining of United States in the government efforts to counteract global warming shows the political will to prevent the critical level of 1.5oC being exceeded. His Holiness Pope Francis has praised the concerted and determined efforts of the world leaders in combating climate change.
Other global initiatives such as The Climate Emergency Week, amongst the lone voice of the Swedish environmental and climate activist, Greta Thunberg. are encouraging initiatives, including the multitude of school projects which makes the children aware of the dangers of climate change.
Obesity was described in detail in my publication. It is important to reemphasize that it is an independent risk factor for acquiring Covid infections, apart from other comorbidities in a patient. Most cases of obesity are due to the lifestyle of the individual. Presently, obesity is also on the increase in children, resulting in infantile obesity. There is also a concomitant rise in the incidence of symptomatic Covid infections in children in the Third Wave, which was not the case previously. The infantile obesity is also due to the consumption of fast foods which are now grown on repurposed land, in different continents. This land was deforested to enable, vegetable farming, general animal farming, in particular cattle farming. This results in an enormous production of methane gas which additionally contributed to global warming, generated by an increase in greenhouse gases.
The deforestation has caused destruction of large swathes of land which was making a significant contribution towards the sustenance of the fragile ecosystems in countries like Brazil. Here, it was, firstly more profitable to engage in logging and timber production and secondly. In using the bare land to grow food, which is more profitable, such as soya beans, cocoa and rooibos teas, but at the same time, some of the newly repurposed crops will result in the production of fast foods, causing a global obesity pandemic, both in adults as well as in children, who are happily consuming fast foods. This is a fad in African countries where previously disadvantaged peoples are seeing the consumption of certain brands of fast food as a “symbol of liberation”, from their colonial masters. This is a particular strategy in the advertising of fast foods, in Africa.
The high intensity marketing has caused infantile obesity, which is a pandemic, as well as truncal or central obesity, where individuals of both genders, will develop fat deposits around the waist. Often, this will result in a “pear shaped” individual with an abdominal girth of over 100 cm, in males and over 80 cm in females, irrespective of their ethnicity. This will then invariably cause a disease entity called “The Metabolic Syndrome” which is a collection of diseases, in a patient. One of the criteria of this syndrome is elevated blood sugars, and bad cholesterol, (LDL) levels of which are elevated, if measured in a 14-hour fasting patient.
In these patients, eating beef steaks and the famous, fiendishly delightful, “Double Cheeseburgers”, the presence of Diabetes Mellitus, Ischaemic Heart Disease with Heart Attacks and Obesity, will add to the comorbid risk factors predisposing an individual to SARS Cov-2 infection.
The bottom line is that the entire sequence of events beginning with the basic, contributory causes of global, climate change, escalated to “Climate Emergency” as categorised presently by World Health Organisation, is an ongoing self-sustaining, vicious cycle, This will certainly result in death, either due to over eating, coupled with an abysmally poor lifestyle, directly, or due to SARS Cov-2 infection as the individual has developed additional predisposing factors, subsequently. As evident, there are multiple factors hastening the demise of humanoids emanating from the climate emergency. While it is not proven but is in highly possible that the spread of SARS Cov-2 infections and the pandemic, resulting in 334,000 infections in 24 hours in India, with over 300, 000 deaths in Brazil, could basically be fueled by the Climate Emergency. This hypothesis will most likely be confirmed in the future, with additional epidemiological research in the dynamics of the impact of the Climate Emergency and SARS Cov-2 pandemic’s specific patterns of global spread and human affliction. Therein may also lie the answer as to the emergence of the multivariant strains of the Covid virus.
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Tags: Agri-food, Agriculture, COVID-19, Climate Change, Environment, Global warming, Obesity, Pandemic, Paris Climate Agreement
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 26 Apr 2021.
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