Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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climate change > features

Stabilising population is a climate 'must'

by Fred Meyerson

Human population continues to grow by more than 75 million people annually. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, global population and annual carbon dioxide emissions have both increased by about 70 per cent. As a result, per capita emission rates remain steady at about 1.2 metric tons (mt) of carbon per person per year. ... more

China could lead the way to climate cooldown

by Jonathon Porritt

Jonathan Porritt's revised and updated book,Capitalism as if the World Matters has been described as "The best account of where we are now and how we might move ahead". Here, in a specially commissioned article, he sets out a controversial view about the role that newly awakened China might play in combatting the climate crisis. ... more

Bitter fight begins over climate
by Martin Khor

The world meets in Bali in December to thrash out commitments to combat climate change after 2012, when the present phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires. But, says Martin Khor the recent preparatory meeting in Vienna shows what a long and complex struggle it will be - affecting not only the climate, but the economic wellbeing of rich and poor. ... more

What future for climate talks after Bush meeting?
by Martin Khor

President George Bush has invited a number of �major economies� and the United Nations to a meeting in the United States in September to develop a framework on climate change. Although the meeting aims to complement the global agreement under the UN, the nature and timing of the meeting opens questions as to whether the US initiative will be a building block or stumbling block to the UN process, says Martin Khor. ... more

One man's river odyssey in drought-stricken Australia
Rain has been falling in South East Australia, filling reservoirs and recharging the water table, but but the worst drought on record still has a firm hold in southern Queensland, central New South Wales and South Australia � so no rain has fallen in the Murray-River catchment. Here Don Alcock tells the story of one man's travels along that river system in a bid to investigate the causes of this crisis, including climate change. ... more

Rising waters in the Sunderbans create climatic refugees
by Kalpana Pradhan

There is much speculation about the future effects of sea level rise on coastal communities as a result of climate change. But, according to this report from Sagar Island, in West Bengal, climate refugees are already fleeing from the catastrophic rise in sea levels in the Indian Sundarbans. ... more

Why climate change is not caused by the sun
Fresh controversy over the true cause of climate change has been sparked in Britain by the recent Channel 4 documentary provocatively entitled 'The Great Global Warning Swindle'. This argued that the main cause is not human behaviour but the activity of the sun. Here Dr Richard Betts, of the UK Meteorological Office's Hadley Centre, explains why the climate change now being experienced could not have been caused by the sun. ... more

World�s addiction to coal growing
While China is closing some of its older dirtier coal mines, there are plans for a coal-fired power plant to go on line in China nearly every week. It is part of a worldwide coal rush, pouring CO2 into the air, just as the dangers of global warming become ever-more insistent. This first-hand report is from Maine Today. ... more

Civilisation faces 'greatest challenge'

Sir David King, Chief Scientist to the British Government, says in an interview published this week that climate change is 'the biggest challenge our civilisation has ever had to face up to'. This extract from that interview by Jon Hughes, deputy editor of The Ecologist, is published here by arrangement with that magazine. ... more

The End of Eden

by Michael Powell

James Lovelock, eminent scientist, inventor, author and originator of the Gaia hypothesis that the earth is in effect a living, self-regulating organism, was the subject of a recent revealing interview by Washington Post staff writer Michael Powell. In this he explains just why he believes this time, that we have pushed the earth too far. The interview is reproduced here in full with the author's permission. ... more

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