Category Archives: World affairs

Further glimpses on Latin America

With Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America, Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste, The Science Says Everyone Needs a COVID-19 Booster Shot—and Soon we had a look at South America.

This Month’s Region of the World: Latin America has a look at the huge region where many of the people in this region are spiritually blinded to the hope of the Gospel by the darkness of false religion.

In line with those articles you may be interested to read further how most of Latin America is still far from the horrific conditions prevailing in Venezuela, where output has fallen by a staggering 75% since 2013. But, given the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe there, and the spectre of political instability elsewhere, investors should not take a sustained economic recovery for granted.

The current disconnect between market calm and underlying social tensions is perhaps nowhere more acute than in Latin America. The question is how much longer this glaring dissonance can continue. > Under the Latin American Volcano

While the United States and other advanced economies are returning to normalcy, Colombia reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths to date during the last week of June. > Colombia’s Triple Crisis

Once a peripheral presence in Latin America, China has become one of the region’s most important partners. Bilateral trade expanded from $12 billion in 2000 to over $300 billion in 2020, raising China’s share of the region’s total trade from 1.7% to 14.4%. China has also become an increasingly significant source of foreign direct investment in Latin America, accounting for nearly 10% of inflows in recent years. > How Latin America Should Navigate US-China Tensions

At a glance, the Latin American venture capital and startup market appears similar to what we’ve seen from other growing ecosystems. Like the U.S., Canadian, European, Indian and African startup hubs, Latin America is seeing venture capital activity set records. Early-stage venture capital fund Newtopia VC launched Monday with $50 million to invest in tech startups based in Latin America. > Why Latin American venture capital is breaking records this year

Big problem in several Latin-american countries is the repression. In Brazil police actions against peasant areas have intensified since the announcement of “Operation Rondônia,” using federal and state forces to repress the just peasant struggle in the region and particularly the combative and honorable peasant organization LCP – League of Poor Peasants of Rondônia and Western Amazonia. The troops of Bolsonaro and the military police (MP) of the governor of Rondônia, the puppet of landowners, Colonel MP Marcos Rocha, seek to concentrate forces to attack, acting shamelessly with the support of paramilitary forces, actually hitmen in the pay of the latifundium [large, monopolistic landowners -Ed.], under the cover of a “private security” company. > Brazil: Bolsonaro National Force, Military Police, and Gunmen Shoot at Peasants.

The situation is very serious, all the more so because the fascist and genocidal Bolsonaro himself, gives free rein to landowners and murderous troops to commit their crimes against peasants with impunity, as denounced in a statement by the LCP, “Bolsonaro arms landowners and says the police can kill peasants who will go unpunished”

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Man vs ‘Terminator’ – The Battle Of Covid 19 Rages Worldwide

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A couple of things caught my attention this week relating to the seemingly ever changing myriad of Covid-19 restrictions. First, the French Parliament passed a law that will require a health pass for access to restaurants, bars, trains and planes from the beginning of August. (In France, all venues accommodating more than 50 people already require proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test, including museums, cinemas and swimming pools.) Second, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance on wearing masks and now the agency recommends that some fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they live in areas with significant or high spread.

Those are only two of many examples of increased Covid-19 restrictions going into effect around the globe. The Delta Variant of SARS-CoV-2 is more transmissible and can cause worse health outcomes than other variants. Because Delta is more transmissible, it is fast becoming the dominant…

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No Longer ‘Hidden Victims,’ Children Are Dying as Virus Surges in Indonesia

 

Dewayne-Net Archives

No Longer ‘Hidden Victims,’ Children Are Dying as Virus Surges in Indonesia
Hundreds have died from Covid-19 in recent weeks, many of them under the age of 5. National leaders face mounting criticism that they have been unprepared.
By Richard C. Paddock and Muktita Suhartono
Jul 31 2021
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/world/asia/children-deaths-virus-indonesia.html

Hundreds of children in Indonesia have died from the coronavirus in recent weeks, many of them under age 5, a mortality rate greater than that of any other country and one that challenges the idea that children face minimal risk from Covid-19, doctors say.

The deaths, more than 100 a week this month, have come as Indonesia confronts its biggest surge yet in coronavirus cases over all — and as its leaders face mounting criticism that they have been unprepared and slow to act.

“Our numbers are the highest in the world,” the head of the Indonesian Pediatric Society, Dr. Aman…

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Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste

When you can not go to South America, why do you not bring South America into your home?

For those with a good taste

From waterfalls to wines

South America is the continent that is home to a vast array of rich cultures, history, traditions, food, and once-in-a-lifetime places to visit.

Angel Falls, Venezuela | © David Kjelkerud / Flickr

When you would love to go exploring South America it would not be bad to prepare yourself and to get already some taste of it before you take the long voyage. A place you have to visit is the waterfall in the Guiana Highlands in Bolívar state, southeastern Venezuela, on the Churún River. Before you would like to fly over Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, coming in at over 3000 feet it would not be bad to feel a bit like an angel tasting all sorts of well-tasting goods from that continent, which will bring you to the seventh heaven.

You also do not have to go straight away, deep in the Amazonian rainforest to find a melting pot of indigenous traditions and a perfect place to see centuries of Peruvian history and culture coming together.

Before you would go to the Belén Market, the largest traditional market in the Peruvian Amazon, and a place where visitors can taste and see the food, textiles, and wares of the region, on the web there is a place where you already can have a peep-show of some handicrafts from the South American continent

Mendoza, Argentina

Wines

As state and local governments order people to stay home to limit the spread of the virus, toilet paper and canned goods are not the only items people are snapping up. Wine sales at wine shops are soaring and large, highly-distributed wine brands are struggling to keep wines on the shelf.

Meanwhile, small wineries that depend on restaurants and on-site sales are trying to figure out how to survive. The question on the mind of everyone in the wine business is what will things look like on the other side when they get the virus under control.

Having poached the Malbec grape from Europe and turned it into a roaring superstar, Argentina is rightly celebrated for its wine producers.

The Mendoza region, in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region, dominates Argentina’s wine scene. It enjoys prestige for the wine produced on its vineyards. It also can be refreshing to see genuine contenders from elsewhere, such as the Bodegas Callia from the San Juan province.

In the Mendoza region, you may find one of the original Bordeaux grape varieties from the Bordeaux region of France, namely Malbec. Because grown on a higher altitude then in France the wines tend to have a higher level of acid, which makes them ideal to go with the Argentinian meat.

The Cabernet Sauvignon which was introduced in Argentina in the 19th century by the French agricultural engineer Michel Amié Pouget. He further introduced Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Malbec vines to Argentina and founded the first vine nursery and agricultural school in his new country.

Located in the Tulum Valley, Bodegas Callia aims to produce the best Shiraz in Argentina.

Since we cannot go to South America, we will have to bring the heat and sun here. And what better way to do so than with a few good bottles of wine? Certainly when those wines earn it to keep on the palate.

Navarro Correas Cabernet Sauvignon 2016The dry, hot climate of Argentina is really great for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes ripen very easily, so these Cabs are almost always filled with tons of blackberries, cherry, pepper and vanilla with a little bit of mint. If you like rich, full-bodied wines with dark fruit flavours, then you might want to try a Cabernet Sauvignon from Navarro Correas Private Collection which since a few moths you now easily can get over here in Europe by an excellent deliverer.

When you are looking for a nice rich tempting wine with a big, nutty, creamy nose or bitter cherry awash with orange peel and gravely splendour, you might find it at Pequeña SudAmerica.

As the second largest country in South America and the eighth largest in the world by land mass, Argentina could even offer much more in case the country would have been more organised and receiving more support from those in charge.

Beers

Beer Trial PackStylistically Argentina is perhaps the most European of Latin American countries, especially when it comes to cuisine. You can find the traditional wineries (the world’s fifth biggest wine producer) and you also may find the principal beer types which were based on central European styles of lager and wheat beer. It is impossible to taste every beer produced in South America, Pequeña Sudamerica offers a very good selection of 6 or 7 selected beers in a trial pack.

The historical influences in South America which have created a cuisine that offers a variety of delicacies has also brought some very, very tempting sweets around the corner. For diabetics is it not always so easy, because a lot of sweets and drinks are very sweet.
But nimble fingers and kitchen princesses can already prepare a lot for those who want a taste of that delicious South America.

Craftworks

It might not always be easy to bring Argentinian wines over to Europe, but for traditional artisans, it is even more difficult to get their goods over to Europe. Those craftsmen in particular have serious difficulties to virtuously market their products.

Carla Scalia

Carla Scalia

With corona-restrictions the Argentinian Carla Scalia, now living in Belgium, could only go twice to her home country to bring some beautiful handicrafts from her family and friends with her. Therefore those craft works are very limited. And because they are not made in a factory they are all individual pieces of art, which makes them special. This makes that when you might see some sculptures or drawing on the website, next time you come onto the website they already might be gone.

Mate Alados by Noelia Álvarez

All the South American accessories Pequeã SudAmerica is offering are hand made by local artists, and by selecting it properly at the artist’s workshop this is how they ensure to always offer you the best quality. As such they present mate cups of the best quality in an exclusive and unique design, hand painted and varnished for complete protection.

You also shall be able to find a selection of original accessories for your kitchen and table.

From the southern United States to northern South America the Lignum vitae, with its evergreen leaves can be found. As a source of a very hard and heavy wood that is brownish green in colour, the wood being relatively waterproof because of its high fat content, makes it ideal for making kitchen utilities. It is used to make pulleys, shafts, axles, and bowling balls, and Pequeña SudAmerica is offering the tropical wood in magnificent small objects, like food and toothpicks.

Argentinian artist Noelia Álvarez, who has performed incredible exhibitions in San Rafael, Mendoza and Buenos Aires in Argentina and Catalonia, Spain, is not only responsible for a great variety of mate cups with a unique design. Although her work focuses on paintings with incredible designs and details, Noelia has taken her passion to the limit and from painting large murals and paintings in acrylic on canvas, she designed very beautiful and exclusive wooden mate cups.

For sure, the founders of the webshop Pequeã Sudamerica took great risks to start their business to bring Sud American articles to the European continent, whilst there was and still is a Coronacrisis, limiting them going back and forth to Argentina to contact local traders, to support them and offer them a fair price for their goods. At the moment Carla Scalia her parent’s wines are not yet available, but perhaps this would be made possible in the future (when some good shipping arrangements could be organised).

Pequeña Sudamérica, or “Little South America”, has the goal to make South Americans in Europe taste home again, and get Europeans to experience their great specialities.
In addition to the best known mate tea brands, you shall be able to find a wide variety of drinks, delicacies and accessories.

We would say:

Enjoy some chocolate and dulce de leche products at your afternoon tea.

And enjoy South America at your home in our wet regions, so that the sun (at least) may shine in your house.

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Please find the shop:  https://pequena-sudamerica.eu/en/

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Preceding

Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America

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Related

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  2. Wonderful Place!
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  4. Angel Falls, Venezuela by Gabriel Riva
  5. Angel Falls, Venezuela by Austin Shaffer
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  7. 10 Best Places to Visit in Argentina – Travel Video
  8. Haurez
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  10. Buenos Aires Electronic Music Travel Guide by Forma
  11. Dalwhinnie Shiraz 2006 Wine Review
  12. Que Syrah Syrah…
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  14. Salad Shirazi – Cucumber and tomato salad with dried mint dressing

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Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America

When you can not go to South America, why do you not bring South America into your home?

Reasons to stay away from South America

Virustime

2020-2021 was no time to go to South America because of a acute respiratory syndrome virus attacking the population badly. Brazil is the Latin American country affected the most by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 27, 2021, the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Latin America could be recorded, and Brazil could be placed third highest in the world, the country had reported approximately 19.7 million cases. It was followed by Argentina, with more than 4.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. In total, the region had registered more than 40 million diagnosed patients, as well as a growing number of fatal COVID-19 cases.

As of July 27, 2021, more than 1.3 million people have died due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. The country with the highest number was Brazil, reporting more than 550 thousand deaths. As a result of the pandemic, Brazil’s GDP is forecast to decline by approximately six percent in 2020. Meanwhile, Mexico ranked second in number of deaths, with over 238 thousand occurrences.

Elena Ruiz, 53, breathes in oxygen with the assistance of a nurse, as part of Ruiz's recovery treatment from COVID-19, in Lima, Peru Peru has more than 2.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19

Classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 17, the lambda, or C.37, variant of the coronavirus has already been detected in some US states and at least 29 nations — many of them in Latin America.

In Peru, where it was identified in August 2020, the lambda variant accounted for more than 80% of new infections in June, and it is also spreading rapidly in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

Coronavirus lambda variant spreads across Latin America

The WHO classified C.37 as a “variant of interest” after it appeared in a number of countries simultaneously. In Peru, where the lambda variant was identified in August 2020, it now accounts for most of new infections.

Elena Ruiz, 53, breathes in oxygen with the assistance of a nurse, as part of Ruiz's recovery treatment from COVID-19, in Lima, Peru Peru has more than 2.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19

Classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 17, the lambda, or C.37, variant of the coronavirus has already been detected in some US states and at least 29 nations — many of them in Latin America.

In Peru, where it was identified in August 2020, the lambda variant accounted for more than 80% of new infections in June, and it is also spreading rapidly in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

“So far we have seen no indication that the lambda variant is more aggressive,”

WHO virologist Jairo Mendez-Rico told DW.

“It is possible that it may exhibit higher infection rates, but we don’t yet have enough reliable data to compare it to gamma or delta.”

Alpha (B.1.1.7), beta (B.1.351) delta (B.1.617.2) and gamma (P.1) are also categorized as “variants of concern” by the WHO. The classification indicates that they are more transmissible and more difficult to treat and can lead to more serious illness.

“Although it is possible, currently there is no indication that variants are more dangerous and lead to increased mortality,”

said Mendez-Rico.

“It is likely that SARS-CoV-2 will become more transmissible throughout the course of its evolution but not necessarily more damaging.”

Time to stay away

The Lambda version spread more quickly than variants deemed far more dangerous by the WHO out of the way, even prevailing over the gamma variant, which had run rampant in neighboring Brazil. But with all the variants going around it is not the ideal time to go to South America when you are not really needed overthere.

Virologist Pablo Tsukayama said lambda was more transmissible, which had helped it spread so quickly in Peru.

“With […] the highest mortality rates in the world, we are the country that has struggled most when it comes to the coronavirus,”

he said.

“Therefore, it is probably no wonder that the new variant has gotten its start here.”

By the end of July, COVID-19 deaths in Peru had surpassed 195,000.

“It is very likely that new variants will appear during a third wave of coronavirus infections during the South American winter between July and September,”

said Tsukayama.

 “They may not be any more lethal but they will definitely be more communicable.”

Last month the landlocked country in south-central South America Paraguay registered 18.09 deaths per million, compared with 2.71 in India, 2.2 in South Africa, 1.01 in the US, and 0.14 in the UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted essential health services in most countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, threatening immunization of children and care of expectant mothers and people with chronic conditions, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne warned.

Attractive New World

For many the New World, the Western Hemisphere, or simply the Americas is something which is very attractive and lets us dream a lot. South America is compact and roughly triangular in shape, being broad in the north and tapering to a point — Cape Horn, Chile—in the south.

Having a total area of about 6,878,000 square miles (17,814,000 square km), or roughly one-eighth of the land surface of Earth it has so much to offer, one needs months or years to properly visit it and to taste all the goodness of it.
Mount Aconcagua, in Argentina, near the border with Chile, is not only the continent’s highest point but also the highest elevation in the Western Hemisphere. The Valdés Peninsula, on the southeastern coast of Argentina, includes the lowest point, at 131 feet (40 metres) below sea level. In relation to its area, the continent’s coastline — some 15,800 miles in length — is exceptionally short. San José Gulf was officially decreed a wildlife sanctuary in 1974.

With a grand total of 12 countries packed into the 4th largest continent in the world, South America easily presents a lot of terrain and culture to cover, though not all places are very safe to visit, because of political and crime- but now also because of health risks.

Notwithstanding all the difficulties many countries of that continent have to cover it is a continent teeming with superlatives. According to some it is also next to New Zealand the most of what our fantastic planet has to offer.

South America may very well be the place to visit to see many wonders of the world, but for sure now is not the time to do it. Colouring ‘red’  it looks like you shall have to wait some time before it will be alright to visit it.

But do not worry, if you want already some taste of it, you can get it (if not today) already tomorrow.

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Continues with

Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste

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Additional reading

  1. Avoiding to get Water at the price of gold #2 Dealing with effects of a changing climate
  2. 2019 was #1 a Year of Raising fire and voices
  3. CoViD-19 Curation
  4. Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period
  5. Looking at: ‘The rich are getting richer, and the poor are… also getting richer’ by Daniel Hannan

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Related

  1. This Month’s Region of the World: Latin America
  2. A new Continent – South America
  3. The Pandemic’s Legacy Will Spur New Protests in Latin America
  4. Otras 135 personas murieron y 10.356 fueron reportadas con coronavirus en todo el país
  5. Brazil sees a significant fall in the average number of deaths due to Covid-19
  6. Venezuela Is Without a Vaccination Plan
  7. Murió por coronavirus Gino Renni, el actor italiano que conquistó a los argentinos con su humor
  8. Por fin Logre mi Vecina Argentina Viniera a visitarme , Vean como se sienta encima de la verga y la se la mete entera en la cola
  9. Horse power
  10. Lomas de Lachay
  11. Florianópolis
  12. by Gateway Landscape Photography on Flickr.Avenue of the Glaciers, Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
  13. Flora Veloso biography: 10 things about Miss Earth Argentina 2021
  14. On the approach to Fitz Roy in Southern Patagonia, Argentina
  15. My Older Sisters Griselda and Xiomara: Survivors of the Guatemalan Civil War
  16. An Inca highway still benefits people living nearby | The Economist
  17. Why Latin American venture capital is breaking records this year
  18. Happy Peru Day – Feliz Fiestas Patrias
  19. July 30, 2021 Moray and the Moras Salt Mines
  20. Sismo en Perú dejó al menos 41 heridos, tres de ellos en grave estado
  21. Terremoto de magnitude 6,1 atinge a costa norte do Peru e deixa feridos
  22. A 6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes Peru.
  23. Haurez
  24. Informality rate in Brazilian labour market rises to 40%
  25. Belem – Brazil – Icoaracy
  26. Channel-billed Toucan Ramphastos vitellinus
  27. São Paulo Sunday
  28. Rare Snowfall Enchants Brazilian Resort Town
  29. Vídeo: o momento em que uma casa desmorona e cai no mar na Argentina
  30. Río by Lumtz

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Four ways to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises simultaneously

A landmark report by the world’s most senior climate and biodiversity scientists argues that the world will have to tackle the climate crisis and the species extinction crisis simultaneously, or not at all.

That’s because Earth’s land and ocean already absorbs about half of the greenhouse gases that people emit. Wild animals, plants, fungi and microbes help maintain this carbon sink by keeping soils, forests and other ecosystems healthy.

Failing to tackle climate change meanwhile will accelerate biodiversity loss, as higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns make survival for many species more difficult. Both problems are intertwined, and so solutions to one which exacerbate the other are doomed to fail.

Luckily, there are options for addressing climate change and biodiversity loss together, called nature-based solutions. If implemented properly, these measures can enhance the richness and diversity of life on Earth, help habitats store more carbon and even reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, making ecosystems more resilient while slowing the rate at which the planet warms.

1. Protect and restore ecosystems

Everyone is familiar with the need to preserve tropical rainforests, but there are other pristine habitats, on land and in the ocean, which are in dire need of protection.

Mangrove swamps occupy less than 1% of Earth’s surface, but store the equivalent of 22 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s around two-thirds of total emissions from burning fossil fuels each year. These coastal habitats act as a home, nursery, and feeding ground for numerous species. More than 40 bird, ten reptile and six mammal species are only found in mangroves.

Under the canopy in a tropical mangrove forest.
Mangroves are particularly good at storing carbon. Velavan K/Shutterstock

Peatlands – those soggy ecosystems which include bogs, marshes and fens – store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests. The top 15cm stores more carbon below ground than tropical rainforests do above ground. In the UK, peatlands store the equivalent of ten billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and host precious plant and animals such as red grouse, mountain hares and marsh earwort.

Unfortunately, more than 80% of the UK’s peatlands are degraded in some way. A single hectare of damaged peatland can emit more than 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to the yearly emissions of seven family cars.

Protecting these ecosystems can prevent carbon being released into the atmosphere. Restoring them where they’ve been damaged can suck carbon dioxide from the air and guarantee shelter for rare wildlife. Diverse natural systems also bounce back better from climate extremes than do species-poor, highly degraded systems, and will keep helping biodiversity and people even as Earth continues to warm.

2. Manage farmland and fisheries sustainably

Not all of the world’s land and ocean can be left to nature, but the land and ocean people use to produce food and other resources can be managed better.

People currently use about 25% of the planet’s land surface for growing food, extracting resources and living. The global food system contributes one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Methods of farming – such as agroecology, which involves incorporating trees and habitats within farm fields – and sustainable fishing practices can protect and regenerate topsoil and seabed habitats, boosting biodiversity and improving how resilient these ecosystems are to climate change.

Rows of vegetable beds with lines of young trees.
Reforestation in tandem with food growing: lettuce, cauliflowers and tomatoes grow among saplings in Brazil. Luisaazara/Shutterstock

3. Create new forests – with care

People have already cut down three trillion trees – half of all the trees which once grew on Earth.

Creating new woodlands and forests can draw down atmospheric carbon and provide diverse habitats for a range of species, but great care must be taken to plant the right mix of trees in the right place. Vast plantations of non-native trees, particularly when they’re a single species, offer less useful habitat for wildlife, but a mix of native trees can benefit biodiversity and store more carbon in the long run.

A study in south-east China showed that forests containing several tree species stored twice as much carbon as the average single-species plantation.

We can do the same thing in the ocean by restoring seagrass meadows.

4. Shift to more plant-based diets

Globally, animal agriculture is a major contributor to biodiversity loss. Millions of hectares of Amazon rainforest, African Savanna and Central Asian grassland have been ploughed up to create pasture and plant feed crops for the cows, pigs and chickens that we eat. Nearly 60% of all planet-warming emissions from food production originate in livestock rearing.

Reducing demand for meat and dairy, through diet changes and cutting waste, would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions – which itself benefits biodiversity by limiting climate change – it would also lower pressure for farmland and so reduce deforestation and habitat destruction, freeing more land for the wider use of nature-based solutions.

A vegan burger with a side of sweet potato fries.
A vegan diet is better for wildlife and the climate than a high-meat one. Rolande PG/Unsplash, CC BY-SA

Meat, especially highly processed meat, has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and bowel and stomach cancer. Plant-based diets are healthier, reduce healthcare costs and reduce carbon emissions.

A note of caution

It’s important to remember that nature-based solutions aren’t a substitute for the rapid phase out of fossil fuels. They should involve a wide range of ecosystems on land and in the sea, not just forests. Wherever they’re implemented, nature-based solutions must proceed with the full engagement and consent of Indigenous peoples and local communities, respecting their cultural and ecological rights. And nature-based solutions should be explicitly designed to provide measurable benefits for biodiversity – not just carbon sequestration.

With all this in mind, the world can design robust and resilient solutions for the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, sustaining nature and people together, now and into the future.

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About the authors:

Pete Smith currently receives research funding from UKRI, EU, Wellcome Trust and Scottish Government. He is on the science advisory team for Carbon Direct (https://carbon-direct.com/).

Mark Maslin is a Founding Director of Rezatec Ltd, Co-Director of The London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, a member of Cheltenham Science Festival Advisory Committee and a member of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group. He is an unpaid member of the Sopra-Steria CSR Board and Sheep Included Ltd Advisory Board. He has received grant funding in the past from the NERC, EPSRC, ESRC, DFG, Royal Society, DIFD, BEIS, DECC, FCO, Innovate UK, Carbon Trust, UK Space Agency, European Space Agency, Research England, Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation Sprint2020, and British Council. He has received research funding in the past from The Lancet, Laithwaites, Seventh Generation, Channel 4, JLT Re, WWF, Hermes, CAFOD, HP, and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Camille Parmesan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong?

Almost 200 people dead and many others still missing. Billions of euros’ worth of damage. Communities devastated. Thousands of homes destroyed and their occupants traumatised.

Hannah Cloke  advises the Environment Agency, the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, local and national governments and humanitarian agencies on the forecasting and warning of natural hazards. She is a Council member of the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council, a fellow of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, a fellow of the Centre for Natural Hazards & Disaster Science in Sweden and is also affiliated to Uppsala University in Sweden. Her research is funded by the UKRI Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

I am a flood forecaster who helped to set up the forecasting system that was used to predict the recent floods in Germany and surrounding countries. I saw days in advance that they were coming. I read reports of rainfall and river levels rising. And then I watched with growing horror as the death toll surged.

The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), which I helped to set up, is part of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service. It provides early information on flooding to national and local authorities across Europe. I work closely with people there in my role as an independent flood scientist at the University of Reading to improve and analyse EFAS data. I don’t work in the team that issues early flood information to authorities, but looking at the data with colleagues, I could see early on just how serious the floods looked.

Forecasts on Friday July 9 and Saturday 10 for the Rhine catchment, covering Germany and Switzerland, had shown a high probability of flooding that would begin on Tuesday July 13. Subsequent forecasts also showed the Meuse in Belgium would be affected. The forecasts in the following days showed that there was little doubt that a major flood was coming.

EFAS sends out bulletins of early information which are designed to be read, understood and acted on by experts. They are not directly available to the public. Public flood warnings come from the national and regional weather, environment and civil protection agencies, and EFAS information needs to be used by these authorities alongside their own forecasts.

The first EFAS bulletin was sent to the relevant national authorities on Saturday July 10. More updates continued over the following days as more precise predictions became available. Formal flood notifications were issued to authorities in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well as the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission throughout Monday and Tuesday. As the event neared and uncertainty in the forecast shrank, the predicted start of the flooding was pushed to Wednesday for smaller rivers and Thursday for the larger downstream rivers. Around 25 individual warnings were sent out to parts of the Rhine and Meuse.

The German weather service, DWD, had independently forecast extremely high rainfall too and issued warnings for more than 200 mm of rain in the same areas several days ahead of time, saying that flooding was possible. Regional warnings were also issued, for example by the Environment Agency in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the areas hit particularly hard by flooding.

The floods that did happen matched the scale and distribution of those that were forecast several days before. I was very surprised, therefore, that so many people died, given that authorities knew about the event and had sufficient warnings to get people to safety before the floods began.

Where flood warnings fail

Clearly, tragically, the whole system designed to save lives by ensuring people act on warnings before floods arrive, did not work as it should have done. It may be that individual parts of the system worked exactly as they were designed, and it is certainly true that forecasts were accurate, and there were some warnings issued through official channels. In some areas, many authorities did act in time, to evacuate people, erect temporary flood defences, and move vehicles to higher ground. But this clearly did not happen everywhere.

In the middle of an election campaign, some German leaders in national and regional government still seemed to defend the locally-devolved nature of disaster management in Germany, insisting that the warnings were adequate and agencies did their work well. It is like claiming that the maiden voyage of the Titanic was a success because 99% of its engineering worked perfectly throughout. While their arguments may be true on an individual scale, unless those in power admit that the system ultimately failed, they risk failing to learn lessons and put others at risk in the future.

Science, in large part, is about helping people see the invisible. What is the use of a perfect forecast if the people it is supposed to warn cannot see the danger they are in? Effective flood warnings require people to be able to see into the future and imagine their house full of water, to assess the likelihood of that happening, and to see the multiple paths they could take to keep them, their family, and their property safe.


Read more: Report from Europe’s flood zone: researcher calls out early warning system gridlock amid shocking loss of life


I recently took part in an exercise encouraging scientists, from senior professors to school pupils, to trace the path of water in a river through time using just their imagination. Weeks later, we are seeing what happens when people cannot visualise the threat of a river ripping down their street, or a lake appearing in their house. These are the elements of flood warnings that must improve.

As climate change increases risks from heatwaves, fires and floods, we need to not only slash emissions but prepare ourselves for the problems we already have in store. Even with sufficient decarbonisation measures – which we are still yet to see from any major government – there is no avoiding the consequences of a hotter, more turbulent environment.

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Suggested further reading

McEwan, L., Garde-Hansen, J., Holmes, A., Jones, O. & Krause, R. (2016). Sustainable flood memories, lay knowledges and the development of community resilience to future flood risk. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42, 14 – 28. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12149.

Alexander, M., Priest, S. & Penning-Roswell, E. (2017). The risk of ill-informed reform: The future for English flood risk management. Area, 50, 426 – 429. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12393.

Forrest, S., Trell, E. & Woltjer, J. (2018). Civil society contributions to local level flood resilience: Before, during and after the 2015 Boxing Day floods in the Upper Calder Valley. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44, 422 – 436. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12279.

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Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue

Probably we are looking at more than 150 victims of the heavy rain and flooding which took parts of Germany, Belgium and the South of the Netherlands. Authorities said late Thursday that about 1,300 people in Germany were still listed missing, but cautioned that the high figure could be due to duplication of data and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone connections.

In Belgium, Pepinster, Theux, Chaudfontaine, Spa, Liège a.o. got enough water to forget draughts for months. Most of the drowned were found around Liege, where the rains hit hardest. Skies were largely overcast in eastern Belgium, with hopes rising that the worst of the calamity was over.

Please find this report about the flash floods this week which followed days of heavy rainfall, sweeping away cars and causing houses to collapse across the region.

“Some parts of Western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days. What made it worse is that the soils were already saturated by previous rainfall,”

said Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization.

Those who keep saying Climate chance is an invention of revolutionaries and lefties, should have a better look of how our weather becomes unpredictable.

Extreme weather events are hitting Europe more frequently as climate change warms the continent, experts agree.

2020 was Europe’s hottest year since records began over 300 years ago, according to analysis of global weather stations by Berkeley Earth, and eight of the 10 hottest ever years have been in the past decade.

The continent’s average temperature is now roughly 2C warmer than it was at the start of the 20th century – an increase that has come with a growth in extreme weather.

For example, warmer air holds more water which, in turn, can lead to extreme downpours.

Please find to read and watch another video > Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue by Frank Jordans

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Earth’s pandemic and T-shirts for young people

We at the Belgian Christadelphian office have passed a certain age, so that it would not be appropriate to walk on the street with a T-shirt. As elders, we tell the visitors in our churches about the task we as human beings have when living on this planet. We talk about our responsibility and the task God has given us. But we do know the majority of inhabitants of this planet are not believing in God and are mostly concerned about gaining as much money as possible, whatever the cost may be.

The last few months, lots of people were very worried about the Covid-pandemic, but for years there has been another big virus circling around us, which most people seem to ignore. Though for more than a decade, several of the Boom generation with the millennials and the Generation Z have been writing essays, articles and making posters for awareness about global warming and cried out into the world to save our planet. Because that planet is getting very ill. People have used and wasted earthly resources, if nothing. In our so-called ‘civilised’ countries most citizens were and are not concerned about the pollution they cause.

For us the time of publicly protesting and going on the streets, protesting for this and that, may be gone or not so appropriate.
But for young people, we would like to introduce some very interesting clothing and tote bags with a different angle. We are namely very concerned about the world where we and our children and grandchildren but also next generations have to live in. Therefore, we do find it five past twelve to call on all the responsible people to use their senses and to do something against the horrible state we have brought our planet. We cannot sit still and do if global warming does not exist.

Everybody can use his own voice to bring awareness to others. A T-shirt is a wearable message board that can pull the attention to our planet and to what we have to do about it. The world needs to change as we are currently hurtling towards climatic changes that will alter the way the planet is configured. This will certainly be to the detriment of humanity if not cause its extinction. Crazy you may say but 99.99% of all species that have ever lived have gone extinct so just because we can walk and talk and use a smart phone does not mean that we will not go the same way.

Scientists and philosophers don’t in general want to be celebrities but it is important that we listen to what they have to say because they offer the only way out of this current crisis. So enjoy our range and change the world at least in one tiny way, an environmentally friendly piece of clothing. {Scientist and Philosopher}

It is not bad to have a look at their products to make others aware of this dramatic situation.

Keep it cool V1BNo planet B design 1 V1B shopping bag

> A collection to highlight the need for us all to stop and think. > Think

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Find also to read

  1. Weather, climate-change and man-made global-warmingGlobal WARming: An Overlooked Pandemic
  2. Hot weather
  3. Global Warming
  4. Global Warming Was Explained in 1856. By a Woman
  5. Environment
  6. Climate explained: how the IPCC reaches scientific consensus on climate change
  7. Rapid Climate Change Makes It Hard for Butterflies and Moths to Adjust
  8. From CNN: Unprecedented heat, hundreds dead and a town destroyed. Climate change is frying the Northern Hemisphere
  9. Time to write again, getting the word out, climate change is a reality
  10. Too Dumb to SurviveThe Arctic’s last ice area
  11. Last Ice…
  12. Update on Climate Referendum in France
  13. Julia Conley: ‘This Is Our Future’ Without Climate Action, Advocates Warn After Pipeline Causes Fire in Gulf of Mexico
  14. IPBES/IPCC Report: Tackling the biodiversity and climate crises together
  15. The Climate Crisis Is Accelerating – Now What?
  16. An Actual Space Laser Shows How Devastating Sea Level Rise May Be
  17. Climate Change & Joshua Tree National Park
  18. Highest Ever Temperature Recorded In Finnish North
  19. Why Polar Bears are on The Verge of Extinction
  20. The monarch butterfly cab use our help to stay alive by Kalpana Sutaria, Austin American-Statesman
  21. Seabird Salvation
  22. Impeach Bolsonaro and Topic on Climate
  23. global participation…

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Paul Noël his writings and thoughts

Paul Noël or Paul Paddington when he was at school and as a teenager he promised his English teacher that he would one day write a book.

After studying he landed up in the IT, not exactly a place where books are written. Many years later he spent a lot of time travelling around South America with his partner and during the eight and half months there they sat on long-distance coaches quite a number of times. As part of this round the world trip once they left South America they spent Christmas and New Year in New Zealand and the time and the experience there are what kicked off the ideas for writing stories for children.

So, after completing a one year away travelling experience it was back to work for him. In his spare time he tried to get all the publishers in the Writers and Artists Yearbook interested in his work but rejection was one hundred percent. He basically gave up or was too busy and did not notice the huge growth of the wonderful Kindle Direct Platform allowing everyone to easily publish their ideas.

Then in February of 2018 he was made redundant after having worked at the same company for him to polish his stories and get them published on Amazon.

Next to writing stories he also publishes a blog. In his opinion the planet is in a very bad state and we have only got ourselves, the human primate, to blame. He writes

To get out of this mess we would need a species level mindset change and that would take some inspired leaders. Unfortunately, taking a look around, there are not many of those. {The wooden elephants have moved, London}

Perhaps the only way that we will see elephants in the future unless we stop senselessly killing them and encroaching on their land. Something that would involve curbing and stabilising human population growth. Taking things a step further we must hope that living trees weren’t chopped down to make the elephants.{Wooden Elephants, The Mall, London}

He also looks at places around his neighbourhood. He also notices how trees got damaged. He finds trees amazing, and

a crucial part of the life support systems that sustain all other life including the human primate. It’s a shame that we are such dumb monkeys and cut down and burn so many of them. {Battered tree, Hyde Park, London}

And he remarks:

Hyde Park of course is very managed and in normal woodland and forests the ground would not be manicured as it is here. The fallen trees would be a source of food for so many other forms of life.

Trees are amazing, a crucial part of the life support systems that sustain all other life including the human primate. It’s a shame that we are such dumb monkeys and cut down and burn so many of them. {Fallen giants lying at the feet of living giants, Hyde Park, London}

> Books By Paul Noël

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