Archives  >  2019  >  September  >  25th

Shame on You!

1. What’s the story?

Teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, gave a blistering speech at the United Nations Climate Summit on Monday, harshly admonishing world leaders for their failure to do the bare minimum to save this planet. Here is her passionate, incredible speech – speaking truth to power. “’You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words…”, she said. “…we are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth — how dare you!’
 
Tell me more.

Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden first began her climate activism a year ago, with “‘skolstrejk för klimatet’ (school strike for climate change) outside the Swedish parliament building on August 20, 2018.” Last August, she was a lone demonstrator. Six months later, in March, nearly 1.5 million youngsters across the world followed her footsteps.

““You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular,” she told the attendees of the United Nations’ COP24 conference in Poland in December. “You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like is. Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet



Thunberg’s fearless rhetoric has proven to be enormously influential. After Thunberg shamed the members of British Parliament in April, following a successful lobbying effort by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and a wave of protests in London by activists calling themselves the Extinction Rebellion, British lawmakers declared the climate crisis an “emergency” on May 1. They then signed a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions into law.”
 
Interestingly enough, Donald Trump, a well-known climate change denier, attended parts of Thunberg’s session on Monday. Later on, he appeared  “to have taken a swipe at the teenage climate activist … tweeting a video of an emotional Thunberg with an apparently sarcastic comment that she seems to be “very happy” and looking forward to a bright future.”
 
 
So, what next?

Shortly after her speech at the Summit, it was announced that Thunberg and fifteen other adolescents were suing five countries, including Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey for “violating  their rights as children by not taking sufficient measures against climate change. But they don’t want money, they want action.



They claim the countries did not uphold the 30-year-old U.N. treaty Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the most widely ratified in history, and lays out rights to life, health, and peace.

The plaintiffs expressed how climate change is negatively impacting them, ranging from worsening asthma to having to leave their homes for fear of running out of water — showing that pollution of the environment has no borders.”

Keep your eyes on this space. We’ll keep you updated (Till, you know, the rising sea levels and CO2 emissions kill us all.)



2. Where else should I be looking at?

Telangana, that’s where. In a major win for the nation’s environmentalists and tribal rights activists, the Telangana Government cancelled its permission to explore and mine uranium in the Nallamala forest area. Proposed mining would not only have destroyed tribal land, led to deforestation, and killed endangered big cats, it would also have polluted the Krishna river – one of the main water sources for the city of Hyderabad.
 
“Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said that an appropriate resolution would be passed in the Assembly and Council in this regard.

“We have no intention of allowing uranium mining… We will not allow Nallamala forests (where the tiger reserve is) to be destroyed. It will contaminate the Krishna river from which we get drinking water. It will impact our capital city Hyderabad. So at any cost, we will not allow uranium mining. This is our firm decision. I request the people of the state not to worry about it,” Rao said.”



3. What more?

The young woman who accused influential BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of sexual assault has now been detained by the Special Investigation Team in connection with an extortion case filed by the politician. The extortion claim came a month after the accuser was rescued from Rajasthan after being allegedly kidnapped by Chinmayanand’s goons for daring to go public with her allegations.  

“A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea seeking protection from arrest that was filed by a law student who has accused former Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chinmayanand of raping and physically exploiting her, NDTV reported. The case will be heard on Thursday. This came a day after the Allahabad High Court refused to grant her anticipatory bail.

Earlier in the day, media reports claimed that the girl had been detained for questioning by the Special Investigation Team in connection with an extortion case filed by the BJP leader against the 23-year-old woman. The complainant’s brother and father were reportedly present when she was taken by the police.”



4. Anything else?

The world’s richest families seem to be hoarding cash in view of climate change, trade wars, Brexit, and recession. Ironically enough, this is slowing the global economy down even further – according to the latest survey by a major Swiss bank.

“The world’s richest families are worried about the US-China trade spat, Brexit, populism and climate change and are keeping more of their money in cash, according to a survey of family offices by the world’s largest wealth manager.

Forty-two percent of family offices – set up to manage the wealth of one or more rich families – have increased their cash piles this year, according to the survey of 360 family offices by Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S) and Campden Wealth Research.”



5. Is that all?

In a bizarre sequence of events, a Russian navy boat was attacked and sunk by a walrus in the Arctic, it was reported on Monday.
 
“ “Walruses attacked the participating boat,” the research group explained. “The boat sank, but the tragedy was avoided thanks to the clear actions of the squad leader. All the landing participants safely reached the shore.”
This wasn’t the Russian navy’s first run-in with walruses.

This past May, photos believed to be from 2006 surfaced online of a large walrus napping on top of a Russian submarine.”



6. Before you leave…

Read about how light pollution is destroying this world, and how, “…beneath the surface of one of Germany’s deepest lakes, researchers are studying the hidden effects of artificial light…”

“The Lake Lab was built so that ecologists could study a form of environmental change that rivals climate change in its scale and reach: the spread of artificial light at night.

Since 2010, the scientific literature has exploded with research examining light’s effects on individual species, from birds to fish to trees to humans. The news, in general, isn’t good. Artificial light changes animal migration and reproduction, tree leaf growth, bird nesting and fledging, pollination, human sleep, and much more. It even affects the spread of diseases. In July, researchers reported that West Nile–virus–infected house sparrows that live in light- polluted conditions are infectious for two days longer than those that live in darkness are, increasing the risk of a West Nile outbreak by 41 percent.”
 



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