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Climate & water - June 6

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BBC finds evidence that carbon trading is fundamentally flawed
Mark Gregory, One Planet, BBC World Service
Carbon Trading

What can be done about global warming?

The international community is resting much of its hopes on a practice known as carbon trading.

And under the main UN scheme, rich countries are able to offset their emissions by paying for projects in poor countries.

However, the BBC has unearthed disturbing evidence that the system is fundamentally flawed.

In this two-part special investigation, Mark Gregory delves into this multi-billion US-dollar industry and discovers that carbon trading is not working and emissions are not being cut.
(5 June 2008)
Contributor Dr. Larry Hughes writes:
A damning report on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Water crisis to be biggest world risk

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, UK Telegraph
A catastrophic water shortage could prove an even bigger threat to mankind this century than soaring food prices and the relentless exhaustion of energy reserves, according to a panel of global experts at the Goldman Sachs "Top Five Risks" conference.
The melting of Himalayan glaciers threatens the water supply to the world's rivers

Nicholas (Lord) Stern, author of the Government's Stern Review on the economics of climate change, warned that underground aquifers could run dry at the same time as melting glaciers play havoc with fresh supplies of usable water.

... Lord Stern, the World Bank's former chief economist, said governments had been slow to accept the awful truth that usable water is running out. Fresh rainfall is not enough to refill the underground water tables.

"Water is not a renewable resource. People have been mining it without restraint because it has not been priced properly," he said.

... Stanford professor Donald Kennedy said global climate change was now setting off a self-feeding spiral. "We've got droughts combined with a psychotic excess of rainfall," he said.

"There are 800m people in the world who are 'food insecure'. They can't grow enough food, or can't afford to buy it. This is a seismic shift in the global economy."
(6 June 2008)

Kiribati likely doomed by climate change: president

David Brooks, AFP
The president of the low-lying Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati said Thursday his country may already be doomed because of climate change.

President Anote Tong said communities had already been resettled and crops destroyed by sea water in some parts of the country, made up of 33 coral atolls straddling the equator.
(5 June 2008)

A long, hot summer - from coast to coast

Kristine Owram, Canadian Press via Globe and Mail
After an exceptionally cold and snowy winter, Canadians from coast to coast can expect yet another hot, sweaty summer, a new long-range forecast from Environment Canada suggests.

If the forecast for the month of June, July and August turns out to be correct, it would be the 19th summer of the last 25 to feature higher than average temperatures, Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips said Wednesday.

“Whether it's climate change, whether it's cyclical, whatever it is, it's a reality that our summers are warmer than our ancestors put up with,” Mr. Phillips said.

The prediction is good news for farmers, since the heat would combine with the potential for above-average rainfall in the country's most fertile regions for what could potentially be a “banner year” for the nation's food producers, he added.
(4 June 2008)

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