What we learned this week

The European Space Agency reports that new records have been set for ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica.

An unseasonal heatwave has baked large parts of Asia this week, with temperatures reaching as high as 45 degrees Celsius in India, Thailand and Myanmar. Schools closed in many places and the Thai government warned people to stay indoors, as underlying global warming combines with an El Nino year.

Extinction Rebellion rallied some 50,000 people to London this weekend, including myself, for their latest demonstration. This one has been lawful and based around alliance-building rather than civil disobedience. If the government fails to respond to demands to stop supporting fossil fuel exploration, direct action will resume.

“Last year saw 138 conscientious protectors in the UK behind bars” writes Just Stop Oil protestor Marcus Decker, who has just received a two year and seven month sentence for his actions. “Prison does, however, seem like a small sacrifice compared to the suffering which we are inflicting on millions. What’s freedom in a dying world?”

Andreas Malm’s How to Blow up a Pipeline is one of the most contentious climate books ever released, though it’s more nuanced and academic than critics might assume (see my review). Malm’s arguments for environmental sabotage are now being explored though fiction in the movie version of How to Blow Up a Pipeline. Here’s the trailer:

Highlights from this week

The Tragedy of Madagascar, by Nathaniel Adams

The year I was born, GDP per capita in Madagascar stood at $517, making it one of the worlds poorest countries. Forty years later in 2021, the World Bank records GDP per capita at $501. So little has changed for so many Malagasy people. By some measures progress has gone backwards. And yet, “we have…

The forgotten mother of climate science

I’m not the only journalist in my household. My wife Louise Parry has been working on The Climate Question for BBC World Service recently, and she produced last week’s episode of the programme, titled How did we discover climate change? I will let her tell you about it and why you should listen to the…

The countries saying no to new oil and gas

Over the last couple of years the campaign group Just Stop Oil have risen to notoriety. Their tactics are controversial and sometimes absurd, but their single demand is hard to argue with: stop all new oil and gas. If you accept even the basics of climate change, then the most obvious thing to do is…

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