Daily Archives: May 25, 2022

Live: Sustaining the growth momentum – A revisit to Chayan Yuese

May 25, 2022

CGTN’s Kate Kui takes you to Changsha, capital of central #China‘s Hunan Province, to see how the local retail industry is recovering post pandemic. Apart from being the hub of heavy machinery in China, the city offers a rich culinary culture and a vibrant night life, which make it one of happiest cities in the country. Kate will also revisit several companies in Changsha, which she toured last year for the Rising Star Cities series. Chayan Yuese, one of the leading retail beverage companies, will update us on the last year’s happenings.

Climate Forward: A feud over fossil fuel money

A feud over fossil fuel money
Is it OK to accept money from fossil fuel companies?
At Stanford University, the question is ringing loud. This month, hundreds of students, faculty members and alumni, in an open letter, called on the university’s new climate school to decline funding from fossil fuel companies.
The letter was partly a response to an interview the school’s inaugural dean, Arun Majumdar, gave to my Times colleague David Gelles, in which he said the school was open to donations from oil companies. Majumdar said the school, known as the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, would be willing to work with companies “that want to diversify and be part of the solution.”
But the students and faculty members argue that fossil fuel companies just want to deflect attention from their role in a climate crisis that they continue to perpetuate. Accepting money from an industry with “a proven record of actively obscuring the scientific consensus on climate change,” the letter said, “presents a conflict of interest.”
It’s an issue that many institutions around the world, not only universities, are struggling with. Two environmental nonprofit groups, Stand.earth and 350.org, started a website to keep track of divestment pledges from universities, banks, companies and even Queen Elizabeth II. So far, the list includes more than 1,500 institutions and businesses worth some $40 trillion. (The New York Times accepts advertising from fossil fuel companies.)
In a commencement speech this morning at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, urged students to shun fossil fuel companies. “Don’t work for climate wreckers,” he said. “Use your talents to drive us toward a renewable future.”
Back at Stanford, a survey of students about measures they wanted the new climate school to implement found that refusing money from polluting industries was a top priority.
Celina Scott-Buechler, a doctoral student at the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, said she thought the moment echoed the decline of the tobacco industry.
The parallels between the two cases are clear. Both sectors have been accused of running campaigns to mislead consumers and government institutions on the true dangers linked to their products. Both have faced lawsuits on those grounds.
In 2016, researchers unearthed documents that suggested that both oil and tobacco companies had hired the same public relations firms and research organizations to fight off allegations that their products were harmful.
There are also differences, though. As we know all too well, fossil fuels are central to modern life in a way that cigarettes are not, and it is an enormous challenge to change that. And, like Majumdar, many say they believe in working with companies on their plans to transform their businesses. The general idea is that collaboration on credible plans to transition to the clean energy sector is a lot more helpful than shunning companies.
For example, when the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, the largest of its kind in the world, announced in 2019 that it would divest from fossil fuels, it didn’t include oil companies that invest in clean energy technology.
Whatever happens, scientists say, it needs to happen sooner rather than later.
According to a timeline by the PBS program “Frontline,” four decades passed between the first scientific studies showing the dangers of smoking and the moment states started suing to recover what they had spent treating sick smokers in the 1990s.
It was around then that institutions started to reject tobacco money (The Times stopped accepting cigarette ads in 1999), though a few medical schools only decided to refuse donations a few years ago.
Scientists started to agree that human activity has an impact on the planet’s climate around the 1980s. But only in recent years have U.S. states filed lawsuits against fossil fuel companies. They are arguing, much like they did in suits against the tobacco industry, that companies misled them.
But activists in the divestment movement argue that, in the case of climate change, the planet doesn’t have decades to ramp up the pressure on fossil fuel companies.

…(read more).

NOAA projects above-average hurricane season, greater U.S. risk – The Washington Post

The siege of active Atlantic hurricane seasons will continue for yet another year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted Tuesday. In its annual seasonal outlook, the agency forecast the seventh straight above-normal Atlantic season, with 14 to 21 named storms — compared with 14 in an average year — and three to six major hurricanes, rated Category 3 or higher.

10 steps you can take to lower your carbon footprint

Major hurricanes are of particular concern, as they tend to rapidly intensify, or increase by 35 mph or more in wind strength in 24 hours — leaving coastal residents with little time to prepare. These major storms are responsible for the overwhelming majority of damage because of wind and ocean surge, the rise of water above normally dry land at the coast.

Scientists have observed an increase in rapidly intensifying hurricanes over the past few decades, linked to warming ocean waters from human-caused climate change.

…(read more).

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BBC World Service – Newshour, Russian diplomat defects

GLOBALink | Chinese-built SGR facilitates cargo transportation in Kenya

May 25, 2022

Kenyan rail professionals have said that Chinese-built standard gauge railway (SGR) is facilitating cargo transportation in Kenya.