Reality of Climate Change

1 Apr

 

 

east-africa-famine

Photo: Andy Hall/Oxfam/CC BY

Insecurity and struggle for resources are becoming common challenges facing Nigeria as a country.  Apart from the issues of erosion, desertification, flooding and other major environmental issues Nigeria is  facing, these latest issues can also be linked  to climate change. The latest IPCC’s report should leave the world in no doubt about the scale and immediacy of the threat to human survival, health, and wellbeing.

The IPCC has already concluded that it is “virtually certain that human influence has warmed the global climate system” and that it is “extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010” is anthropogenic. Its new report outlines the future threats of further global warming: increased scarcity of food and fresh water; extreme weather events; rise in sea level; loss of biodiversity; areas becoming uninhabitable; and mass human migration, conflict and violence. Leaked drafts talk of hundreds of millions displaced in a little over 80 years. This month, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) added its voice: “the well being of people of all nations [is] at risk.” Such comments reaffirm the conclusions of the Lancet/UCL Commission: that climate change is “the greatest threat to human health of the 21st century.”

The changes seen so far—massive arctic ice loss and extreme weather events, for example—have resulted from an estimated average temperature rise of 0.89°C since 1901. Further changes will depend on how much we continue to heat the planet. The release of just another 275 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide would probably commit us to a temperature rise of at least 2°C—an amount that could be emitted in less than eight years.

“Business as usual” will increase carbon dioxide concentrations from the current level of 400 parts per million (ppm), which is a 40% increase from 280 ppm 150 years ago, to 936 ppm by 2100, with a 50:50 chance that this will deliver global mean temperature rises of more than 4°C. It is now widely understood that such a rise is “incompatible with an organised global community.”

The IPCC warns of “tipping points” in the earth’s system, which, if crossed, could lead to a catastrophic collapse of interlinked human and natural systems. The AAAS concludes that there is now a “real chance of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts on people around the globe.”

And the World Meteorological Office (WMO) confirmed that extreme weather events are accelerating. WMO secretary general Michel Jarraud said, “There is no standstill in global warming . . . The laws of physics are non-negotiable.”

This is an emergency. Immediate and transformative action is needed at every level: individual, local, and national; personal, political, and financial. Countries must set aside differences and work together as a global community for the common good, and in a way that is equitable and sensitive to particular challenges of the poorest countries and most vulnerable communities.

Such action not only limits the threats of climate change, but could offer a health dividend, including potentially large financial savings for health systems. More active forms of transport and the consumption of less red meat will cut death and illness from cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Less air pollution will cut the global burden of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, and heart disease. The IPCC has incorporated this new understanding into its latest report on impacts, and we can expect to see this message flowing into the World Health Organization’s plans for action, to be discussed at its climate conference in August.

We should push our own organisations to divest from fossil fuel industries completely and as quickly as possible, reinvest in renewable energy sources, and move to “renewable” energy suppliers. Secondly, we should each use whatever influence we have to change the minds and behaviour of others who are in positions of influence.

Strong professionals alliances should be built to speak clearly to the public, the media, governments, and intergovernmental bodies to provide a strong and unified message—that climate change is real and is the result of human activity; that it is already affecting people around the world and is the greatest current threat to human health and survival; and that there are many positive and practical things we can do systematically and at scale to avert its worst effects.

If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change and bequeath a sustainable planet worth living on, we must push, as individuals and as a profession, for a transformed, sustainable, and fair world, beginning with our own country, Nigeria

Culled from  http://www.bmj.com

Will You Use Your Power on March 29, 2014?

28 Mar

superhero

”Each of us can be a Super Hero for the planet.”

A record 160 countries  and territories across some 7000 cities and towns including Nigeria, will be participating in the world’s largest celebration for the planet on March 29,  at 8:30PM local time. Earth Hour, organised by WWF, has evolved into the world’s largest environmental grassroots movement connecting hundreds of millions of people across all seven continents. The movement  has grown from a single lights out event to the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, and the actual dedicated hour remains a key driver of wider engagement to act on environmental priorities across the world.

Starting in New Zealand, Earth Hour will make its way through 157 countries and territories passing all seven continents including Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa, then to North and South America, and even to Antarctica, before ending in Tahiti.

Turning off our lights for an hour won’t stop climate change–not even if we all do it, so the event is about more than 60 minutes in the dark. It’s a aimed at inspiring earth’s humans to pledge to take action for our planet.

You can be part of the Nigerian movement in these cities:

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7 million People Died Worldwide From Air Pollution in 2012

27 Mar

Photo: AP

Photo: AP


WHO has reported that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. In Nigeria, smoke from indoor air pollution contributes to 95,000 deaths every year.
In particular, the new data reveal a stronger link between both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. The new estimates are not only based on more knowledge about the diseases caused by air pollution, but also upon better assessment of human exposure to air pollutants through the use of improved measurements and technology. This has enabled scientists to make a more detailed analysis of health risks from a wider demographic spread that now includes rural as well as urban areas.
“Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents noncommunicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly,Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children’s Health says “Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves.”
The release of this data is a significant step in advancing a WHO roadmap for preventing diseases related to air pollution. This involves the development of a WHO-hosted global platform on air quality and health to generate better data on air pollution-related diseases and strengthened support to countries and cities through guidance, information and evidence about health gains from key interventions.
Solving Nigeria’s energy crises could be the first strategy to reducing these deaths in our country.

First Outdoor Solar-Powered Computer Hub Launches in Nigeria

25 Mar

Image

‘Project Hello World’, is an initiative that provides
Internet access and digital education to underprivileged African communities.
The first of the outdoor solar-powered computer stations, called ‘Hello World
Hubs’, has been installed in Nigeria and is expected to reach over 2,000 children
and adults in Suleja, Niger State. Having never interacted with the Internet before, the children of Suleja have
quickly adapted to the new technology and can regularly be found playing the
Hub’s pre-programed math and science games — often sharing a screen
between 14 or more children.

Click link for video. http://youtu.be/_8mygrERY2s

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Greening a Party

17 Jan 20140117-171805.jpg

20140117-171805.jpg

Mami will turn 1 in a few weeks, and so I found and wore my thinking cap. Uneasy I was wearing this cap on a head that dreams of a ¨Green Children’s Party¨ in Nigeria. How could I possibly organize a children’s party without all the waste that usually comes from food, decor and the baba of them all…party packs, usually a plastic bag filled with inferior plastic items? I have seen children leave excitedly with their packs, only to begin the destruction right before the party ends, or just a few hours or days after the party. I don’t like it….QED, HOHAAA!!!!! Not because the children are naturally destructive, but because they are children, and would easily destroy anything not built to last. Moreover for some of these children, they desperately don’t need these items……. they have been to so many parties, they own way too many toys and gifts, and therefore really won’t attach any value to most of the items. I dream of a party where every item would be valued, and used in a sustainable manner, and yes, by children. Yes….. it’s possible to start teaching them about minimalism, conservation, protection, recycling, and how not to waste early. I’m still trying to figure out how to bring this green dream alive. I will share in another post how I worked it out or not, perfectly or not.
Every child deserves to be happy on their special day, and for the rest of their lives, but making them happy while wasting earths’ resources would amount to compromising their access to vital resources in the future. If we continue using without care and consideration, a Christmas without harmattan is eminent for children in this part of the world, just as the dream of a white Christmas might become far fetched for children some countries away. I’m still dreaming of my green party. Any ideas?

Photo- bigdotofhappiness.com

Fashion Thinks Water

7 Sep

siwisiwisiwisiwi
Most businesses are beginning to think not just about profit, but also about the environment and sustainability.
Swedish fashion retail companies Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex have announced that they are expanding their cooperation with the Stockholm International Water institute (SIWI) during 2014 to improve sustainable water management practices at their supplying production houses in India.
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World Water Week 2013

6 Sep

africa-water-supply

    With the world’s population and economies growing fast while the amount of available water remains the same, collaboration over our most essential resource is more urgent than ever. The irony is that a lot of people, and lots of those around me do not believe this, therefore do not care about this piece of information. As a matter of fact, some have told me categorically that I am over rating the issues, and questioning if God who kept the water many ears before I was born did not plan for the future generation. My final statement usually is that saving will not cost us our left eye, so just save just incase science is right. Water management is the reason World Water Week holds yearly.
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