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Humans and the planet we inhabit hit a milestone today. The number of people living (or leeching) on the third rock from the sun has hit a record high. Per the Associated Press,
The world’s population is projected to hit an estimated 8 billion people on Tuesday, according to a United Nations projection, with much of the growth coming from developing nations in Africa. Among them is Nigeria, where resources are already stretched to the limit. More than 15 million people in Lagos compete for everything from electricity to light their homes to spots on crowded buses, often for two-hour commutes each way in this sprawling megacity. Some Nigerian children set off for school as early as 5 a.m. And over the next three decades, the West African nation’s population is expected to soar even more: from 216 million this year to 375 million, the U.N. says. That will make Nigeria the fourth-most populous country in the world after India, China and the United States.
We’d better pick up the pace on that future colonization of Mars. http://bit.ly/3Ahtkdk
Growing frustration over Beijing’s Zero-Covid strategy spilled into the streets of one of the latest cities to return to partial lockdown. Per the BBC,
Crowds of residents in southern China's industrial metropolis Guangzhou have escaped a compulsory lockdown and clashed with police, as anger at strict coronavirus curbs boiled over. Dramatic footage shows some overturning a police vehicle and tearing down Covid control barriers. Riot teams have now been deployed in the area. It follows Guangzhou's worst Covid outbreak since the pandemic began. Amid bad economic figures, China's zero Covid policy is under enormous strain. Tensions had been building in the city's Haizhu District, which is under stay-at-home orders.
Can anyone really blame them? Beijing really needs to figure out where the off-ramp lies for the strategy. http://bit.ly/3tudlVs
Climate change is hitting farmers in Kashmir hard, thanks to changing patters of snowmelt in glaciers. Per The Wire India,
Scientists have long warned that warming temperatures linked to climate change are eating into glaciers and ice sheets around the world, driving rising sea levels, floods and droughts. In Kashmir, where nearly 70% of the population directly or indirectly makes an income through farming, mountain communities rely on a pattern of seasonal snowmelt to irrigate their crops, making them especially vulnerable when a heating climate brings unexpected ra A study published in February in the journal Nature Geoscience said the world’s glaciers now contain far less ice than previously thought, having lost roughly 5.4 trillion tonnes of ice between 2000 and 2019. Farhat Shaheen, an agricultural economist at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), said even marginal shifts in the pattern of snowmelt in the mountains will take a heavy toll as Kashmir’s farmers scramble to adapt.
It goes without saying that if portions of the agricultural sector get hit, the pain will extend to the people who depend on those crops for food or business. http://bit.ly/3hKYzqB
Just to show you how small the world actually is… Farmers in California are having to grapple with climate change as well. This article explores how they are trying to take advantage of extreme wet conditions to mitigate the effects of drought down the line. Per Reuters,
The land along the Arroyo Pasajero Creek, halfway between Sacramento and Los Angeles, is too dry to farm some years and dangerously flooded in others. Amid the cycles of wet and dry — both phenomena exacerbated by climate change — a coalition of local farmers and the nearby city of Huron are trying to turn former hemp and tomato fields into massive receptacles that can hold water as it percolates into the ground during wet years. The land along the Arroyo Pasajero Creek, halfway between Sacramento and Los Angeles, is too dry to farm some years and dangerously flooded in others. Amid the cycles of wet and dry — both phenomena exacerbated by climate change — a coalition of local farmers and the nearby city of Huron are trying to turn former hemp and tomato fields into massive receptacles that can hold water as it percolates into the ground during wet years.
Even if they do succeed, what does it mean for the costs of their products down the line? http://bit.ly/3hKHf54
If you thought COP27 was full of old people making far-reaching decisions that will impact today’s youth tomorrow, think again. The younger generation has significant representation at the conference. Per the BBC,
Young people are a more powerful force than ever in the UN climate summit, the UN's youngest climate advisor tells BBC News in Egypt. "Young people are definitely shaping outcomes here at COP27," Sophia Kianni says. Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg has skipped the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting, calling it a forum for "greenwashing". But young people from countries at high risk from climate change say they are "calling it out" from inside.
There’s hope, it seems. http://bit.ly/3TEQukT
Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.