GLOBAL NEWS HIGHLIGHTS - updated 21 July 2019     Return to Index
15 July, 2019
World hunger on the rise as 820m at risk, UN report finds - The Guardian link here

Eliminating hunger by 2030 is an immense challenge, say heads of UN agencies

More than 820 million people worldwide are still going hungry, according to a UN report that says reaching the target of zero hunger by 2030 is “an immense challenge”.

The number of people with not enough to eat has risen for the third year in a row as the population increases, after a decade when real progress was made. The underlying trend is stabilisation, when global agencies had hoped it would fall.

Millions of children are not getting the nutrition they need. The UN says the pace of progress in halving child stunting and reducing the number of low birthweight babies is too slow, which jeopardises the chances of achieving another of the sustainable development goals.

Nearly half of all child deaths in Africa stem from hunger, study shows

The report is from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization.

While hunger remains widespread, obesity – also related to malnutrition – continues to rise in all regions. There are 338 million school-age children and adolescents who are overweight and 672 million obese adults. Asia and Africa, which have nine out of 10 of all stunted children and more than nine out of 10 of all wasted children worldwide, are also home to nearly three-quarters of all overweight children worldwide, largely driven by unhealthy diets.

One in seven babies around the world were born with low birthweight in 2015, the report says, many of them to adolescent mothers. That puts them at risk of poor development.

The world’s population has steadily grown, with most people living in urban areas. Technology has “evolved at a dizzying pace, while the economy has become increasingly interconnected and globalised”, say the heads of the UN agencies in a foreword to the report.

“Many countries, however, have not witnessed sustained growth as part of this new economy. The world economy as a whole is not growing as much as expected.”

Climate breakdown is affecting agriculture and the number of farmers has declined. “All of this has led to major shifts in the way in which food is produced, distributed and consumed worldwide – and to new food security, nutrition and health challenges.”

Hunger is increasing in countries where economic growth is lagging and there is income inequality.

“Our actions to tackle these troubling trends will have to be bolder,” the UN leaders say. “We must foster pro-poor and inclusive structural transformation focusing on people and placing communities at the centre to reduce economic vulnerabilities and set ourselves on track to ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition.”
12 July, 2019
Indian water train arrives with desperately needed relief for Chennai - CNN link here

"A train carrying millions of liters of water rolled into the southern Indian city of Chennai for the first time on Friday, providing desperately needed relief to residents who have been facing an acute water shortage for the past month.

The city, Tamil Nadu's state capital and one of India's biggest metropolitan areas, has been crippled by the shortage brought on by poor water management, last year's disappointing monsoon and continuous population growth.

... Harmandar Singh, a senior official for state services, officially greeted the service. He said there had been no significant rains for 180 to 190 days, and that last year's failed monsoon had contributed to the problem.

... For the past several months, city residents have been forced to rely on government and privately run water tankers that sweep through the streets throughout the day.

The new train service -- a regular supply that aims to bring in 10 million liters of water daily from a dam located about 360 kilometers (224 miles) away in Jolarpettai -- is expected to reduce the pressure on the strained city resources.

The arrangement "is likely to continue till the water situation improves in Chennai area," Indian Railways said in a statement.

Chennai's water problem is the latest reminder of India's impending water crisis.

Unpredictable weather patterns, brought on by climate change, coupled with shrinking groundwater levels caused by years of unregulated use have resulted in widespread droughts across the country.

Chennai is the first of India's major cities to try to combat this problem.

... Millions of city residents line up every morning in their neighborhoods to fill smalls pots of water from the water tankers provided by the state. Some get a daily ration, while others, such as residents from low-income neighborhoods, wait longer for their share due to an unsteady supply.

... Around 600 million of India's 1.3 billion people are currently facing an acute water shortage, according to a 2018 report released by Niti Aayog, a government-run think tank.

"This crisis is further driven by a poorly defined legal framework for groundwater that rests ownership with landowners and leads to unchecked extraction. This crisis is most acute in the Indian agriculture sector, where groundwater accounts for 63% of all irrigation water," the report said."

11 July, 2019
Fossil fuels increasingly offer a poor return on energy investment - Tech Explore website link here

"... Previously, the estimated ratios for energy return on investment (EROI) have favoured fossil fuels over renewable energy sources. Oil, coal and gas are typically calculated to have ratios above 25:1, this means roughly one barrel of oil used yields 25 barrels to put back into the energy economy. Renewable energy sources often have much lower estimated ratios, below 10:1.

However, these fossil fuel ratios are measured at the extraction stage, when oil, coal or gas is removed from the ground. These ratios do not take into account the energy required to transform oil, coal and gas into finished fuels such as petrol used in cars, or electricity used by households.

A new study, co-authored by scientists from the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, has calculated the EROI for fossil fuels over a 16 year period and found that at the finished fuel stage, the ratios are much closer to those of renewable energy sources—roughly 6:1, and potentially as low as 3:1 in the case of electricity.

The study, undertaken as part of the UK Energy Research Centre programme and published today in Nature Energy, warns that the increasing energy costs of extracting fossil fuels will cause the ratios to continue to decline, pushing energy resources towards a "net energy cliff". This is when net energy available to society declines rapidly due to the increasing amounts of "parasitical" energy required in the energy production.

The researchers emphasise that these findings make a strong case for rapidly stepping up investment in renewable energy sources and that the renewables transition may actually halt—or reverse—the decline in global EROI at the finished fuel stage.

Study co-author Dr. Paul Brockway, an expert in energy-economy modelling at the School of Earth and Environment at Leeds, said: "Measuring energy return on investment of fossil fuels at the extraction stage gives the misleading impression that we have plenty of time for a renewable energy transition before energy constraints are a concern.

"Those measurements are essentially predicating the potential energy output of newly-extracted sources like crude oil. But crude oil isn't used to heat our homes or power our cars. It makes more sense for calculations to consider where energy enters the economy, and that puts us much closer to the precipice.

"The ratios will only continue to decline because we are swiftly reaching the point where all the easilyaccessible fossil fuel sources are becoming exhausted. By stepping up investment in renewable energy sources we can help ensure that we don't tip over the edge."

Study co-author Dr. Lina Brand-Correa, an expert in the social aspects of energy use on the Living Well within Limits (LiLi) project at Leeds said: "There is too much focus on the initial economic costs of transitioning to renewable energy.

"Renewable infrastructure, such as wind farms and solar panels, do require a large initial investment, which is one of the reasons why their energy return on investment ratios have been so low until now.

"But the average energy return on investment for all fossil fuels at the finished fuel stage declined by roughly 23 per cent in the 16 year period we considered. This decline will lead to constraints on the energy available to society in the not-so-distant future, and these constraints might unfold in rapid and unexpected ways.

"Once the renewable infrastructure is built and dependency on fossil fuel decreases, the energy return- on-investment for renewable sources should go up. This must be considered for future policy and energy infrastructure investments decisions, not only to meet climate change mitigation commitments but to ensure society continues to have access to the energy it needs."

More information: Estimation of global finalstage energy-return-on-investment for fossil fuels with comparison to renewable energy sources, Nature Energy (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41560-019-0425-z ,"

04 July, 2019
Japan orders over a million to evacuate amid torrential rains - Aljazeera link here

"A total of 1.1 million people in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures have been ordered to shelters, authorities say.

Authorities in Japan have issued evacuation orders for more than one million people in southern parts of the country hit by heavy rains, a year after deadly floods killed more than 200 people.

Small landslides were already being reported in parts of the affected area, public broadcaster NHK reported.

It said a total of 1.1 million people in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures on the island of Kyushu had been ordered to shelters.

Landslides swept away several cars and buried a house in Kagoshima, the broadcaster said.

At least four people have been hurt, NHK reported later on its Twitter account, citing police and firefighters. In one case a car flipped onto its side in a mudslide, injuring a woman and her child, NHK said.

There were no official details on how many people had heeded the warnings to leave their homes.

At an evacuation centre in Kagoshima, elderly residents sat on the floor eating with their bedding and other belongings spread out around them.

The evacuation order is issued when a natural disaster is highly likely to occur and municipalities repeatedly urge residents to leave their homes, although the instruction is frequently ignored.

It is the most serious warning issued before a disaster actually occurs. The scale's highest level is activated once a disaster is declared and orders people to take measures to protect their lives.

About 868,000 people in Kagoshima, Kumamoto and Miyazaki prefectures are under a lower-level warning advising them to evacuate, according to NHK."

04 July, 2019
June was hottest ever recorded on Earth, European satellite agency announces - Independent link here

"Experts say climate change contributed to record-breaking temperatures across Europe

Last month was the hottest June ever recorded, the EU‘s satellite agency has announced.

Data provided by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the EU, showed that the global average temperature for June 2019 was the highest on record for the month.

The data showed European average ​temperatures were more than 2C above normal and temperatures were 6-10C above normal over most of France, Germany and northern Spain during the final days of the month, according to C3S.

The global average temperature was about 0.1C higher than during the previous warmest June in 2016.

Experts have said climate change made last week’s record-breaking European heatwave at least five times as likely to happen, according to recent analysis.

Rapid assessment of average temperatures in France between 26-28 June showed a “substantial” increase in the likelihood of the heatwave happening as a result of human-caused global warming, experts at the World Weather

Attribution group said.

The recent heatwave saw France record the hottest temperature in the country’s history (45.9C) and major wildfires across Spain, where temperatures exceeded 40C.

Germany, Poland and Czech Republic also recorded their highest temperatures for June last week."

18 June, 2019
India reels under worst drought in decades, heat kills dozens - Aljazeera link here 

"Western state of Maharashtra witnesses worst drought in 47 years, while intense heat kills dozens in impoverished Bihar.

Almost half of India - an area home to more than 500 million people - is facing drought-like conditions while a blistering heatwave has killed dozens of people in the impoverished eastern state of Bihar.

As the country suffers its lowest rainfall ahead of a monsoon season in more than six decades, the western state of Maharashtra witnesses its worst drought in 47 years, forcing many to leave their lands and take shelter in relief camps, as they wait for monsoon rains.

...Deadly heatwave

India's hot season has been particularly harsh this year, with temperatures rising above 50 degrees Celsius in the western state of Rajasthan.

In Bihar, severe heat during the weekend killed at least 76 people, according to the dpa news agency.

Most deaths occurred in three districts of Bihar - Aurangabad, Gaya and Nawada - where temperatures hovered around 45 degrees Celsius as India entered the third week of searing heat.

On Sunday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced a compensation of 400,000 rupees ($5,700) for the family of each heatwave victim, while federal Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked people to not leave their homes until temperatures fell.

"Intense heat affects brain and leads to various health issues," he said.

A heatwave in 2015 left more than 3,500 dead in India and Pakistan."

16 June, 2019
Millions across South America hit by massive power cut - The Guardian link here

"Failure leaves people in Argentina and Uruguay without electricity

Tens of millions of people across South America were without electricity early on Sunday after a massive power failure left Argentina and Uruguay almost completely in the dark.

The Argentine newspaper Clarín said the “gigantic” power collapse – which it called the worst in Argentina’s recent history – had struck at just after 7am local time, affecting virtually the entire country as well as Uruguay, Paraguay and some cities in Chile.

“This is an unprecedented situation that will be thoroughly investigated,” the Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, vowed as authorities fought to restore electricity supply to the country’s 44 million residents.

Argentina’s energy secretariat blamed the blackout on a failure in the transmission of electricity from the Yacyretá hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River and said it was working towards a “complete restoration” of power. The reason for the breakdown was not immediately clear.

By Sunday afternoon Macri claimed electricity had been restored to about half of the country’s users. However, authorities admitted they still could not explain what had gone wrong.

The energy secretary, Gustavo Lopetegui, described the “very serious” outage as “extraordinary” but admitted it could take up to a fortnight to understand exactly why the country had suffered a “complete disconnection” and who might be to blame.

...Clarín said Sunday’s outage paralysed part of the transport system in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, stopping trains from circulating and knocking out traffic lights. Video footage showed heavy rain beating down on the city’s eerily quiet streets.

...Buenos Aires water company AySA asked residents to conserve water because the outage meant its distribution system was not functioning.

...The incident comes just over three months after a series of historic blackouts began to blight crisis-stricken Venezuela, plunging millions of its citizens into the darkness for days at a time.

Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, blamed those failures on US-backed saboteurs he claimed were waging “an electrical war” against his administration. But Maduro’s opponents and most specialists said corruption and poor maintenance of Venezuela’s electrical grid were the true explanations.

Millions of Brazilians were affected by a massive blackout in 2009 that authorities said was caused by a failure in the transmission of electricity from the Itaipu hydroelectric dam."
12 June, 2019
PM Theresa May: We will end UK contribution to climate change by 2050   GOV.UK  link here

Legislation laid today puts the UK on the path to become the first major economy to set net zero emissions target in law.

The Prime Minister has today announced that the UK will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050.

The statutory instrument to implement this will be laid in Parliament today, Wednesday 12 June. This will amend the Climate Change Act 2008.

04 June, 2019
The climate crisis is our third world war. It needs a bold response. Joseph Stiglitz - The Guardian link here

"Critics of the Green New Deal ask if we can afford it. But we can’t afford not to: our civilisation is at stake.

Advocates of the Green New Deal say there is great urgency in dealing with the climate crisis and highlight the scale and scope of what is required to combat it. They are right. They use the term “New Deal” to evoke the massive response by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the United States government to the Great Depression. An even better analogy would be the country’s mobilization to fight World War II.

Critics ask, “Can we afford it?” and complain that Green New Deal proponents confound the fight to preserve the planet, to which all right-minded individuals should agree, with a more controversial agenda for societal transformation. On both accounts the critics are wrong.

Yes, we can afford it, with the right fiscal policies and collective will. But more importantly, we must afford it. The climate emergency is our third world war. Our lives and civilization as we know it are at stake, just as they were in the second world war."

30 May, 2019
The world needs topsoil to grow 95% of its food – but it's rapidly disappearing - The Guardian link here

Without efforts to rebuild soil health, we could lose our ability to grow enough nutritious food to feed the planet’s population.

The world grows 95% of its food in the uppermost layer of soil, making topsoil one of the most important components of our food system. But thanks to conventional farming practices, nearly half of the most productive soil has disappeared in the world in the last 150 years, threatening crop yields and contributing to nutrient pollution, dead zones and erosion. In the US alone, soil on cropland is eroding 10 times faster than it can be replenished.

If we continue to degrade the soil at the rate we are now, the world could run out of topsoil in about 60 years, according to Maria-Helena Semedo of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Without topsoil, the earth’s ability to filter water, absorb carbon, and feed people plunges. Not only that, but the food we do grow will probably be lower in vital nutrients.

The modern combination of intensive tilling, lack of cover crops, synthetic fertilizers and pesticide use has left farmland stripped of the nutrients, minerals and microbes that support healthy plant life. But some farmers are attempting to buck the trend and save their lands along with their livelihoods.
17 May, 2019
Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment - The Guardian link here

"From now, house style guide recommends terms such as ‘climate crisis’ and ‘global heating’
The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world.

Instead of “climate change” the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming”, although the original terms are not banned.

“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” said the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner. “The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”

“Increasingly, climate scientists and organisations from the UN to the Met Office are changing their terminology, and using stronger language to describe the situation we’re in,” she said.
The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, talked of the “climate crisis” in September, adding: “We face a direct existential threat.” The climate scientist Prof Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a former adviser to Angela Merkel, the EU and the pope, also uses “climate crisis”.

In December, Prof Richard Betts, who leads the Met Office’s climate research, said “global heating” was a more accurate term than “global warming” to describe the changes taking place to the world’s climate. In the political world, UK MPs recently endorsed the Labour party’s declaration of a “climate emergency”.

The scale of the climate and wildlife crises has been laid bare by two landmark reports from the world’s scientists. In October, they said carbon emissions must halve by 2030 to avoid even greater risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. In May, global scientists said human society was in jeopardy from the accelerating annihilation of wildlife and destruction of the ecosystems that support all life on Earth."

13 May, 2019
Australia faces 'world-first' climate change human rights case - Aljazeera link here

"Torres Strait Islanders say Australia's failure to tackle climate change puts their homeland and culture in danger.

Indigenous people from the low-lying Torres Strait Islands off Australia's northeast coast will file a landmark complaint with the United Nations on Monday, accusing the government of breaching their human rights by failing to tackle climate change.

The eight Torres Strait Islanders will tell the UN Human Rights Committee in the Swiss city of Geneva that rising seas caused by global warming are threatening their homelands and culture, according to lawyers representing the group.

ClientEarth, an environmental law non-profit organisation that is backing the case, said it was the first to be lodged with the UN linking alleged government inaction on climate change to the violation of human rights."

13 May, 2019
Mariana Trench: Deepest-ever sub dive finds plastic bag - BBC News link here

"An American explorer has found plastic waste on the seafloor while breaking the record for the deepest ever dive.

Victor Vescovo descended nearly 11km (seven miles) to the deepest place in the ocean - the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.

He spent four hours exploring the bottom of the trench in his submersible, built to withstand the immense pressure of the deep.
He found sea creatures, but also found a plastic bag and sweet wrappers.

... Humanity's impact on the planet was also evident with the discovery of plastic pollution. It's something that other expeditions using landers have seen before.

Millions of tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year, but little is known about where a lot of it ends up.

The scientists now plan to test the creatures they collected to see if they contain microplastics - a recent study found this was a widespread problem, even for animals living in the deep."

09 May, 2019
India's pollution is killing millions, yet it's not a poll agenda - Aljazeera link here

"Climate change appears in poll manifestos of leading parties for the first time, but experts say it's not enough

...India, the world's fastest growing economy, is currently holding its seven-phase general elections. Over 900 million eligible voters are expected to cast their votes in the elections, which end on May 19.

While a number of national issues, including issues of national security and economy, have been in the headlines throughout the ongoing elections, there is barely any discussion over the country's pollution crisis in the campaigns.

India's toxic air claimed 1.24 million lives in 2017 - 12.5 percent of total deaths recorded that year in the country, according to a study published in Lancet Planetary Health. The study said more Indians died due to pollution than cancer, tuberculosis, AIDS and diabetes put together.

The 2018 Global Environmental Performance Index placed India at 177 out of 180 countries, down more than 20 spots from 155 in 2014.

In March this year, another study showed that India is home to 15 of the world's 20 most polluted cities. All four satellite cities surrounding New Delhi - Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Noida - figured in the top six while the national capital itself, home to nearly 30 million people, was placed at 11 out of 20.

Yet, Indian politicians seeking a place in India's 543-member lower house of parliament hardly ever talk about the deadly pollution around them in their campaign speeches.

"Pollution is not an issue for political parties because these leaders are not affected by it. The prime minister's residence is spread across hectares and is full of greenery. What problem is he facing due to air pollution?" asked Priya, who goes by her first name."

08 May, 2019
Only a third of world’s great rivers remain free flowing, analysis finds - The Guardian link here

"Dams, levees, hydropower and habitat degradation behind fragmentation on huge scale, finds global assessment.

Only a third of the world’s great rivers remain free flowing, due to the impact of dams that are drastically reducing the benefits healthy rivers provide people and nature, according to a global analysis.

Billions of people rely on rivers for water, food and irrigation, but from the Danube to the Yangtze most large rivers are fragmented and degraded. Untouched rivers are largely confined to remote places such as the Arctic and Amazonia.

The assessment, the first to tackle the subject on a worldwide level, examined 12m kilometres of rivers and found that just 90 of the 246 rivers more than 1,000km (621 miles) long flowed without interruption."

06 May, 2019
Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth's natural life - The Guardian link here

"Scientists reveal 1 million species at risk of extinction in damning UN report

Human society is in jeopardy from the accelerating decline of the Earth’s natural life-support systems, the world’s leading scientists have warned, as they announced the results of the most thorough planetary health check ever undertaken.

From coral reefs flickering out beneath the oceans to rainforests desiccating into savannahs, nature is being destroyed at a rate tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10m years, according to the UN global assessment report.

The biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82%, natural ecosystems have lost about half their area and a million species are at risk of extinction – all largely as a result of human actions, said the study, compiled over three years by more than 450 scientists and diplomats.

Two in five amphibian species are at risk of extinction, as are one-third of reef-forming corals, and close to one-third of other marine species. The picture for insects – which are crucial to plant pollination – is less clear, but conservative estimates suggest at least one in 10 are threatened with extinction and, in some regions, populations have crashed. In economic terms, the losses are jaw-dropping. Pollinator loss has put up to $577bn (£440bn) of crop output at risk, while land degradation has reduced the productivity of 23% of global land.

The knock-on impacts on humankind, including freshwater shortages and climate instability, are already “ominous” and will worsen without drastic remedial action, the authors said.

“The health of the ecosystems on which we and other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” said Robert Watson, the chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Ibpes). “We have lost time. We must act now.”"

04 May, 2019
Cyclone Fani: 3 dead in India and Bangladesh, millions evacuated - Aljazeera News link here

"One of the biggest storms to hit the Indian Ocean tears down trees, cuts off power and water amid a massive evacuation.

A powerful cyclone has lashed coastal areas of eastern India with torrential rain and winds gusting up to 200km an hour, killing at least three people and forcing a million others to look for safe shelters.

...The state evacuated more than a million people from the most vulnerable communities along the low-lying coast during the past 24 hours, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Twitter."

03 May, 2019
'Low rains, a heatwave. Then floods': Bad harvest pushes North Korea to the brink - The Guardian link here

"Millions of North Koreans are being forced to rely on meagre rations after the nation's worst harvest in a decade.

The country is 1.36m tonnes of food short following a series of weather disasters, compounded by longstanding international sanctions.

A UN assessment found North Koreans had been surviving on just 300g (10.5 oz) of food a day so far this year.
In previous years rations have been cut so low only during the "lean season" - the last few months before harvest.

About 70% of the North Korean population rely on food rations, according to UN figures. They have fallen from 550g in early January to 300g per person. There are fears they could be cut further before the next harvest, which is still six months away.

"It used to be they only reached this low level in July, August, and September," said Mario Zappacosta, a senior economist at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), who visited North Korea last month.

"If the international community does not take action somehow, and quickly, there are some social groups who will suffer - the kids, the pregnant women, lactating mothers," he said."

03 May, 2019
'Biodiversity crisis is about to put humanity at risk, UN scientists to warn' - The Guardian link here

"‘We are in trouble if we don’t act,’ say experts, with up to 1m species at risk of annihilation

The world’s leading scientists will warn the planet’s life-support systems are approaching a danger zone for humanity when they release the results of the most comprehensive study of life on Earth ever undertaken.

Up to 1m species are at risk of annihilation, many within decades, according to a leaked draft of the global assessment report, which has been compiled over three years by the UN’s leading research body on nature.

The 1,800-page study will show people living today, as well as wildlife and future generations, are at risk unless urgent action is taken to reverse the loss of plants, insects and other creatures on which humanity depends for food, pollination, clean water and a stable climate."

02 May, 2019
‘Do it now’: UK must set zero-carbon target for 2050, say official advisers - The Guardian link here

"Committee says legally binding target is necessary, achievable and could spur global action.

The UK government must immediately set a legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, its official advisers have said, signalling an end to the nation’s role in driving climate change.

Doing so will be challenging, said the Committee on Climate Change, meaning the end of petrol and diesel cars and gas boilers, less meat on plates, quadrupling clean electricity generation and planting an estimated 1.5bn trees.

It will require tens of billions of pounds of investment every year, the CCC said – about 1-2% of Britain’s GDP. But not acting would be far more costly and the changes would deliver a cleaner and healthier society, the advisers said, as well as potentially bolstering the UK economy and jobs.

The CCC’s request for urgent action comes after Labour, Scottish National party and the Welsh assembly declared a climate emergency. It also follows a week of high-profile protests by the Extinction Rebellion group and Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who inspired the global school strikes, telling the UK government that its support for fossil fuels and airport expansion is “beyond absurd”.

The UK is forecast to miss existing carbon targets in 2025 and 2030. Hitting zero emissions in 2050 will require a leap in the ambition of government policy, particularly on heating and transport.

The zero emissions goal would fulfil the pledge made by the UK when it signed the Paris agreement in 2015 to limit the rise in global temperature to as close to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels as possible. In October, the world’s scientists warned of severe global impacts above this rise.

The CCC target includes flying and shipping and all greenhouse gases, and allows no offsetting of emissions abroad, making it the toughest of any major economy. The CCC said it could prove a vital catalyst in unlocking matching pledges from other countries. The current plans of the world’s nations would lead to 3C of warming and catastrophic damage.

The CCC’s recommendation was welcomed by many politicians, business leaders, energy and water companies, doctors and farmers. Some green groups, including WWF, called for zero emissions by 2045, while Extinction Rebellion activists have said 2025. The CCC said the 2050 date could be brought forward if good progress was made.

The former environment secretary John Gummer, now Lord Deben, the chair of the CCC, said the zero emissions target for 2050 must be passed into law immediately. “We [must] do it now. The urgency is not just a matter of a shortness of time, but the quicker you do it, the cheaper it is.”

Referring to the climate protests, he added: “Recent events have shown how strongly people feel.”

Chris Stark, the chief executive of the CCC, said planning to cut emissions rapidly could begin as soon as the zero emissions target was set. “I would like to see it happen as soon as possible, preferably before the big UN summit in September,” he added.
António Guterres, the UN secretary general, is demanding nations bring ambitious pledges to that summit to deliver the action needed.

01 May, 2019
UK Parliament declares climate change emergency  -BBC News link here

"MPs have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency.

This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who tabled the motion, said it was "a huge step forward".

Environment Secretary Michael Gove acknowledged there was a climate "emergency" but did not back Labour's demands to declare one.

The declaration of an emergency was one of the key demands put to the government by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion, in a series of protests over recent weeks.

Addressing climate protesters from the top of a fire engine in Parliament Square earlier, Mr Corbyn said: "This can set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe.

"We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US President Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis." "

06 April, 2019
'Toxic air will shorten children's lives by 20 months, study reveals ' - The Guardian link here

"The life expectancy of children born today will be shortened by 20 months on average by breathing the toxic air that is widespread across the globe, with the greatest toll in south Asia, according to a major study.

Air pollution contributed to nearly one in every 10 deaths in 2017, making it a bigger killer than malaria and road accidents and comparable to smoking, according to the State of Global Air (SOGA) 2019 study published on Wednesday."

21 February, 2019
'Climate change 'cause of most under-reported humanitarian crises' Report says few headlines sparked by food crises that ravaged Madagascar, Ethiopia and Haiti' - The Guardian link here

"Climate change was responsible for the majority of under-reported humanitarian disasters last year, according to analysis of more than a million online news stories.

Whole populations were affected by food crises in countries ravaged by by drought and hurricanes such as Ethiopia and Haiti, yet neither crisis generated more than 1,000 global news stories each.

In Madagascar, more than a million people went hungry as corn, cassava and rice fields withered under drought and severe El Niño conditions. Almost half the country’s children have been stunted, but their suffering sparked few headlines.

Sven Harmeling, the climate change lead for Care International, which commissioned the report, said: “Not only are the people who live in the world’s poorest countries most vulnerable to climate change, but they are also the least equipped to address its increasing impacts. Media must not turn a blind eye to such crises and the role of climate change.”

Asad Rehman, the executive director of War on Want, blamed a “climate change reporting that prefers pictures of polar bears to those we are killing with our inaction"

10 February, 2019
'Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'  - The Guardian link here

“The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.”

22 January, 2019
'World's richest 1% get 82% of the wealth', says Oxfam - BBC News link here

The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed.

Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all, the charity said.

Oxfam said its figures - which critics have queried - showed a failing system.

It blamed tax evasion, firms' influence on policy, erosion of workers' rights, and cost cutting for the widening gap.
Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past five years. In 2017 it calculated that the world's eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world.

This year, it said 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year's figure to 61. Oxfam said the revision was due to improved data and said the trend of "widening inequality" remained."

11 December, 2018
‘More Glaciers in East Antarctica Are Waking Up’ - NASA Earth Observatory link here

“If the thick ice cover over East Antarctica were to melt, it would reshape coastlines around the world through rising sea levels. But scientists have long considered the eastern half of the continent to be more stable than West Antarctica. Now new maps of ice velocity and elevation show that a group of glaciers spanning one-eighth of the East Antarctic coast have been losing some ice over the past decade.

Glaciologists have warned in recent years that Totten Glacier—the fastest moving ice in East Antarctica—appears to be retreating due to warming ocean waters. Totten contains enough ice to raise sea level by at least 3.4 meters (11 feet). Researchers have now found that four glaciers to the west of Totten, plus a handful of smaller glaciers farther east, are also losing ice.”

28 November, 2018
'Global food system is broken, say world’s science academies'  - The Guardian link here

“Radical overhaul in farming and consumption, with less meat eating, needed to avoid hunger and climate catastrophe. The global food system is broken, leaving billions of people either underfed or overweight and driving the planet towards climate catastrophe, according to 130 national academies of science and medicine across the world. Providing a healthy, affordable, and environmentally friendly diet for all people will require a radical transformation of the system, says the report by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). This will depend on better farming methods, wealthy nations consuming less meat and countries valuing food which is nutritious rather than cheap. The report, which was peer reviewed and took three years to compile, sets out the scale of the problems as well as evidence-driven solutions. The global food system is responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all emissions from transport, heating, lighting and air conditioning combined. The global warming this is causing is now damaging food production through extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.”

28 November, 2018
'Climate change already a health emergency, say experts' - The Guardian link here

“People’s health is being damaged today by climate change through effects ranging from deadly heatwaves in Europe to rising dengue fever in the tropics, according to a report. Billions of hours of farmwork has been lost during high temperatures and global warming has damaged the ability to grow crops, it said.

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change was produced by 150 experts from 27 universities and institutions including the World Health Organization and the World Bank. “The findings are clear and the stakes could not be higher,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general. “We cannot delay action on climate change. We cannot sleepwalk through this health emergency any longer.”

14 November, 2018
'Is An Oil Supply Crunch Inevitable?' - NASDAQ link here

"Global oil demand will peak by 2040, according to a new report, although oil supply shortages could emerge before then.

... On the supply side, the U.S. accounts for about three-quarters of the increase in global oil production through 2025, an astounding figure. But shale starts to fade in terms of importance after that date, with OPEC regaining its position as the main source of supply growth.

In fact, the IEA said that even as U.S. shale continues to grow, there is a danger in the oil market becoming overly dependent on shale. After the oil price crash in 2014, the oil industry severely cut back on spending. That has translated it into fewer discoveries and fewer new projects being developed.

... Overall, the IEA’s message is that oil demand will grow in the medium-term before flattening out and ultimately hitting a peak by 2040. But in the interim, the shortfall in spending by oil companies could translate into a supply shortage in the mid-2020s."

13 November, 2018
'Oil Market Reliance on U.S. Shale Potential Is Risky, IEA Says' - Blombergy link here

"There’s a risk the world is becoming too reliant on the rapid growth of U.S. shale oil, its foremost energy adviser has warned.
Without a raft of new approvals for non-shale projects, oil production from U.S. shale plays must more than triple by 2025, to an eye-popping 15 million barrels a day, to satisfy global demand, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest World Energy Outlook.

That’s as upstream projects, including large deepwater developments and those targeting sandstone reservoirs onshore, have been affected by the industry only just emerging from a worst-in-a-generation slump.

The trouble is, it’s unlikely shale can grow to that extent. Even if producers are able to overcome infrastructure bottlenecks that have muted growth this year, they’d need to invest far more and bring in a higher number of rigs than they did when oil prices peaked at $115 a barrel in 2014."

13 November, 2018
'World has no capacity to absorb new fossil fuel plants, warns IEA' - The Guardian link here
30 October, 2018
‘Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds’ - The Guardian link here

"Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation. The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else."

08 October, 2018
‘Little-noticed treaty could help delay climate catastrophe’ - The Guardian link here

“2016 Kigali amendment on hydrofluorocarbons could reduce warming by a small but crucial 0.5C.”

08 October, 2018
‘Australian government backs coal in defiance of IPCC climate warning’ - The Guardian link here

“The Australian government has rejected the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report’s call to phase out coal power by 2050, claiming renewable energy cannot replace baseload coal power.

The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, said Australia should “absolutely” continue to use and exploit its coal reserves, despite the IPCC’s dire warnings the world has just 12 years to avoid climate change catastrophe.”

08 October, 2018
‘We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN’ - The Guardian link here

“The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.”

17 August, 2018
'New Arctic Lakes Could Soon Be a Major Source of Atmospheric Methane' - NASA link here

“For centuries, a massive store of carbon has been locked underground in the Arctic's permanently frozen soil known as permafrost. As Earth's climate continues to warm, that carbon has begun to leach into the atmosphere, the result of microbes waking up and digesting once-frozen organic materials.

A new NASA-funded study focuses on a mechanism that could accelerate the release of this atmospheric carbon, the result of thermokarst lakes. These lakes form when thawing permafrost causes the ground to slump, creating a depression that collects rain and snowmelt and perpetuates a cycle of further permafrost thaw.”

30 July, 2018
‘America spends over $20bn per year on fossil fuel subsidies. Abolish them’ - The Guardian link here
12 July, 2018
‘Ireland set to sell off €318 million investments in fossil fuels’ - The Irish Times link here

"New bill will see State become first country in the world to divest from fossil fuel assets. Ireland is set to become the first country in the world to divest public money from fossil fuel assets following a landmark vote in the Dáil on Thursday. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, introduced by independent TD Thomas Pringle, will compel the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to sell off its investments in the global fossil fuel industry, which as of June 2017, stood at €318 million, across 150 companies worldwide."

14 June, 2018
‘Antarctica had lost three trillion tonnes of ice in less than three decades’ - NZ Herald link here
13 June, 2018
‘Sea level rise due to Antarctic ice melt has ‘tripled over past five years’  - CarbonBrief link here

The rate of sea level rise resulting from the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has tripled over the past five years, according to new research from a global team of scientists. The study, published in Nature, finds that ice loss from Antarctica has caused sea levels to rise by 7.6mm from 1992-2017, with two fifths of this increase occurring since 2012. At a press conference held in London, scientists said the results suggest that Antarctica has become “one of the largest contributors to sea level rise”. A glaciologist not involved in the paper tells Carbon Brief that the findings show “there now should be no doubt that Antarctica is losing ice due to regional climate change, likely linked to global warming”.

05 April, 2018
‘EA accused of undermining global shift from fossil fuels’ - The Guardian link here    

“Highly critical study warns projections used by the organisation tasked with leading the switch to clean energy remain skewed towards oil and gas and may break climate targets of Paris agreement.”

02 April, 2018
‘EPA Moves To Weaken Landmark Fuel Efficiency Rules’ - National Public Radio (NPR) link here

"The Trump Administration today moved to weaken fuel economy standards for automobiles, saying the current ones are inappropriate and wrong. The long-anticipated move is a win for auto manufacturers, which had lobbied for lower fuel-economy standards. It's also a rejection of one of former President Barack Obama's biggest efforts to combat climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions. In making the announcement, Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, accused Obama of making incorrect assumptions when setting the standards, which led to them being set "too high." The Obama administration, working with California, aimed to nearly double the fleet wide average fuel economy for passenger cars and SUVs to more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025."

27 March, 2018
'Arctic warming: scientists alarmed by 'crazy' temperature rises' - The Guardian link here

“Record warmth in the Arctic this month could yet prove to be a freak occurrence, but experts warn the warming event is unprecedented.  

An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change. Although it could yet prove to be a freak event, the primary concern is that global warming is eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once insulated the frozen north.”

12 March, 2018
'Hotter, Drier, Hungrier: How Global Warming Punishes the World’s Poorest' - New York Times link here
12 February, 2018
'The EPA debunked Administrator Pruitt’s latest climate misinformation' - The Guardian link here

“Last week, a Las Vegas news station interviewed Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. The interviewer brought up the topic of climate change, and virtually everything Pruitt said in response was wrong, and was often refuted on his own agency’s website, until he started deleting it.”

16 January, 2018
‘Huge oil spill left after burning tanker sinks off China’ - BBC News link here

“Chinese ships are racing to clean up a giant oil spill after an Iranian tanker sank in the East China Sea. The 120 sq km (46 sq mile) oil slick is thought to be made up of heavy fuel that was used to power the vessel. The Sanchi oil tanker sank on Sunday and officials say all its crew members are dead. It was carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude oil from Iran which generates a toxic underwater slick that would be invisible from the surface. Both the fuel and the ultra-light oil could cause devastating damage to marine life. The Sanchi and a cargo ship collided 260km (160 miles) off Shanghai on 6 January, with the tanker then drifting south-east towards Japan. It caught fire after the collision and burnt for more than a week before sinking off China's east coast.”

01 December, 2017
'History in the making': World's biggest battery launched in Australia as Elon Musk beats 100-day deadline' - NZ Herald link here
01 December, 2017
'Zero tolerance' plan eyed for plastic pollution’ - BBC News link here
29 November, 2017
‘New study uncovers the 'keystone domino' strategy of climate denial: How climate denial blogs misinform so many people with such poor scientific arguments'  - The Guardian link here
21 November, 2017
'Drowning in Garbage: The world produces more than 3.5 million tons of garbage a day — and that figure is growing' -  The Washington Post link here
19 November, 2017
‘US general says he would resist 'illegal’ Trump nuclear strike order’ - The Guardian link here
13 October, 2017
‘Ozone layer recovery could be delayed by 30 years’ - BBC News link here

"Rising global emissions of some chlorine-containing chemicals could slow the progress made in healing the ozone layer. A study found the substances, widely used for paint stripping and in the manufacture of PVC, are increasing much faster than previously thought. Mainly produced in China, these compounds are not currently regulated. Experts say their continued use could set back the closing of the ozone hole by up to 30 years."

19 September, 2017
'Category 5 Hurricane Maria is a disaster scenario for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands; Jose to brush by New England' - The Washington Post link here
12 September, 2017
‘Hurricane Irma: Pope Francis condemns climate change sceptics’ - BBC News link here

“Pope Francis has warned history will judge world leaders who do not act as he blasted climate change sceptics in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

The pontiff said the recent storms meant the effects of climate change could be seen "with your own eyes".
There have been four major Atlantic hurricanes in less than three weeks.

But US Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt said it was an inappropriate time to discuss what role climate change may have played.

Mr Pruitt - who has previously said he "would not agree" carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming - told CNN current speculation "on the cause and effect of the storm... is misplaced".

Instead, Mr Pruitt said the conversation should be focused on the clean up effort.”

10 September, 2017
‘China to ban petrol and diesel cars, state media reports’ - The Guardian link here
06 September, 2017
‘Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals’ - The Guardian link here
05 September, 2017
'Eye of a monster: Terrifying images of Hurricane Irma, 2017’s strongest storm on Earth' - Washington Post link here
29 August, 2017
‘Why did we use leaded petrol for so long?’  - BBC News link here
21 August, 2017
'Coal Mining Health Study Is Halted by Interior Department' - New York Times link here

“The Interior Department has ordered a halt to a scientific study begun under President Obama of the public health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which was conducting the study, said in a statement Monday that they were ordered to stop work because the Interior Department is conducting an agencywide budgetary review.”

07 August, 2017
'US federal department is censoring use of term 'climate change', emails reveal'  The Guardian link here
25 July, 2017
'Britain to ban sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040' - The Guardian link here
19 July, 2017
‘Plastic pollution risks 'near permanent contamination of natural environment'  - The Guardian link here
06 July, 2017
‘France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040’ - The Guardian link here
20 June, 2017
‘Fisticuffs Over the Route to a Clean-Energy Future’ - New York Times link here
07 June, 2017
Germany’s highest court rules nuclear fuel tax unconstitutional - World Nuclear News link here
02 June, 2017
Responses to Donald Trump quitting Paris Climate Agreement

‘Top CEOs to Trump: You're wrong on climate change’  - YouTube link here

EU to bypass Trump administration after Paris climate agreement pullout
- The Guardian link here

“The European Union has rejected Donald Trump’s offer to renegotiate the Paris climate agreement and pledged instead to bypass Washington to work with US business leaders and state governors to implement the historic accord’s commitments. ...”

Trump got climate change almost entirely wrong in his Paris speech
- Vice News link here

01 June, 2017
Donald Trump confirms US will quit Paris climate agreement - The Guardian link here

23 May, 2017
Family planning and educating girls would reduce CO2 emissions by 120 gigatons by 2050 - more than onshore and offshore wind power combined - Population Matters website link here

“Analysis undertaken for a comprehensive new plan to reverse global warming, Drawdown, has identified family planning and educating girls as among the top 10 workable solutions available today. Together, they would reduce CO2 emissions by 120 gigatons by 2050 — more than onshore and offshore wind power combined.

Drawdown is the point in time when greenhouse gas concentrations peak in the atmosphere and begin to go down on a year-to-year basis. The Drawdown project is an international effort, involving 70 research fellows from 22 countries and six continents. The nonprofit organisation is a coalition of scholars, scientists and advocates from across the globe that is modeling, and communicating about a collective array of substantive solutions to global warming, with the goal of reaching drawdown.”

17 March, 2017
Carbon dioxide emissions from energy have not increased for three years in a row even as the global economy grew according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) - The Guardian link here

08 March, 2017
The South African government has lost the country’s first climate change lawsuit after the hight court ruled against its plans for a coal-fired power station, the latest in a rising tide of international climate litigation  - The Guardian link here

07 March, 2017
London's toxic smog triggers business action against illegal air - Bloomberg link here

06 March, 2017
China vows new steel, coal capacity cuts to make sky blue - Reuters link here

13 February, 2017
'Extraordinary' levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench - The Guardian link here

"Presence of manmade chemicals in most remote place on planet shows nowhere is safe from human impact, say scientists,
Scientists have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution in the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet – the 10km deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean.

Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China.

“We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth,” said Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University in the UK, who led the research.

“The fact that we found such extraordinary levels of these pollutants really brings home the long-term, devastating impact that mankind is having on the planet,” he said.

Jamieson’s team identified two key types of severely toxic industrial chemicals that were banned in the late 1970s, but do not break down in the environment, known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These chemicals have previously been found at high levels in Inuit people in the Canadian Arctic and in killer whales and dolphins in western Europe."

22 November, 2016
Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Climate Change from Mayors of 71 small and large American cities - Medium link here

“Dear President-elect Trump,
As Mayors, we have taken it upon ourselves to take bold action within our cities to tackle the climate crisis head-on. We write today to ask for your partnership in our work to clean our air, strengthen our economy, and ensure that our children inherit a nation healthier and better prepared for the future than it is today.

We lead 71 small and large American cities, comprising over 38 million Americans in both blue and red states. We have joined together in the U.S. Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA), or the #ClimateMayors, in addressing the greatest challenge of our time, climate change. Each of our cities is committing to ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, set climate action, regularly report on our progress, share lessons and hold each other accountable. Around the globe, cities are working together through organizations like C40 as well. ...”

19 November, 2016
Climate vs. Donald Trump - Chatham House: The Royal Institute of International Affairs  News link here

24 June, 2015
Dutch court orders state to reduce emissions by 25% within five years to protect its citizens from climate change in world’s first climate liability suit - The Guardian link here

14 March, 2014
NASA-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for irreversible collapse? - The Guardian link here

31 March, 2011
Sustainable Development Commission, UK Government's independent adviser on sustainable development, held the Government to account to ensure the needs of society, the economy and the environment were properly balanced in the decisions it made and the way it ran itself. The Commission was closed on 31 March 2011 - Link to archived website here

08 March, 2008
'Fear of Fallowing: The Spectre of a no-growth world' by Steven Stoll in Harpers Magazine with quote from Robert Solow, Nobel Prize in economics in 1987 for innovations in growth theory - Harper Magazine link here

"There is no reason at all why capitalism could not survive without slow or even no growth.... I think it's perfectly possible that economic growth cannot go on at its current rate forever. This does not mean that productivity will cease to increase our quality of life; it means that people might find it increasingly costly to tum productivity into the kinds of things they are now accustomed to buying with their earnings. ..It is possible that the United States and Europe will find that, as the decades go by, either continued growth will be too destructive to the environment and they are too dependent on scarce natural resources, or that they would rather use increasing productivity in the form of leisure .... There is nothing intrinsic in the system that says it cannot exist happily in a stationary state"