Yes, we know how important the economy is, how unethical tax frauds are, and how tempting is an alleged scandal involving the President. Now that we've got your attention, here's something far more urgent that requires people's attention and to a large extent - ACTION.
Many of us might survive the pandemic or the unemployment, none will make it through the brutalities of a changing climate. For, there's no vaccine for global warming and no immune system can possibly fight off the melting-glaciers.
Since we know, you are waiting to be updated on Trump's blunders instead, so no long speeches on climate change, no technical jargon, no scary consequences given usually about 100 years from now, just a few facts stated bluntly. All to drive home the point that COVID-19 is not even the tip of the 'melting' iceberg.
If Covid-19 doesn't kill us, climate change will
"If Covid-19 doesn't kill us, climate change will," thankfully the world leaders at this week's annual United Nations meeting were cured of their myopia, finally. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the COVID-19 pandemic, as a "wake up call and a dress rehearsal for future challenges."
This summer, Siberia has seen record-breaking (and alarming) temperatures as high as 100.4 degrees alongside wildfires across the countryside, a point that was rightfully highlighted at the UN meeting.
At the UN General Assembly, citing increasing and frequent wildfires in the Western U.S, Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama went so far as to say, "We are already seeing a version of environmental Armageddon." He further noted that the Greenland ice chunk was larger than a number of island nations. Meanwhile, the UN global climate summit has been postponed to late-2021.
The main goal of the 2015 Paris climate accord is to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, but as per several scientists, the world is on its way to breach that limit. A new study has found that if the world warms up by just as much as another 0.9 degrees Celsius, the West Antarctic ice sheet will be driven to a point of irreversible melting. It has enough water to raise global sea levels by 16 feet.
NASA captured the carbon monoxide plumes coming from California wildfires last week. There were 28 major wildfires burning across the state as of September 14, which includes the August Complex Fire that burned over 471,000 acres.
The Arctic is getting greener - that's not good
As per a new study, measuring vegetation changes across the Arctic Tundra, (from Alaska and Canada to Siberia) the region has become greener as warmer air and warmer soil temperatures lead to increased plant growth. "The Arctic Tundra is one of the coldest biomes on Earth and it's also one of the most rapidly warming," said Logan Berner, a global change ecologist with Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, of the research which has been published in Nature Communications.
As per the analysis of the satellite data by NASA in association with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), this year's Arctic sea ice cover shrank to the second-lowest extent since the late 1970s when modern record-keeping began.
Time to act
Now the most important, this is for the nations, leaders, and general public torn between climate change and economy and often viewing the two as a zero-sum game. Sustained efforts at stopping climate change can drive economic growth, while unchecked environmental destruction and climate change will have irreversible economic consequences. As per a 2015 research by US banking giant Citigroup, not acting on climate change could cost the world more than $40 trillion by 2060.
Well, this isn't the first study to have warned us of the cost of changing climate. And it's not the ice or penguins that could be at risk, but your job and savings. As per another study published in the journal Nature Climate Change in 2016, if the emission rate continued the way it has, the value at risk in global portfolios could range from about $2 trillion to $25 trillion. Now go save the economy, but start with the environment first.
And to clear some doubts one might have about Trump's taxes, the US President hasn't "accidentally" leaked those details (YET). But if it is important to you, you can read all about Trump's federal taxes revealed by NYT by clicking here.
To briefly summarize it, Trump paid $750 in taxes in 2016. If you thought that was a mockery of the taxation system. Then wait. In ten out of the last 15 years, he paid $0 in federal taxes; reported losing more money than he made in those years.