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Deforestation continues of world’s forests – analysis by Greenpeace

Greenpeace have analysed the amount of forests that have been cleared over the past 10 years. This clearing has been undertaken to increase the area available for growing soya beans and palm oil, to manufacture paper and wood pulp and to feed cattle. They point out that not only does clearance reduce carbon dioxide captured by trees, but also the CO2 emissions associated with the disposal of this wood. By 2020 some 50 million hectacres are likely to have been destroyed, equivalent to twice the area of the United Kingdom.

Greenpeace called upon members of the Consumer Goods Forum to renew their pledge only to obtain such products through sustainable sources.
[Guardian newspaper 11/06/2019]

Cleaning up the UK’s nuclear power stations will be very costly

Nuclear power has helped to initiate the transition from fossil fuel generation to renewable energy sources. However in the UK their operation has resulted in the accumulation of 4.9 million tonnes of nuclear waste. Safe disposal of this waste using current technology will take 120 years and a total cost estimated at £234 billion.

Many of these nuclear reactors were not designed to be easily decommissioned. Not was much thought given as to how the nuclear waste, much of which is highly radioactive could be safely managed until the radioactivity had died.

The advantages of renewable energy sources like photovoltaic cells or wind turbines is that they are not radioactive. In addition these sources can be renewed by replacing the solar panels or reblading the turbines so that their life time cost is very much lower than that of nuclear power.
[Eureka magazine June 2019 p12-16]

Young people are fighting for our future but we need your help

Greta Thunberg and her collaborators have called for a week of climate action starting Friday 20 September with a world wide strike for climate action. The idea is that “we should walk out of our work places and homes to spend the day demanding action on the climate crisis, the greatest existential threat that all of us face”

In her article in the Guardian on Friday, May 24, Greta wrote –“ Last year’s UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on global warming was clear about the unprecedented dangers of going beyond 1.5 C of global heating. Emissions must drop rapidly so that by the time we are in our mid- and late-20s, we are living in a completely transformed world. But to change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance – we have shown that collective action does work”.

Decline in biodiversity ‘threatens food crisis’

The world’s capacity to produce food is being undermined by humanity’s failure to protect biodiversity according to the first UN study of the plants, animals and micro-organisms that help to put meals on our plates.

This stark warning was issued by the Food and Agricultural Organisation after scientists found evidence that that the natural support systems underpinning the human diet are deteriorating globally as farms, cities and factories convert land to social use and a range of pollutants are emitted which interfere with world wide food web.

Over the past two decades the report noted about 20% of the Earth’s vegetated surface became less productive.

Reference-The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture-https://www.fao.org/state-of-biodiversity-for-food-agriculture/en



 

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