SO Trump is over there having face time with his buddies ‘Angela’ and ‘Emmanuel’ and that guy in charge of the United Kingston. He says he’s having a great time, but it seems his people are kvetching.
Senior aides in Donald Trump’s entourage have accused the G7 host and French president, Emmanuel Macron, of seeking to embarrass his US counterpart by making the summit focus on “niche issues” such as climate change, according to multiple US media reports.
The spark for the fuse appeared to be lunch. Macron whisked the US president away for an impromptu meal for two on an oceanfront terrace at the Hotel du Palais. Trump initially appeared frosty but later called it “the best meeting we have yet had”.
Senior administration officials quoted by the New York Times among others were not so sure, complaining the summit had moved from core issues such as global economics and trade to “niche issues” such as climate change, gender equality and development in Africa. The topics were chosen to appeal to Macron supporters, and even to embarrass Trump, who pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, they said, as protesters marched the streets of the French city calling for action to tackle the fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest.
I find it fascinating that people with their hands on the levers of the US government consider the climate we all depend on for our survival a “niche” issue. If climate isn’t central what is? Trump’s rate of profit on his Irish golf course?
It’s Trump’s “view” that climate change is a left-wing hoax designed to steal all his money and impose Soshulizm on the helpless bankers and real estate speculators, but in the real world we can’t help noticing that climate change seems to be going a lot faster than predicted. The fires in Siberia for instance:
Despite statements by Russian authorities, the intensity of forest fires in Siberia is not decreasing. The 4.3 million hectare fire – an area larger than Denmark – is contributing significantly to climate change. Since the beginning of the year a total of 13.1 million hectares has burned.
Fires in the Taiga have been raging every year, but this summer’s blazes have reached unprecedented size and strength. The Siberian fires are emitting more than 166 Mt CO2 — nearly as much as 36 million cars emit a year. Fires in Siberian forests are especially dangerous for the climate as they are the source of black carbon that settles on the Arctic ice and accelerates its melting.
There are the Himalayan glaciers:
At least a third of the ice in the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush will thaw this century as temperatures rise, disrupting river flows vital for growing crops from China to India, scientists said on Monday.
Vast glaciers make the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region – which is home to the world’s highest peaks topped by Mount Everest and K2 – a “third pole” behind Antarctica and the Arctic region, they said.
Much of it will be bare rocks in less than a century, the scientists say.
The report, by 210 authors, said that more than a third of the ice in the region will melt by 2100 even if governments take tough action to limit global warming under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
And two-thirds of the ice could vanish if governments fail to rein in greenhouse gas emissions this century.So the rivers will dry up.
The study said the thaw will disrupt rivers including the Yangtze, Mekong, Indus and Ganges, where farmers rely on glacier melt water in the dry season. About 250 million people live in the mountains and 1.65 billion people in river valleys below.
In river valleys where the rivers support agriculture.
Also melting? Greenland.
Scientists didn’t expect to see Greenland melt at this rate for another 50 years: By the last week of July, the melting had reached levels that climate models projected for 2070 in the most pessimistic scenario.
On August 1, Greenland’s ice sheet lost 12.5 billions tons of ice, more than any day since researchers started recording ice loss in 1950, The Washington Post reported.
The dramatic melt suggests that Greenland’s ice sheet is approaching a tipping point that could set it on an irreversible course towards disappearing entirely. If that happens, catastrophic sea-level rise would swallow coastal cities across the globe. As ice melt continues to outpace scientists’ expectations, some fear that could happen more quickly than they thought.
And there’s the Amazon.
Official figures show 78,383 forest fires have been recorded in Brazil this year, the highest number of any year since 2013. Experts say the clearing of land during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing, has aggravated the problem.
More than half of the fires are in the massive Amazon basin, where more than 20 million people live. Some 1,663 new fires were ignited between Thursday and Friday, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
[T]he Amazon plays a major role in many of the processes that make our planet habitable: water cycles, weather patterns, and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The rainforest is also home to more than 30 million people and over 10% of the world’s biodiversity. Scientists see potential for new medicines in unstudied Amazon plants.
The more than 2.5 million square miles of Amazon rainforest are also one of our greatest buffers against the climate crisis, since the trees absorb carbon dioxide, thereby keeping it out of the atmosphere.
But deforestation threatens all of that. Humans have cut down nearly 20% of the Amazon in the last 50 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). If another 20% of the Amazon disappears, that could trigger a “dieback” scenario in which the forest would dry out and become a savannah. That process would release billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and raise global temperatures.
And the coral reefs are dying, fish populations are crashing, there’s a drought in Costa Rica … In short no, climate change is in no way a “niche” issue, even at a conference concerned with trade. Trade can’t very well flourish on a planet that’s turned into a dusty rock, so if humans don’t pull their socks up and do something about it there won’t be any G7 or any heads of state to attend it or any surviving people to follow the news about it.