Climate change and nuclear threats

  • The storm damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in the British overseas territory of Anguilla (Photograph by Garson Kelsick/AP)

    The storm damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in the British overseas territory of Anguilla (Photograph by Garson Kelsick/AP)

The world is facing a deeply troubling period in its history, with chemical emissions from massive industrial complexes affecting the Earth’s protective shield and creating weather conditions globally that have never been seen before. The recent experience in America, with Hurricane Harvey causing loss of life and widespread flooding and damage in Texas, has many wondering what will happen next.

Alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear across the planet, when at least 97 per cent of scientists have agreed that mankind is contributing to conditions that pose a threat, which in a sense could be greater than the existing potential for nuclear confrontation between the United States, its allies and the dictator state of North Korea. Unless there is a significant, unified global effort to tackle climate change, the future for all mankind will be unpredictable.

Even before the waters recede in Texas, yet another ferocious hurricane, Irma, is rumbling towards other parts of the United States, with forecasters placing Florida and parts of the East Coast as likely targets for Irma’s landfall.

The storm was also expected to wreak havoc throughout much of the Caribbean, with winds in excess of 130mph. All this and yet another storm fresh off the African coast is churning in the Atlantic. It is enough to keep Bermuda on edge, with hurricane season far from over. Bermuda’s location in the Atlantic Ocean makes it very likely that we could find ourselves in the path of a storm as it heads north.

While we are quite familiar with that scenario, we also know that no storm should ever be taken for granted.

But there are other storms that threaten the world’s fragile peace with political implications. North Korea, which now boasts having a hydrogen bomb believed to be greater than that which the US dropped on Japan to end the Second World War in 1945, is now threatening to wage war against America and its allies.

Should the button be pushed on either side to launch an attack, the consequences in human suffering could be incomprehensible. Those who remember vividly the nightmare of the Korean War, and the heavy death toll on both sides, can hardly believe that an even greater tragedy could occur with one error in judgment.

Surely, Kim Jong Un must know that his regime would not survive a massive military response from the US and Nato forces. The world watches and hopes that diplomacy will find a way out of this potential nuclear standoff. The clock is ticking towards the unthinkable.

Meanwhile, millions are bracing for the power of nature when it is unleashed in the form a monster hurricane called Irma. No negotiations involved here; it is a matter of being prepared in every way possible. With extreme temperatures and tornadoes that ravage parts of the US each year, the question of whether climate change is a contributing factor is very much in the air.

Initially, President Donald Trump expressed doubt over the issue of climate change, but polls showed most Americans believe it is affecting weather around the world.

Melting ice in the Antarctic is occurring at an alarming rate and that has scientists concerned about rising ocean waters. There are predictions that in another 50 years, should the trend continue, a number of beaches in California will no longer exist.

There are even concerns in Florida, where in some parts they have already begun preparing for potential threats for higher sea levels. Should leading nations collectively adopt cleaner, productive methods that would reduce chemicals that harm the atmosphere, there may be some hope for future generations.

With political and economic power at play, it remains to be seen whether nations will place survival as a higher priority.

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Published Sep 9, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 8, 2017 at 11:30 pm)

Climate change and nuclear threats

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