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Earth in Extremis while Trump Plays Ostrich

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The US is also not immune from fires. California's Kincade fire lasting two weeks through November 6 this year burnt almost 78,000 acres. The largest 2019 wildfire in the state, it was the largest ever for Sonoma county -- evacuation orders and warnings covered almost everyone living in it. For the first eleven months of 2019 there have been 46,706 wildfires compared to 47,853 for all of 2018. Blame the down-slope Santa Ana winds for fanning them.


If such is the state of our earth in extremis, COP25. the UN Climate Change Conference, is endeavoring to mitigate the major cause: climate change. It concludes in Madrid, Spain this week (Dec 13), having been displaced from Chile due to riots by an unhappy populace. And celebrity climate activist Greta Thunberg was obliged to hitch a yacht ride back across the Atlantic arriving just in time to demonstrate. Everything helps.


COP25's ambitious aim is to up the ante from the 2C temperature- rise limit of the Paris agreement, adopted by COP24 last year in Poland, to only 1.5C. A laudable aim perhaps, yet the worst polluters since the industrial revolution are comfortably ensconced, enjoying their wealth, without bearing a heavier burden -- in the case of the US very little as Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Paris agreement. Indeed a vexing state of affairs for the world when major players shirk their responsibilities.

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Arshad M Khan is a former Professor. Educated at King's College London, Oklahoma State University and the University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. He was elected a Fellow of the (more...)
 
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