Caronavirus: How can you know if you are infected?

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The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. How can you know if you are infected?  By the time you have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% fibrosis.

Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning:  Take a deep breath and hold it for more than 10 seconds. If you do this successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, there is no fibrosis in the lungs; it basically indicates no infection. In critical times, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.

Serious excellent advice by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases: Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least. Why?  Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus. If you don’t drink enough water regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and then the lungs. That’s very dangerous.

Please send and share this with family and friends. Take care everyone and may the world recover from this Coronavirus soon.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – CORONAVIRUS:

1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold.
2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees C.  (About 77 degrees F.)  It hates the Sun.
4. If someone sneezes with it, it goes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours – so if you come into contact with any metal surface, wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
10. Can’t emphasis enough – drink plenty of water!

THE SYMPTOMS:

1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days

2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.

SPREAD THE WORD – PLEASE SHARE

TAKE ACTION! Tell Finance Minister Morneau: Don’t bail out big oil, protect workers instead

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The economic fallout from the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak has sent oil prices into freefall — and now Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is in Ottawa, trying to exploit the crisis to pressure the federal finance minister to bail out big oil CEOs. [1][2]

Pouring more taxpayer dollars into a dying fossil fuel industry is the last thing we need. It’s time to protect workers and transition away from the volatile, boom-and-bust fossil fuel industry.

 Send a message to the finance minister now to counter Kenney — and urge him to invest in climate and a just transition away from fossil fuels in Budget 2020.

The world is facing an air pollution pandemic

Last year, bad air caused 8.8 million premature deaths.

[Source Image: Snezhana Ryzhkova/iStock]

While the world is rightfully concerned about COVID-19 turning into a full-blown pandemic in the coming days, scientists say another pandemic has already been underway, with much less attention, for years, bringing with it cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and causing nearly 10 million premature deaths just last year. The cause, according to a study published today by the European Society of Cardiology, is air pollution, mostly from human-made sources, and it’s having dire public health effects worldwide.

It’s become common knowledge that air pollution is harmful to our health—from exacerbating asthma to causing lung cancer—but breathing in dirty air has still been seen mostly as a minor inconvenience of modern living, something to just deal with rather than address like we have with smoking or preventable diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Department of Cardiology of the University Medical Centre Mainz in Germany, whose study was published today in the journal Cardiovascular Research, hope their findings will prompt cardiologists around the world to take this threat seriously.

Looking at air pollutant exposure data from the Global Exposure Mortality Model and World Health Organization mortality and population information, the researchers estimate that air pollution caused an extra 8.8 million premature deaths worldwide in 2015—more than tobacco smoking (7.2 million premature deaths per year globally); HIV/AIDS (one million deaths); parasitic diseases such as malaria (600,00 premature deaths); and all forms of violence, from interpersonal violence to deaths in wars (530,000 premature deaths). Air pollution’s mortality rate represents an average shortening of life expectancy of nearly three years for every person in the world.

Air pollution may not initially seem that harmful, and in some countries air pollution concentrations have certainly decreased, notes study author Jos Lelieveld. But in low- and middle-income countries, pollution levels continue to grow, and this study links that pollution with life expectancy loss from lower respiratory tract infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease leading to stroke. “People are exposed [to air pollution] 365 days per year, a lifetime long,” Lelieveld says. “It is a chronic exposure that leads to chronic diseases.”

The study distinguishes between human-made air pollution and unavoidable pollution from natural sources such as desert dust or wildfires. Globally, two-thirds of all premature pollution deaths are attributable to human-made pollution, which is mainly fossil-fuel related. That means 5.5 million deaths worldwide a year are potentially avoidable, the researchers say.

It also means different regions see different health impacts because of how pollution-related emissions can vary. Worldwide, ambient air pollution’s life-shortening effect is greatest for older people, with 75% of deaths attributed to air pollution occurring in people over 60 years old, per the study. But in low-income regions such as Africa and South Asia, air pollution is linked with high mortality for children under five. East Asia has the highest loss of life expectancy—3.9 years—associated with avoidable air pollution; removing human-made emissions could prevent three of those 3.9 years of lower life expectancy.

Because experts are seeing mortality numbers rise, more health impacts of air pollution are being identified, and air pollution is increasing in many countries, “the term ‘pandemic’ seems appropriate,” Lelieveld says. “The takeaway message is that ambient air pollution is one of the main global health risks, causing significant excess mortality and loss of life expectancy, especially through cardiovascular diseases.” SOURCE

Planet’s largest ecosystems collapse faster than previously forecast

Credit: CC0 Public Domain 

New research has shown that large ecosystems such as rainforests and coral reefs can collapse at a significantly faster rate than previously understood. The findings suggest that ecosystems the size of the Amazon forests could collapse in only 49 years and the Caribbean coral reefs in just 15 years.

It is well known that  can transform rapidly when put under stress. Clear lakes can be transformed into green waters,  can become bleached and sparsely populated as algae disappears and rain forests can shift to savanna grassland as deforestation causes a change in humidity.

Scientists from the University of Southampton, the School of Oriental and African Studies and the University of Bangor studied data on the transformations of 40 natural environments on land and in waters. These varied in size from small ponds to the black sea aquatic ecosystem. This data had been compiled from , institutional reports and online databases about regime shifts and thresholds.

The team discovered that whilst larger ecosystems took longer to collapse—due to their sheer size—the rate at which the transformation occurred was significantly faster than the pace of change for smaller systems.

The findings, published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, can be explained by the fact larger ecosystems are made up of more compartments, or sub-systems, of species and habitats. This modular set up provides resilience against stress initially; however once a certain threshold has been passed, the same modularity causes the rate at which the ecosystem unravels to accelerate. This means that ecosystems that have existed for thousands of years could collapse in less than 50.

John Dearing, Professor in Physical Geography at the University of Southampton, who led the research said: “The messages here are stark. We need to prepare for changes in our planet’s ecosystems that are faster than we previously envisaged.”

The unravelling effects that Professor Dearing and his team have highlighted are probably illustrated by the rapid spread of bush fires recently seen in Australia and magnify concerns about the effects that the recent fires in the Amazon rainforest will have on its ability to withstand .

Professor Dearing concluded, “These findings are yet another call for halting the current damage being imposed on our natural environments that pushes ecosystems to their limits.” SOURCE

RELATED:

Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystems face a perfect storm

 

 

Coronavirus poses threat to climate action, says watchdog

IEA warns that Covid-19 could cause a slowdown in world’s clean energy transition

The coming year could mark the first fall in solar power growth since the 1980s. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The coronavirus health crisis may lead to a slump in global carbon emissions this year but the outbreak poses a threat to long-term climate action by undermining investment in clean energy, according to the global energy watchdog.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects the economic fallout of Covid-19 to wipe out the world’s oil demand growth for the year ahead, which should cap the fossil fuel emissions that contribute to the climate crisis.

But Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director, has warned the outbreak could spell a slowdown in the world’s clean energy transition unless governments use green investments to help support economic growth through the global slowdown.

“There is nothing to celebrate in a likely decline in emissions driven by economic crisis because in the absence of the right policies and structural measures this decline will not be sustainable,” he said.

The virus has stoked fears of a global economic recession and helped to ignite one of the sharpest oil price collapses in the last 30 years, wiping billions of dollars from the world’s largest energy companies.

The economic contagion is likely to stall many infrastructure projects, including the multibillion-dollar investments in clean energy needed to avert a climate catastrophe by the end of the decade.

The year ahead could mark the first time the world’s solar power growth falls since the 1980s, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The analysts on Thursday slashed forecasts for new solar power projects by 8%. It expected sales of electric vehicles to stall too.

“We should not allow today’s crisis to compromise the clean energy transition,” Birol said. He said global governments should use the economic stimulus packages which are being planned to help countries weather the downturn to invest in clean energy technologies.

He added: “We have an important window of opportunity. Major economies around the world are preparing stimulus packages. A well designed stimulus package could offer economic benefits and facilitate a turnover of energy capital which have huge benefits for the clean energy transition.”

The IEA’s analysis has shown 70% of the world’s clean energy investments are government-driven, either through direct government finance or in response to policies such as subsidies or taxes. The watchdog has also found government fossil fuel subsidies total $400bn (£300bn) each year.

Birol urged global governments to invest in energy efficiency measures, which might not offer good short-term returns while energy prices are low but would prove a lucrative investment in the longer-term.

The IEA head also urged policymakers to use the downturn in global oil prices to phase out or scrap fossil fuels subsidies, which could be used to boost healthcare spending.

“These challenging market conditions will be a clear test for government commitments,” he said. “But the good news is that compared to economic stimulus packages of the past we have much cheaper renewable technologies, have made major progress in electric vehicles, and there is a supportive financial community for the clean energy transition.

“If the right policies are put in place there are opportunities to make the best of this situation,” he added. SOURCE

Climate emergency: global action is ‘way off track’ says UN head

Deadly heatwaves, floods and rising hunger far greater threat to world than coronavirus, scientists say

Fire and rescue personal run to move their truck as a bushfire burns next to a major road and homes on the outskirts of the town of Bilpin in Sydney, Australia, December 2019. Photograph: David Gray/Getty Images

The world is “way off track” in dealing with the climate emergency and time is fast running out, the UN secretary general has said.

António Guterres sounded the alarm at the launch of the UN’s assessment of the global climate in 2019. The report concludes it was a record-breaking year for heat, and there was rising hunger, displacement and loss of life owing to extreme temperatures and floods around the world.

Scientists said the threat was greater than that from the coronavirus, and world leaders must not be diverted away from climate action.

The climate assessment is led by the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with input from the UN’s agencies for environment, food, health, disasters, migration and refugees, as well as scientific centres.

In 2019 the oceans were at the hottest on record, with at least 84% of the seas experiencing one or more marine heatwaves. Surface air temperatures around the world were the hottest ever recorded, after a natural El Niño event boosted figures in 2016.

The report says results from the World Glacier Monitoring Service indicate 2018-19 was the 32nd year in a row in which more ice was lost than gained. The melting of land ice combined with thermal expansion of water pushed sea levels up to the highest mark since records began.

The long-term decline of Arctic sea ice also continued in 2019, with the September average extent – usually the lowest of the year – the third worst on record.

“Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. We are currently way off track to meeting either the 1.5C or 2C targets that the Paris agreement calls for,” said Guterres. 2019 ended with a global average temperature of 1.1C above pre-industrial levels. “Time is fast running out for us to avert the worst impacts of climate disruption and protect our societies.”

He added: “We need more ambition on [emission cuts], adaptation and finance in time for the climate conference, Cop26, in Glasgow, UK, in November. That is the only way to ensure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable future for all people on a healthy planet.”

Prof Brian Hoskins, of Imperial College London, said: “The report is a catalogue of weather in 2019 made more extreme by climate change, and the human misery that went with it. It points to a threat that is greater to our species than any known virus – we must not be diverted from the urgency of tackling it by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to zero as soon as possible.”

Half a century of dither and denial – a climate crisis timeline

Fossil fuel companies have been aware of their impact on the planet since at least the 1950s

The physicist Edward Teller tells the American Petroleum Institute (API) a 10% increase in CO2 will be sufficient to melt the icecap and submerge New York. “I think that this chemical contamination is more serious than most people tend to believe.”

Lyndon Johnson’s President’s Science Advisory Committee states that “pollutants have altered on a global scale the carbon dioxide content of the air”, with effects that “could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings”. Summarising the findings, the head of the API warned the industry: “Time is running out.”

Shell and BP begin funding scientific research in Britain this decade to examine climate impacts from greenhouse gases.

A recently filed lawsuit claims Exxon scientists told management in 1977 there was an “overwhelming” consensus that fossil fuels were responsible for atmospheric carbon dioxide increases.

An internal Exxon memo warns “it is distinctly possible” that CO2 emissions from the company’s 50-year plan “will later produce effects which will indeed be catastrophic (at least for a substantial fraction of the Earth’s population)”.

The Nasa scientist James Hansen testifies to the US Senate that “the greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now”. In the US presidential campaign, George Bush Sr says: “Those who think we are powerless to do anything about the greenhouse effect forget about the White House effect … As president, I intend to do something about it.”

confidential report prepared for Shell’s environmental conservation committee finds CO2 could raise temperatures by 1C to 2C over the next 40 years with changes that may be “the greatest in recorded history”. It urges rapid action by the energy industry. “By the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even stabilise the situation,” it states.

Exxon, Shell, BP and other fossil fuel companies establish the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), a lobbying group that challenges the science on global warming and delays action to reduce emissions.

Exxon funds two researchers, Dr Fred Seitz and Dr Fred Singer, who dispute the mainstream consensus on climate science. Seitz and Singer were previously paid by the tobacco industry and questioned the hazards of smoking. Singer, who has denied being on the payroll of the tobacco or energy industry, has said his financial relationships do not influence his research.

Shell’s public information film Climate of Concern acknowledges there is a “possibility of change faster than at any time since the end of the ice age, change too fast, perhaps, for life to adapt without severe dislocation”.

At the Rio Earth summit, countries sign up to the world’s first international agreement to stabilise greenhouse gases and prevent dangerous manmade interference with the climate system. This establishes the UN framework convention on climate change. Bush Sr says: “The US fully intends to be the pre-eminent world leader in protecting the global environment.”

Two month’s before the Kyoto climate conference, Mobil (later merged with Exxon) takes out an ad in The New York Times titled Reset the Alarm, which says: “Let’s face it: the science of climate change is too uncertain to mandate a plan of action that could plunge economies into turmoil.”

The US refuses to ratify the Kyoto protocol after intense opposition from oil companies and the GCC.

The US senator Jim Inhofe, whose main donors are in the oil and gas industry, leads the “Climategate” misinformation attack on scientists on the opening day of the crucial UN climate conference in Copenhagen, which ends in disarray.

A study by Richard Heede, published in the journal Climatic Change, reveals 90 companies are responsible for producing two-thirds of the carbon that has entered the atmosphere since the start of the industrial age in the mid-18th century.

The API removes a claim on its website that the human contribution to climate change is “uncertain”, after an outcry.

Exxon, Chevron and BP each donate at least $500,000 for the inauguration of Donald Trump as president.

Mohammed Barkindo, secretary general of Opec, which represents Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, Iran and several other oil states, says climate campaigners are the biggest threat to the industry and claims they are misleading the public with unscientific warnings about global warming.

Jonathan Watts

The WMO said its report provided authoritative information for policymakers on the need for climate action and showed the impacts of extreme weather.

A heatwave in Europe was made five times more likely by global heating, and the scorching summer led to 20,000 emergency hospital admissions and 1,462 premature deaths in France alone. India and Japan also sweltered and Australia started and ended the year with severe heat and had its driest year on record. Australia had “an exceptionally prolonged and severe fire season”, the WMO noted.

Floods and storms contributed most to displacing people from their homes, particularly Cyclone Idai in Mozambique and its neighbours, Cyclone Fani in south Asia, Hurricane Dorian in the Caribbean, and flooding in Iran, the Philippines and Ethiopia. The number of internal displacements from such disasters is estimated to have been close to 22 million people in 2019, up from 17 million in 2018.

The US saw heavy rains, with the total from July 2018 to June 2019 being the highest on record. Total economic losses in the US for the year were estimated at $20bn, the WMO said.

Unpredictable climate and extreme weather was a factor in 26 of the 33 nations that were hit by food crises in 2019, and was the main driver in 12 of the countries. “After a decade of steady decline, hunger is on the rise again – over 820 million suffered from hunger in 2018, the latest global data available,” the report says.

The WMO said unusually heavy precipitation in late 2019 was also a factor in the severe desert locust outbreak in the Horn of Africa, which is the worst for decades and expected to spread further by June 2020 in a severe threat to food security.

Prof Dave Reay, of the University of Edinburgh, said: “This annual litany of climate change impacts and inadequate global responses makes for a gut-wrenching read. Writ large is the ‘threat multiplier’ effect that is climate change on the biggest challenges faced by humanity and the world’s ecosystems in the 21st century.” SOURCE

 

Polar ice caps melting six times faster than in 1990s

Losses of ice from Greenland and Antarctica are tracking the worst-case climate scenario, scientists warn

The Greenland ice sheet south of Ilulissat. Photograph: Ian Joughin/IMBIE

The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s, according to the most complete analysis to date.

The ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica is tracking the worst-case climate warming scenario set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists say. Without rapid cuts to carbon emissions the analysis indicates there could be a rise in sea levels that would leave 400 million people exposed to coastal flooding each year by the end of the century.

Rising sea levels are the one of the most damaging long-term impacts of the climate crisis, and the contribution of Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating. The new analysis updates and combines recent studies of the ice masses and predicts that 2019 will prove to have been a record-breaking year when the most recent data is processed.

The previous peak year for Greenland and Antarctic ice melting was 2010, after a natural climate cycle led to a run of very hot summers. But the Arctic heatwave of 2019 means it is nearly certain that more ice was lost last year.

The average annual loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica in the 2010s was 475bn tonnes – six times greater than the 81bn tonnes a year lost in the 1990s. In total the two ice caps lost 6.4tn tonnes of ice from 1992 to 2017, with melting in Greenland responsible for 60% of that figure.

The IPCC’s most recent mid-range prediction for global sea level rise in 2100 is 53cm. But the new analysis suggests that if current trends continue the oceans will rise by an additional 17cm.

“Every centimetre of sea level rise leads to coastal flooding and coastal erosion, disrupting people’s lives around the planet,” said Prof Andrew Shepherd, of the University of Leeds. He said the extra 17cm would mean the number of exposed to coastal flooding each year rising from 360 million to 400 million. “These are not unlikely events with small impacts,” he said. “They are already under way and will be devastating for coastal communities.”

Erik Ivins, of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California, who led the assessment with Shepherd, said the lost ice was a clear sign of global heating. “The satellite measurements provide prima facie, rather irrefutable, evidence,” he said.

Almost all the ice loss from Antarctica and half of that from Greenland arose from warming oceans melting the glaciers that flow from the ice caps. This causes glacial flow to speed up, dumping more icebergs into the ocean. The remainder of Greenland’s ice losses are caused by hotter air temperatures that melt the surface of the ice sheet.

The combined analysis was carried out by a team of 89 scientists from 50 international organisations, who combined the findings of 26 ice surveys. It included data from 11 satellite missions that tracked the ice sheets’ changing volume, speed of flow and mass.

About a third of the total sea level rise now comes from Greenland and Antarctic ice loss. Just under half comes from the thermal expansion of warming ocean water and a fifth from other smaller glaciers. But the latter sources are not accelerating, unlike in Greenland and Antarctica.

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 Crevasses near the grounding line of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica. Photograph: Ian Joughin/University of Washington/IMBIE

 

Shepherd said the ice caps had been slow to respond to human-caused global heating. Greenland and especially Antarctica were quite stable at the start of the 1990s despite decades of a warming climate.

Shepherd said it took about 30 years for the ice caps to react. Now that they had a further 30 years of melting was inevitable, even if emissions were halted today. Nonetheless, he said, urgent carbon emissions cuts were vital. “We can offset some of that [sea level rise] if we stop heating the planet.”

The IPCC is in the process of producing a new global climate report and its lead author, Prof Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, of the University of Iceland, said: “The reconciled estimate of Greenland and Antarctic ice loss is timely.”

She said she also saw increased losses from Iceland’s ice caps last year. “Summer 2019 was very warm in this region.”

There’s no ‘deadline’ to save the world. Everything we do now has to pass the climate test

The climate crisis can’t be averted, it’s here. And with human suffering now a reality, governments can no longer stand idly by

‘Deadly floods, hurricanes, heatwaves and bushfires are already taking lives and ruining livelihoods. But there is no point at which action becomes pointless.’ Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

You may have read that there are just eight, or 10, or 12 years to save the world from the climate crisis. There are not. It is already here, gaining strength every day as carbon emissions pour into the atmosphere. It is a slow-motion disaster. Action to avert the worst should have started last week, last year, last decade.

This is not a message of despair, though, but one of measured hope. The gap between the action we could take to reduce global heating and the action we are actually taking can be measured by a brutally simple metric: human suffering. That means every action that closes that gap, however small, is meaningful. 

Deadly floodshurricanesheatwaves and bushfires are already taking lives and ruining livelihoods, and large and rapid cuts in carbon emissions are needed to prevent the damage from becoming far greater. But there is no deadline after which the planet explodes, no point at which action becomes pointless.

The idea of a deadline for saving civilisation stems from a 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a collaboration of the world’s top scientists. It found that cutting emissions by about 45% by 2030 would give a reasonable chance of keeping global heating below 1.5C, the target agreed on by UN nations in Paris in 2015.

But Greta Thunberg, with characteristic clarity, recently spelled out the mistake: “It’s never too late to do as much as we can, every fraction of a degree matters,” she says. “There are of course no magical dates for saving the world.”

Fundamentally, fighting the climate crisis is about fighting the injustice that it magnifies. Preventing the poor, who played no part in fuelling the climate fire, from getting burned. Enabling those with little wealth to build dignified lives without the use of coal, oil and gas. Creating a better world, where we stop exploiting the planet as if its resources were infinite and, through cooperation, learn to live within our means.

As Prof Myles Allen of the University of Oxford has pointed out, slavery was once a highly profitable provider of energy and we brought it to an end because it was an affront to the values that make us human.

All very noble, you might be thinking. But what about the cost of action? The answer is that the cost of inaction is far greater. The Paris agreement already passes the cost-benefit test and, in any case, there is no economic growth on a destructive, hothouse Earth – as the financial sector is beginning to recognise.

Taken together, the justice and economic arguments make it imperative that every decision taken every day by governments, businesses and communities must pass the climate test: will it cut emissions? From power plants to buildings, transport to farming, projects commissioned today will be running well beyond 2030.

Tackling the climate emergency means tough decisions today, not promises for tomorrow. In the UK, one imminent test is whether the government’s long-delayed £100bn national infrastructure plan, which includes many green initiatives, survives the coronavirus outbreak.

Deadlines can focus efforts. In the case of the climate emergency, they convert targets for surface temperature rises and atmospheric carbon budgets into a value everyone understands: time.

So here’s one: 19 November 2020. That is when the UN climate change conference, hosted by Boris Johnson and the UK government, is due to end. Unless nations dramatically increase their pledges to cut emissions, we will remain on track for a terrifying 3-4C of heating.

Every effort must be made to achieve success. But even if this deadline is missed, it will not be too late, because every act reduces human suffering. As Prof Mick Hulme, at the University of Cambridge, says: “History does not end, the future is not preordained and it is never too late to do the right thing.” SOURCE

 Damian Carrington is the Guardian’s environment editor

Greta Thunberg’s climate strikes are moving online, due to coronavirus

Greta Thunberg and young activists. Where are the old ones? (Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

 Greta Thunberg and young activists. Where are the old ones? (Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s no longer safe for groups of people to gather in public places.

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has achieved global fame for her Fridays for Future protests, now held weekly in cities around the world by similarly inspired youth. And wherever Thunberg herself shows up, even bigger crowds gather, such as the February rally in Bristol, England, that attracted ten thousand people.

In light of the spreading coronavirus, however, Thunberg has now told her fellow protesters (and 4.1 million Twitter followers) that the large group gatherings need to stop in order to reduce risk of contagion. She tweeted on March 11, “Now the experts urge us to avoid big public gatherings for a better chance to #flattenthecurve and slow the spreading of the coronavirus.”

‘Flatten the curve’ refers to lowering the rate of infection to spread out the epidemic. As explained by the Centers for Disease Control, “This way the number of people who are sick at the same time does not exceed the capacity of the healthcare system.” Thunberg’s advice aligns with that of numerous other organizations, businesses, and governments that have also canceled group gatherings and events.

Thunberg went on in a series of tweets: “We young people are the least affected by this virus but it’s essential that we act in solidarity with the most vulnerable and that we act in the best interest of our common society… So keep your numbers low but your spirits high and let’s take one week at [a] time.” Instead, Thunberg recommended joining in digital strikes on Fridays. People can post pictures of themselves holding signs, using the hashtags #DigitalStrike and #ClimateStrikeOnline, until the situation improves and in-person strikes can resume.

Greta Thunberg

We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis and we must unite behind experts and science.
This of course goes for all crises.

Now the experts urge us to avoid big public gatherings for a better chance to and slow the spreading of the Coronavirus. 1/4

View image on Twitter

Both crises require immediate attention and drastic action, and the coronavirus response is demonstrating that we do have the ability to rally as nations and take unprecedented measures in times of great uncertainty. Hopefully we will learn lessons from this experience that can then be applied to keeping greenhouse gas emissions below the 2-degree Celsius limit set at the Paris Convention in 2015. SOURCE

FloatGen floating wind pilot hits new heights in French Atlantic

Pioneering unit churns out almost 1GWh in February at capacity factor outstripping conventional bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines

FloatGen unit off La Turballe, western France  Photo: SEBASTIEN SALOM GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images/NTB scanpix

The pioneering FloatGen floating wind pilot in the French Atlantic Ocean has outreached production levels seen to date at the project, hitting a new record in February with over 920MWh of output for the month.

The 2MW unit, based around a Vestas turbine and ‘damping pool’ foundation from Ideol, also saw its highest-ever monthly capacity factor, 66.3%, a percentage significantly better than the average bottom-fixed offshore machine, which averages around 50%.

‘Floating wind is finally getting the recognition so few dared to give it only a short time ago’ Read more

“[This confirms the outstanding production and availability numbers recorded throughout 2019 … highlighting one of the fundamental arguments in favor of accelerating the commercial-scale deployment of floating offshore wind: taking full advantage of the best wind resources one can find further offshore and without any depth constraints,” said Ideol.

FloatGen’s 95.7% uptime last month, the company added, pointed to the technology’s “readiness for commercial-scale deployments, even in severe environments, wherever these may be in the world”.

“These figures further demonstrate the financial viabiilty of floating wind power and its potential to produce at levels that more often than not exceed traditional bottom-fixed, confirming what we are seeing at Hywind Scotland [in the Scottish North Sea] and on a site [off the west coast of France] that is on average much less windy than Hywind’s,” Ideol chief sales and marketing officer Bruno Geschier told Recharge.

2020 Vision: five floating wind power technologies to watch this year Read More

In January, Ideol reported that FloatGen, which is moored at the Sem-Rev test site off Western France, turned in record production through the second half of 2019, more than doubling the output churned out in its first six months of operation after installation.

Ideol is in one of four consortia currently building floating wind arrays off France that have been given the formal go-ahead by the European authorities.

The company has a second prototype installed off Japan, where last year it signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese construction and civil engineering giant Taisei – the conglomerate responsible for many of the island nation’s major infrastructure projects, including the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo – to mass produce concrete versions of its floating foundation.

In the UK, it announced last year that it is tying up with Belgian offshore wind developer Elicio to develop projects off Scotland, with the pair currently preparing a bid for the ScotWind leasing round about to be launched by UK seabed landlord the Crown Estate.

Analyst group sees $210bn going into offshore wind in the next five years, as petro-giants wake up to industry’s ‘greater certainty and transparency’  Read more

France has struggled to get steel in the water in developing its considerable offshore wind resource, with its lead-off award of large-scale bottom-fixed developments in 2012 becoming mired in regulatory delays and the first of those projects – the 480MW Saint-Nazaire offshore wind array – now due to enter service in 2023.

The French wind power association, FEE, has been lobbying the country’s government for several years to hold a 2GW tender targeting commercial-scale floating projects as a launch-pad to switching on as much as 6GW by 2030.

Analysts range widely in their 2030 global forecasts for floating wind, with estimates spread from as little as 6GW up to almost 19GW – with arrays in development in all major maritime regions and over 20GW of commercial-scale projects in early planning – and the build-out all influenced by how quickly levellised cost of energy numbers can be brought down to be competitive with conventional offshore wind. SOURCE