What’s next? Climate lockdowns?

Blog post by Marica Micallef

Lately, the mainstream media all over the world, with its usual parrot-like behaviour, is just bombarding us with articles about extreme weather changes related to climate change. I have learnt that when the media is up to something, then we are being prepared for something. Climate lockdowns maybe?

We do not have to go far. This local Maltese summer has proven to be very tough one, with one heatwave after another. Such a heatwave has also hit Canada, with the Guardian reporting that “Nearly 500 people may have been killed by record-breaking temperatures in Canada’s westernmost province, as officials warn the grim toll from “heat dome” could rise again as more deaths are reported.”[1]

Lately, some countries in central Europe have been hit by severe flooding. “Extreme rainfall has caused rivers across the region to break their banks, with the Danube and Elbe particularly affected. People living in affected regions in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia have been evacuated from their homes. 13 people are known to have died”[2]. The same article predicts that “the impact of climate change means that extreme weather, including heavy rain and flooding, will become more frequent.”

Two provinces in China, Sichuan and Henan suffered their worst rainstorms in recorded history, seeing 80,000 people being evacuated in Sichuan only. “It said more than 440,000 people have now been affected by floods in six cities across the province”, 45 houses destroyed and 118 severely damaged.“China is routinely hit by heavy rainfall during the summer, but experts have warned it must now improve the resilience of its cities as extreme weather becomes more frequent.”  “The floods killed more than 300 people, mostly in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, which saw almost a year’s worth of rainfall in just a single day, China’s weather bureau said.”[3]

On the other hand, other countries across the world (Greece, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Canada and the United States) are battling severe raging wildfires. According to the Guardian, this is all due to the “heatwaves and historic drought tied to climate change”[4]. In Greece, “the extent of the destruction is greater than previous fire seasons.”[5] These wildfires have destroyed thousands of acres of land (without forgetting the flora, fauna and animals that have forests as their natural habitat), saw the evacuation of thousands of people, and have destroyed livelihoods.

Recently, a 7.2 Magnitude earthquake has hit Haiti, leaving hundreds of people dead. [6] The New York Times has warned us that almost every place in the U.S. has warmed after a “baseline data of temperature, rain, snow and other weather variables” were collected over three decades at thousands of locations across the country.[7]

Scientists blame these rising global temperatures on greenhouse gas emissions. CNN has reported that “a landmark report from global scientists says the window is rapidly closing to cut our reliance on fossil fuels and avoid catastrophic changes that would transform life as we know it” and that “Only by making deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, while also removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, can we halt the precipitous trend.”[8] Inewsmalta further added that these global scientists are blaming climate change entirely on humanity[9].

The World Health Organisation has also recently joined the media warning us that “heat waves, floods and droughts are taking thousands of lives, forcing displacement, and exacerbating food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition”. Now, according to the WHO, it is the climate crisis that is the biggest health threat that humanity is facing, instead of Covid. And CNN has quoted a study stating that areas that have been hit by wildfires have a higher risk of dying from the Delta variant of the CoronaVirus. [10] The CoronaVirus attacks the lungs, while the soot and smoke that people inhale from wildfires weaken the respiratory system of those living in these areas hit by the wildfires.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/02/canada-heatwave-500-deaths

[2] https://europeangreens.eu/news/heavy-rains-cause-flooding-across-central-europe

[3] https://www.reuters.com/world/china/heavy-rain-sichuan-causes-economic-losses-houses-collapse-state-media-2021-08-09/

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/09/fires-rage-around-the-world-where-are-the-worst-blazes

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/09/fires-rage-around-the-world-where-are-the-worst-blazes

[6] https://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/World+News/Caribbean/Haiti/Haiti+Earthquake

[7] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/05/12/climate/climate-change-weather-noaa.html

[8] https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/09/world/global-climate-change-report-un-ipcc/index.html

[9] https://www.inewsmalta.com/2021/08/in-nu-tippubblika-rapport-xokkanti-dwar-it-tibdil-fil-klima/

[10] https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/13/health/wildfire-smoke-coronavirus-climate-change/index.html

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