Tuesday January 28, 2020

London Climate Change Protesters to Call a Halt if Government will Consider their Demands

Some 963 arrests have been made and 42 people charged in connection with the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests

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london, climate change
Police arrests protestors at Oxford Circus in London, Friday, April 19, 2019. The group Extinction Rebellion is calling for a week of civil disobedience against what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change. VOA

Climate change protesters who have brought parts of London to a standstill said Sunday they were prepared to call a halt if the British government will discuss their demands. Some 963 arrests have been made and 42 people charged in connection with the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests.

On the seventh day of demonstrations that have occupied key spots in the British capital, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the demonstrators, telling them: “Humanity is standing at a crossroads.”

Organizers said they were willing to switch tactics from disruption to dialogue next week — if the government enters talks.

“We are prepared to pause, should the government come to the negotiating table,” Extinction Rebellion spokesman James Fox told AFP. “What the pause looks like is us stopping an escalation. “We can discuss leaving if they are willing to discuss our demands.

climate change, london
Some 963 arrests have been made and 42 people charged in connection with the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests. VOA

“At the moment, we haven’t received a response from the government… so we’re waiting on that.” Extinction Rebellion was established last year in Britain by academics and has become one of the world’s fastest-growing environmental movements.

Campaigners want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new “citizens’ assemblies on climate and ecological justice.

“We’re giving them an opportunity now to come and speak to us,” Fox told AFP. “If they refuse to come and negotiate with us, then this is going to continue and this is going to escalate in different, diverse and very creative ways.”

Thunberg, the 16-year-old activist who has inspired pupils worldwide to boycott classes to join climate protests, addressed the cheering crowds at the Marble Arch landmark, the only authorized demonstration site.

climate change, london
The road is blocked by demonstrators during a climate protest at Marble Arch in London, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. VOA

“For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis,” she said.

“But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer.” She continued: “How do we want the future living conditions for all living species to be like? “Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take.

“We are waiting for the others to follow our example.” Police said they had managed to clear the protesters from Parliament Square and the Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus junctions.

Those charged range in age from 19 to 77. They hail from around England and Wales, with one person from France charged. The charges are for various offenses including breaching public order laws, obstructing a highway and obstructing police.

Calling for an end to the protests, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said more than 9,000 police officers had been responding to the demonstrations, which had left the force as a whole overstretched.

climate change, london
Students hold banners and posters during a demonstration against climate change in New York, March 15, 2019. VOA

“This is now taking a real toll on our city… this is counter-productive to the cause,” he said. “I’m extremely concerned about the impact the protests are having on our ability to tackle issues like violent crime.

“You must now let London return to business as usual.” In the blazing sunshine on Waterloo Bridge, police lifted protesters and carried them off to waiting police vans.

ALSO READ: Experts Claim, Climate Change Can Affect Food, Water Security

“I’m genuinely terrified. I think about it all the time. I’m so scared for the world. I feel like there is going to be calamity in my lifetime,” student Amber Gray told AFP.

“I don’t even feel comfortable bringing children into this world knowing that that is coming. “And I don’t want people in the future to say to me, ‘why didn’t you do anything?’.” (VOA)

Next Story

Here’s Why Automative Technology May Have Adverse Impact on Climate, Public Health

climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities

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Technology
While automative technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines. Pixabay

New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, a new study suggests.

The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

While this technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“Even though emissions from gasoline vehicles constitute a small fraction of the black carbon in the atmosphere, the vehicle emissions are concentrated in regions with high population densities, which magnifies their effect,” said study researcher Rawad Saleh, Assistant Professor at University of Georgia in the US.

The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3 per cent in model year 2008 to 51 per cent in model year 2018. The EPA projects 93 per cent of vehicles in the US will be equipped with GDI engines by 2025. According to the study, researchers predicts the increase in black carbon emissions from GDI-powered vehicles will fuel climate warming in urban areas of the US that significantly exceeds the cooling associated with a reduction in CO2.

In addition, they believe the shift will nearly double the premature mortality rate associated with vehicle emissions, from 855 deaths annually to 1,599. The researchers estimate the annual social cost of these premature deaths at $5.95 billion. The increase of black carbon is an unintended consequence of the shift to GDI-equipped vehicles that some scientists suspected was based on experimental data, according to the researcher.

Technology
New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts. Pixabay

“This study is the first to place these experimental findings in a complex modeling framework to investigate the trade-off between CO2 reduction and an increase in black carbon,” Slah said. While previous research has reported the shift to GDI engines will result in net benefits for the global climate, the researchers said that these benefits are rather small and can only be realized on timescales of decades.

Meanwhile, the negative impact of black carbon can be felt instantaneously, they added.

ALSO READ: Everything About Off-Beat Cinema: The Newfangled Trend in Bollywood

“Our research shows the climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities. In these regions, the climate burden induced by the increase in black carbon dominates over the climate benefits of the reduction in CO2,” said Saleh. (IANS)