Fire in the Hole

Across the globe, thousands of coal fires are burning. Nearly impossible to reach and extinguish once they get started, the underground blazes threaten towns and roads, poison the air and soil and, some say, worsen global warming. The menace is growing: mines open coal beds to oxygen; human-induced fires or spontaneous combustion provides the spark.
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“Oceans have been absorbing the world’s extra heat. But there’s a huge payback”

England holds his arms out wide to show the size of one cubic metre of air. To heat that air by 1C, he says it takes about 2,000 joules. But to warm a cubic metre of ocean needs about 4,200,000 joules.

“By absorbing all this heat, the ocean lulls people into a false sense of security that climate change is progressing slowly.

“But there is a huge payback. It’s overwhelming when you start to go through all the negative impacts of a warming ocean.

“There’s sea level rise, coastal inundation, increased floods and drought cycles, bleached corals, intensification of cyclones, ecological impacts, melting of ice at higher latitudes in the coastal margins – that gives us a double whammy on sea level rise.
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US Office of Climate Change and Health Equity

If I reflect back on when I started in public health, most people were actively hostile to the concept of health equity and global heating was regarded as a fringe issue of marginal significance. How much things have changed when the US DHHS sets up an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity. Even if it’s a small, under-resourced unit, its very existence has meaning.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall … establish an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity to address the impact of climate change on the health of the American people,” – Source

Political Scenarios for Climate Disaster

There is no realistic scenario for addressing climate change that does not involve a comprehensive reorganization of human societies in the reasonably near term. Yet we emphasize reorganization, not collapse or apocalypse. As a species, humanity will almost certainly survive the coming centuries. But who will survive, and how they will live, is genuinely uncertain. The distribution of the burdens of substantial adaptation—which is now inevitable, whatever the extent of future carbon mitigation—and the political-economic means by which distribution is implemented: these are urgent issues facing us all.
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Heatwave ‘completely obliterated’ the record for Europe’s hottest ever June

So much for the science. As a scientist, this is what I’m expected to say. And yet, this weekend as I sat in my garden, listening to Glastonbury on the radio and watching my children trying to keep cool in the paddling pool, I was overcome for the first time with a feeling I could not shake off. Guilt, and fear. Guilt, that by being too scientific about these things, I don’t have enough passion and impetus to do everything I can about it. And fear for the future we are leaving for my children. For all our children.

Source: Heatwave ‘completely obliterated’ the record for Europe’s hottest ever June