In Episode 106 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg continues his rant against the ubiquitous propaganda that normalizes the oppressive and dystopian pre-pandemic normality—or, as it is now incorrectly rendered, “normalcy” (sic). The opportunity for a crash conversion from fossil fuels that was posed by 2020’s pandemic-induced economic paralysis is now being squandered. As fossil-fuel prices soar, the Biden administration is continuing a Trump-era policy to aggressively open public lands to coal mining, refusing to return to an Obama-era moratorium on new leases. US greenhouse gas emissions dramatically bounced back in 2021—one of the hottest years on record. The global mean sea level is rapidly rising, and will keep rising for centuries even if the Paris Agreement goals are met, as seems less likely each day. And all this as hospitals remain overwhelmed coast to coast, and the National Guard is being mobilized to keep them functioning. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo: CounterVortex)
International climate negotiations will be delayed by a full year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UK government announced. The next summit, dubbed COP26, was due to take place this November in Glasgow, but has now been put off to November 2021. Delaying the talks could encourage governments, industrial concerns and financial institutions to adopt recovery plans with high climate costs—such as a bailout for the oil companies. The postponement is particularly critical given the failure of last year’s summit, held in Madrid, to reach any agreement. (Photo: Ralf Vetterle, Pixabay)
A Special Report on Climate Change was released by the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), focusing on greenhouse gas emissions and its links to desertification, land degradation and food security. The report warns that the “rise in global temperatures, linked to increasing pressures on fertile soil,” risks “jeopardizing food security for the planet.” The effects of global warming have led to “shifts of climate zones in many world regions,” further exacerbating land degradation, and leading to extreme weather conditions such as floods and droughts. The reports warns: “The stability of food supply is projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases.” (Photo of Tantaverom region of Chad via UNDP)
Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement comes just as an unprecedentedly huge piece of Antarctica’s ice shelf is on the verge of breaking off from the continent. (Map: Geology.com)
Police in Paris used tear-gas and batons to break up protesters who attempted to gather ahead of the UN climate summit in defiance of a state of emergency.
Amid the current UN climate talks, the New York Times runs an op-ed entitled "To Save the Planet, Don't Plant Trees"—filled with bogus science and dishonest claims.
Climate-change denialists are gloating at the "Polar Vortex"—failing to understand that it was unleashed by destabilization of the Jet Stream due to loss of arctic ice cover.
A new war of words between the UK and Argentina over the Malvinas/Falklands follows a similar one last month over a disputed region of Antarctica.
Grist notes a Dec. 12 report on Nature: Cold temperatures have kept crabs out of Antarctic seas for 30 million years. But warm water from the ocean depths is now intruding onto the continental shelf, and seems to be changing… Read moreKing crabs invade Antarctica: no joke