On the huge consequences of climate change

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“ The production of meat requires enormous resources: with the same energy consumed, you produce 16 calories of cereal for each calorie of beef. Not to mention that farms are among the largest producers of greenhouse gases because of the methane produced in the digestive process from livestock (…) Famines will become a central issue for humanity, which seems to ignore their presence already. There is little talk about it, but it is estimated that around 800 million people are undernourished. Only in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen the current famine could lead to 20 million deaths by the end of this year, according to the most pessimistic forecasts of the United Nations (…) The effects of global warming will become obvious when it will be too late, unless we begin to design a real alternative route to reduce emissions whithin a few decades ”

Translated from Italian.

Il Post, ‘The apocalypse we created ourselves’, Il Post

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On the anti-US sentiment in Yemen for its support of the Saudi-led coalition

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“ ‘USA Kills Yemeni People’, screams graffiti plastered on walls in Yemen’s capital Sana’a. The Yemeni people who have been on the receiving end of US bombs dropped by Saudi pilots know all too well that the United States is complicit in their suffering. The intense anti-US sentiment in Yemen should be a wake-up call for Americans: if you don’t care about the millions of suffering Yemenis, you might think about the future blowback (…) People in the region understand that until there is a serious US interest in a political solution, it won’t happen. Even if Trump is only interested in ‘putting America first’, he would do well to stop being involved in dropping bombs on Yemenis and instead use his ‘art of the deal’ to join with the United Nations in ending this catastrophic conflict ”

Medea Benjamin, ‘America will regret helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen’, The Guardian

On the consequences of the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement

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“ Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement could have serious consequences on maintaining commitments from other states and more generally on the state of the planet, given that global warming is already happening and every year lost to counteract it increases the risk of producing irreversible effects on the climate. The procedure to exit the treaty – which entered into force on 4 November 2016 – takes almost four years to be completed, but the United States could immediately abandon all their cooperation activities, not participate in the new climate meetings of the UN and isolate itself from the rest of the international community on this issue ”

Translated from Italian.

Il Post, ‘Some American cities want to respect the Paris climate agreement’, Il Post

On fossil fuels lobbies’ influence on the climate change debate

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“ Organisations that have observer status, and can therefore attend meetings and walk the corridors of the conferences, include industry groups that represent all of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and BHP. Many of them have lobbied against policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (…) ExxonMobil famously hid their knowledge about climate change for decades and investigations have revealed they continue to fund efforts to manipulate public discussions of climate change ”

Michael Slezak, ‘Fossil fuel lobby could be forced to declare interests at UN talks’, The Guardian

 

On Trump’s enigmatic apparent change of heart in Syria

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“ Trump consulted neither his Nato allies, the US Congress, nor the UN. Even without the UN, a strike to prevent an imminent repeat of the attack could have been lawful on humanitarian grounds – but Trump did not seek that justification. The strike was framed as a punitive gesture, for the US’s self-defence. The outcome is dangerously unclear. Having five days earlier signalled to Assad that the US was no longer seeking to remove him, the US is now calling for regime change. McMaster admitted to reporters that the attack was ‘not meant to reduce Assad’s capability to murder his own people’, and that he expected the Syrian dictator’s fate to be decided in a ceasefire process leading to elections ”

Paul Mason, ‘Could Britain ever fight a just war in Syria alongside Trump’, The Guardian

On Duterte’s brutal methods

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“ Loved by many in the Philippines for his confrontational style, the president has lashed out at his critics, labeling the United Nations ‘stupid’ and former US president Barack Obama a ‘son of a whore’. He also announced he personally killed criminals, including throwing one suspect to his death from a helicopter. The Philippine house of representatives approved a version of the death penalty bill this month that will allow the execution of drug convicts by hanging,firing squad, or legal injection ”

Oliver Holmes, ‘Philippine president swears  at European MPs over death penalty criticism’, The Guardian