Around a quarter of all Tweets about climate change are produced by Bots and skewed towards messages of denial, a report published by The Guardian reveals today. It quotes a draft report from Brown which raises fears over the “substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denialist messages”. It raises the prospect of their deployment when world leaders gather for the world’s biggest climate summit in Scotland later this year.
Does anyone doubt how important the Cop 26 summit in Glasgow will be? If so this piece from Wired’s science editor Matt Reynolds should be compulsory reading. In it he argues that our most ambitious emissions target yet – set in Paris back in 2015 – is already in tatters, save for the few optimists quoted who say they is still a very slim chance of hitting the 1.5 degrees target. It makes November in Scotland all the more pressing.
The stakes after all couldn’t be higher.
BBC News are among those to carry the apocalyptic view from economists at JP Morgan who aren’t pulling any punches when they say “We cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened.” It goes on to look at sectors and impacts, adding: “It is a global problem but no global solution is in sight.”
Among those suffering right now are flood victims in Wales and England, with as we’re writing, a new storm closing in again. New Civil Engineer reports from the front line to ask why flood defences are failing to cope. One industry veteran tells them: “I’ve worked in the industry for 25 years and when I started floods of this magnitude were never heard of or were once in a career, but I have seen more than I care to mention and they are becoming more frequent,”
In Scotland as of 9am, SEPA’s Floodline shows 11 flood alerts, and nine flood warnings. Wales had one flood alert and one flood warning. That compares with 148 flood alerts, 79 flood warnings and five severe flood warnings in England.
Writer Carina Eliasson cites research for the University of Gothenburg which talks about how extreme weather events will impact energy sources, including renewables. However it talks about potential breakthroughs in predicting the consequences to allow those involved to work on mitigation and planning.
The UK’s environment minister, meanwhile, has moved to begin phasing out household coal and wet wood use as home fuel. The Guardian are among those to report how sales of the most polluting fuels will be driven out from next year. They quote Environment Secretary George Eustice as saying: “By moving towards the use of cleaner fuels such as dry wood we can all play a part in improving the health of millions of people.”
Tweet of the day from @S_Turnbull
And finally, The Oban Times carries a story on how activists in and around Lochaber want to protect ‘Scotland’s Amazon’ from the Space Hub Sutherland planning application to develop a spaceport in the area. The so called Flow Country, dominated by peat bog, is regarded as Europe’s largest carbon sink with environmentalists fearing the consequences of such a dramatic and potentially damaging shift in land use.
CREDIT: Main image: ijmaki