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‘Climate Apartheid’ Between Rich and Poor to End Human Rights, UN Expert Warns

The report will be formally presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday.

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Climate Apartheid
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(TMU) — You can forget the impact that education, charity, and getting out the vote may have on the future of humankind.

Instead, the real determining factor impacting our rights to life, water, shelter, and food will be dictated by global climate conditions, according to a United Nations human rights expert.

The new report by Philip Alston, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, lays out a stark warning over the devastating consequences faced by the vast majority of the world’s population in the years ahead.

And if the current state of affairs is any indicator, the world is looking at a future of “climate apartheid” where the poor get poorer—and suffer the horrific consequences of climate change including war and displacement—while the wealthy are able to escape hunger, conflict and the scorching conditions and extreme weather events lying ahead.

The report begins in an alarming enough fashion:

“Even under the best-case scenario, hundreds of millions will face food insecurity, forced migration, disease, and death.

Climate change threatens the future of human rights and risks undoing the last fifty years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction.”

The report on climate change and poverty will be formally presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday, where Alston will deliver the devastating conclusion of his report:

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“Human rights might not survive the coming upheaval.”

Alston stressed that while those in poverty will bear the heaviest burden due to climate change, they won’t be the only victims of the coming “full-blown crisis [that] bears down on the world.” Noting that human rights groups have failed to grapple with the gravity of what’s to come, Alston noted that “business as usual is a response that invites disaster.”

Continuing, Alston explains how global society has ignored the fast-approaching climate catastrophe for far too long, with even the well-intentioned efforts of countries, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the U.N. itself being “patently inadequate” in dealing with the “urgency and magnitude of the threat.”

Alston explained:

“Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction. It could push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and will have the most severe impact in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work.”

Developing nations bear an estimated 75 percent of the cost of climate change, the report noted, in spite of the fact that the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population cause a mere 10 percent of carbon emissions. The report continued:

“Perversely, the richest, who have the greatest capacity to adapt and are responsible for and have benefitted from the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions, will be the best placed to cope with climate change, while the poorest, who have contributed the least to emissions and have the least capacity to react, will be the most harmed.”

“Yet States have marched past every scientific warning and threshold, and what was once considered catastrophic warming now seems like a best-case scenario,” Alston added.

And even if those best-case forecasts are fulfilled, by 2100 extreme temperatures throughout the globe will leave many regions afflicted with lost income, food insecurity and precarious health. Whole populations in some regions will be faced with the horrific choice between starvation or migration—and the inevitable climate exoduses from affected regions will likely lead to right-wing and fascistic blowback from some populations.

The report said:

“Yet democracy and the rule of law, as well as a wide range of civil and political rights are every bit at risk … The risk of community discontent, of growing inequality, and of even greater levels of deprivation among some groups, will likely stimulate nationalist, xenophobic, racist and other responses. Maintaining a balanced approach to civil and political rights will be extremely complex.”

The climate crisis will likely increase yawning gaps and divisions within society, Alston added, explaining:

“We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.”

The report strongly condemns U.S. President Donald Trump for “actively silencing and obfuscating climate science” while placing former oil industry lobbyists in oversight roles and aggressively rolling back environmental regulations. It also criticizes Trump ally and far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro for opening up the Amazon rainforest to unprecedented levels of mining and logging. And while the report compliments China for moving to end its reliance on coal, it notes that it continues to export coal-fired power plants abroad while failing to implement its own domestic methane emission regulations.

And as the looming catastrophe approaches, governments have continued to maintain “the current course,” which is “a recipe for economic catastrophe.”

“Economic prosperity and environmental sustainability are fully compatible but require decoupling economic well-being and poverty reduction from fossil fuel emissions,” Alston said.

Concluding, Alston noted that robust human rights-centered policies from the local level upwards will be needed to support displaced workers, ensure decent jobs, and protect people’s all-around rights. Calling for profound changes in society, the special rapporteur said:

“Climate change will require deep structural changes in the world economy … A robust social safety net will be the best response to the unavoidable harms that climate change will bring … This crisis should be a catalyst for states to fulfill long ignored and overlooked economic and social rights, including to social security and access to food, healthcare, shelter, and decent work.”

Alston also warns against market-based “solutions” that primarily benefit the private sector, noting that for-profit efforts will merely ensure that the wealthy are catered to, the poor are left behind, and human rights are violated on a massive scale. Alston said:

“If climate change is used to justify business-friendly policies and widespread privatization, exploitation of natural resources and global warming may be accelerated rather than prevented.”

In a press release from Alston’s office, the special rapporteur noted that if his report seems extreme, it’s only because of the extreme nature of the threat we all face:

“There is no shortage of alarm bells ringing over climate change, and an increase in biblical-level extreme weather events appear to be finally piercing through the noise, misinformation, and complacency, but these positive signs are no reason for contentment.

A reckoning with the scale of the change that is needed is just the first step.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Bizarre

The Notorious ‘Gateway to Hell’ May Finally Be Sealed, Turkmenistan’s President Says

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The Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan has long been host to what has been dubbed the “Gateway to Hell” – a massive hole in the ground that has been smoldering for about five decades.

However, the country’s government is now moving to finally extinguish the blazing natural Darvaza gas crater which lies in the center of the huge Karakum desert.

This isn’t the first time that President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has spoken of extinguishing the so-called portal to the underworld. In 2010, the strongman leader also ordered that experts investigate how best to put out the flames, which have been raging since a mishandled Soviet drilling expedition in 1971.

To prevent a disaster resulting from the spread of dangerous fumes, Soviet authorities decided it would be best to burn off the gas by setting it alight.

As a result, the 229-foot (70 meter) wide and 65-foot (20-meter) deep crater has been ablaze ever since, drawing tourists to the former Soviet country.

In 2018, the government officially renamed the pit the “Shining of Karakum.”

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This week, Berdymukhamedov decried how the gas crater “negatively affects both the environment and the health of the people living nearby,” reports AFP.

“We are losing valuable natural resources for which we could get significant profits and use them for improving the well-being of our people,” he added in the televised statement, noting that officials must “find a solution to extinguish the fire.”

Turkmenistan is known to possess the fourth-largest known reserve of natural gas in the world, reports VICE, and its economy is dependent on the export of the raw resource.

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Environment

Insanely Terrifying Footage Shows Tornado Ripping Through Kentucky Town

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Horrifying video footage posted to social media shows the harrowing moment when a huge tornado moved through the distance, cutting a swathe of destruction through a part of Kentucky during the night.

Local resident Eddie Knight posted the 35-second clip to Twitter of what seemed to be a scene ripped straight from a disaster or horror film, with the video flashing to pitch-black before showing the tremendous tornado during flashes of lighting.

“Video of what I believe to be the tornado that traveled ~200 miles,” Knight wrote. “Video from my dad’s front porch between Bremen and Sacramento, Kentucky. Terrifying.”

“My family is ok. Still verifying friends,” he told later told FOX 35. “This is MUCH bigger than just the factory in Mayfield,” he added, referring to the horrific destruction of a candle factory in the western Kentucky town of Mayfield.

On Friday, night the candle-making plant was flattened by a devastating tornado, trapping upwards of 100 workers toiling inside. While 40 people have been rescued, it is feared that at least dozens may be dead. 40 still remain unaccounted for, according to the Graves County coroner’s office, reports Reuters.

The tornado system that ripped through Kentucky is likely to have been the deadliest the state has ever seen, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.

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On Friday night, tornadoes carved through over 200 miles spanning five states including Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee on Friday night, crumbling metal structures like paper and toppling concrete buildings. Even a freight train was thrown from its track, reports New York Times.

Along with the Mayfield factory, an Amazon facility in Edwardsville, Illinois was destroyed, killing at least six employees of the e-commerce giant. An unknown amount of workers remain missing, while authorities have said that they don’t expect to find any more survivors.

Search and recovery efforts are continuing at both the Mayfield and Edwardsville facilities and are expected to last for several days.

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Environment

China Was Just Caught Literally Changing The Weather For Communist Party Celebration: Study

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In recent years, China has made a number of head-turning and downright dazzling technological advances. Now, according to a new study, the East Asian giant has successfully managed to literally change the weather.

According to a recent report from the South China Morning Post, scientists at Tsinghua University say that during the 100-year anniversary of the Communist Party of China, authorities succeeded in modifying the weather in Beijing to clear the sky and improve air quality for the masses gathered to celebrate the party’s centenary in Tiananmen Square.

The large-scale operation involved lacing the clouds above the capital with chemicals to usher in rainfall over suburban parts of Beijing before the July 1 centennial event. According to the Tsinghua researchers, eyewitnesses report rockets being launched from mountains outside the city in the run-up to the event.

The Beijing researchers claim that the artificial rain managed to reduce the level of PM2.5 air pollutants by over two-thirds, bringing air quality to “good” conditions from “moderate” levels per World Health Organization Standards.

The use of chemicals to modify weather conditions is a practice that dates back to at least the 18th century, when European states used gunfire to shoot at storms in hopes to prevent hail from harming crops.

By the turn of the 20th century, dozens of hail cannons were deployed for commercial purposes despite the unproven nature of such primitive geo-engineering methods.

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Fast forward to the 2020s, and the People’s Republic of China has reportedly invested vast resources into weather modification programs that will be tested in a region spanning 5.5 million square miles by the year 2025. The impact of such geo-engineering efforts could lead to regional tensions with China’s increasingly nervous neighbors.

Meanwhile, as the potential for a new cold war with the people’s republic continues to grow, professional China skeptics have stoked fears that the ruling Communist Party could use its newfound ability to manipulate the weather for military purposes. However, it’s worth noting that the United States military has been hoping to weaponize the rain since at least 1967.

However, with arid conditions and extreme drought threatening the food security of populations across the globe, the ability to literally make rain fall may not be as frightening as some make it out to be.

Additionally, some researchers have claimed that geoengineering could play a role in mitigating the impact of rampant climate change. However, it remains far too early to know the long-term impact of lacing skies with chemicals on a widespread, regular basis.

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