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The study looked only at frequency, not intensity. And like many impacts of the climate crisis, the generational increase in disasters is most stark in countries that have produced fewer emissions. For example, infants in Sub-Saharan Africa may live through 50 times more heat waves than their family members born in pre-industrial times.
Why This Matters: This study drives home the increasing number of disasters expected as a result of climate change — and emphasizes the need to act immediately to rein in emissions. Right now, greenhouse gas emissions are on track to increase by 16% instead of ramping down as needed. This reality tracks with another recent first-of-its-kind study that found over half of young people are very worried about climate change and feel betrayed by lack of action by their governments.
“We can still avoid the worst consequences,” lead author Wim Thiery told the Washington Post. “That is what gives me strength as a father. … Their future is in our hands.”
Studies Could Bolster Youth Legal Cases
Young people across the world have taken their countries to court over their failure to address the climate crisis. In some cases, they have already won — German youth activists won a rewrite of the country’s emissions laws after arguing they were too vague. Research like this on intergenerational inequities can help make the case and strengthen arguments in court for harms caused by governments and corporations.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have hit a three-million-year high, according to a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report published yesterday. Despite a brief dip in emissions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall trend of increasing emissions continues, indicating last year’s dip had little to no impact on […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A report in the Dasgupta Review shows that by using a fiscal lens to view Earth’s growing biodiversity loss, we can see how it links to economic development. By viewing nature as an asset like “produced capital (roads, buildings and factories)” or “human capital (health, knowledge and skills)” — […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer While coal use is a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, another industry is set to outpace it: plastic. A new report from Bennington College and Beyond Plastics estimates the plastic industry emits over 232 million tons of greenhouse gases each year, the equivalent of 116 coal-fired power plants. […]
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