Editorial

Dear Reader:Change is in the air


As of this issue, there will sadly no longer be a print edition of Noseweek and, logically, Noseweek will no longer be for sale at retail outlets.  This issue is available to subscribers only, and then only online in the usual digital and pdf formats.

Our ongoing, accumulating losses and logistical obstacles occasioned by the collapse of the Post Office, Covid and the civil litigation that cast a shadow over us for seven years (see retraction and apology on the next page), have made it impossible to sustain a regular printed issue.

Quite apart from our readers becoming increasingly annoyed at our irregular appearance and unreliable delivery, I ended up having to spend more of my time and energy on fundraising and managing logistics than on investigative journalism: a self-defeating exercise. (Thank you again to all those who so generously responded to our regular appeals!)

The search continues for alternative ways to provide you with the news you need to know; the sort of news Noseweek readers have come to expect and rely upon.  Keep in touch!

***

Early in August, a damning climate-change report from the United Nations warned of Earth’s catastrophic warming. Right then, in the northern summer, temperatures soared in tandem, as if to illustrate the point: Europe experienced maybe its hottest temperature on record, while nearly two-thirds of Americans currently live in places under an excessive heat advisory. Fire officials in the western states of the US worried that high temperatures could add additional blazes to those already burning. “America is burning up and burning down – an extreme reminder that climate change is here,” noted The Atlantic editor Caroline Mimbs Nyce.

The UN report is grim. Atlantic journalist Robinson Meyer summed it up: “Where scientists once warned of disasters in the distant future, now they strive to understand what has already happened – and what is too late to save.”

Abigail Weinberg, editor of America’s Noseweek equivalent, Mother Jones Daily, wrote on 10 August: “I wanted to exercise outdoors this weekend, but a veil of grey smoke from the Oregon forest fires, carried 1,000 miles by the wind, descended upon Denver.

“Stinging eyes and burning lungs from wildfire smoke may soon be the least of my environmental concerns, according to the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, released today. The IPCC report outlines the catastrophic consequences of global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels and destruction of forests: more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, fires, storms and floods, all over the planet.

“You don’t need to read the nearly 4,000-page report to get the picture.”

Others are already predicting that extreme heat – and its impact on water resources – is likely to become the human rights issue that will define this century: the heat gap will be a defining manifestation of inequality.

Over the past century – the age of electricity and the motorcar – global temperatures have risen at an increasingly rapid rate to by far the highest they’ve been in the past 2,000 or more years.

Previous IPCC reports have always held on to at least a thin veil of uncertainty around the growing confidence that the climate change we see is human-caused. No more. The IPCC’s language is clear, direct, and (as with everything in the report) backed by an overwhelming consensus of evidence: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.

Yes, the climate is changing – fast. And yes, it’s us. There is no credible doubt remaining for either fact.

Barb Mayes Boustead analyses the report – and our situation – in an essay published on medium.com:

“The part we understand the least is the human side of the equation. We don’t know how countries around the planet will respond to mitigate climate change. Maybe there will be an immediate global push to end fossil fuel dependence within a year. Or maybe we’ll continue to burn oil, coal and gas until there’s none left to burn. Most likely, we’ll be somewhere between those extremes.”

Even in the best-case scenario, where governments and people stop burning fossil fuels, temperatures will still continue to rise for a while yet, resulting in destructive changes in weather patterns that need to be anticipated and provided for.

But stop burning fossil fuels we must. If we don’t act, the effects are going to be far, far worse.

Boustead continues: “As with most things, the worst of the impacts will hit those who are least able to adapt: the poorest, the women and children, the most crowded, the most connected to the land and sea.

“Individual actions matter, because they add up across a lot of people. But honestly, the most helpful actions will be those from the Bigs – big governments, big corporations, big finance, big industries. We live in the world that they create, the rules that they set around us. Your vote is your power. Your spending is your power. What you teach your children is your power. Start with yourself and start local,  but keep your eyes on the Bigs, too. The single biggest action you can take as an individual is to vote.

“You still matter. Your voice still matters. Now is the time to use it.”

I couldn’t have summed it up better. Take note of what’s happening in the world around us. Show you care. Forget about buying that monster new SUV – it’s an embarrassment. (Surely you can find a more intelligent way to enhance your sex appeal?) In the coming local elections, establish which individual candidate and/or party is most credibly committed to immediately instituting measures to prevent pollution and waste of water resources, and to radically reduce your area’s carbon footprint. They are more likely to be the more intelligent option on all fronts.

The Editor

  •  Now see Oil find in Namibia –Two sides of the coin on page 10
  •  For an appropriate bit of satire on the subject, you are sure to enjoy Space cowboy admits human life might cease on page 27

 

Keywords:
Climate-change
Fossil Fuel
forest fires
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