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U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday that climate change is moving faster than efforts to combat it and that the international community needs to “put the brake” on greenhouse gas emissions, which drive global warming.
“If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us,” Guterres told a gathering of youth, business leaders and diplomats at U.N. headquarters.
“We are careening towards the edge of the abyss,” he said, standing at a podium in front of a rain-splattered window. “It is not too late to shift course. But every day that passes means the world heats up a little more, and the cost of our inaction mounts.”
The U.N. chief renewed his call for action on the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. California announced Monday that it is committing to 100 percent clean electricity by 2045.
The summit aims to mobilize international and local leaders from states, cities, business and civil society with national government leaders, scientists, students and nonprofits.
Guterres said the targets agreed to in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord are the “bare minimum” to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In the agreement, world leaders committed to stop global temperatures rising by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to keep it as close to 1.5 degrees as possible.
“But scientists tell us that we are far off track,” he cautioned, noting these commitments represent just one-third of what is needed.
“We need to shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels,” Guterres said. “We need to replace them with clean energy from water, wind and sun.”
The U.N. says that the planet is still consuming 85 percent of its energy from fossil fuels and only 15 percent from renewable energies, including nuclear wind and solar power.
The United States, which is the only country to have signed and then withdrawn from the Paris accord, has loosened federal regulations on the fossil fuel industry under President Donald Trump’s administration. Trump has also vowed to save the coal industry.
Guterres urged governments to end subsidies for fossil fuels and institute carbon pricing that reflects the true cost of greenhouse gas emissions.
He said the rise of renewable energy has been “tremendous.”
“Today, it is competitive with — or even cheaper — than coal and oil, especially if one factors in the cost of pollution.”
Guterres singled out China, a major polluter, for investing $126 billion last year in renewable energy — a 30 percent increase over 2016. He noted that countries that have long depended on oil, such as the Arab Gulf states and Norway, are looking at ways to diversify their economies away from fossil fuels.
“We know what is happening to our planet,” Guterres said. “We know what we need to do. And we even know how to do it. But sadly, the ambition of our action is nowhere near where it needs to be.”
Guterres said the transition to cleaner energy and lower carbon emissions can have great economic opportunities.
“The International Labor Organization reports that common sense green economy policies could create 24 million new jobs globally by 2030,” he noted.
He appealed for leadership from all sectors to mitigate the impact of global warming.
In September 2019, Guterres plans to convene a climate summit in New York to try to push climate action to the top of the international agenda.
“I am calling on world leaders to come to next year’s climate summit prepared to report not only on what they are doing, but what more they intend to do when they convene in 2020 for the U.N. climate conference, and where commitments will be renewed and surely ambitiously increased,” he said.
Some women say they experienced period changes after getting a Covid-19 vaccination. While the reported changes are short-lived, research into this possible adverse reaction remains critical to the success of the vaccination programme, according to an editorial published in The BMJ.
"A link between menstrual changes after Covid-19 vaccination is plausible and should be investigated," wrote Dr Victoria Male, a reproductive specialist at Imperial College London, in the editorial. Reports of menstrual changes after Covid-19 vaccination have been made for both mRNA and adenovirus-vectored vaccines, she added, suggesting that, if there is a connection, it is likely to be a result of the immune response to vaccination, rather than to a specific vaccine component, she said.
While changes to periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding are not listed as common side effects of Covid-19 vaccination, more than 30,000 such reports have been made to the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) surveillance scheme for adverse drug reactions till September 2. However, most people find that their period returns to normal the following cycleand, importantly, there is no evidence that Covid-19 vaccination adversely affects fertility, Male said.
Most people find that their period returns to normal the following cycleand, importantly, there is no evidence that Covid-19 vaccination adversely affects fertility, Male said. | Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash
The MHRA states that its surveillance data does not support a link between changes to menstrual periods and Covid-19 vaccines, since the number of reports is low in relation to both the number of people vaccinated and the prevalence of menstrual disorders generally. However, the way in which data is collected makes firm conclusions difficult, Male noted.
She argued that approaches better equipped to compare rates of menstrual changes in vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations are needed, and pointed to the study that the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has undertaken. Indeed, the menstrual cycle may be affected by the body's immune response to the virus itself, with one study showing menstrual disruption in around a quarter of women infected with SARS-CoV2.
If a link between vaccination and menstrual changes is confirmed, this will allow individuals seeking vaccination to plan in advance for potentially altered cycles, Male contended. In the meantime, clinicians must encourage their patients to report any changes to periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding after vaccination. And anyone reporting a change in periods persisting over a number of cycles, or new vaginal bleeding after the menopause, should be managed according to the usual clinical guidelines for these conditions, she suggested. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: vaccine, menstrual cycle, period, covid, women, health
A garage sale in the 21st century needs a tech-savvy platform. This is where Poshmark comes into the picture, the platform with a community of over 2.5 million Canadians has products listed with over half a billion dollars in value by their users.
It began expanding outside of the United States in Canada in May 2019 and has now launched in India. So its become simple and easy for anyone to sell items from their closet, enabled by a full suite of end-to-end seller tools and services, including seamless listing, merchandising, promotion, pricing, and shipping. Indian consumers will be able to join Social marketplace Poshmark, Inc. (Nasdaq: POSH), a booming community of more than 80 million users and a vibrant network of millions of shoppable closets to make money, save money, connect with others, and foster entrepreneurship.
The platforms scalable model and infrastructure enables continued expansion to new countries and categories in the future. | Photo by Duy Hoang on Unsplash
"As an Indian who grew up exploring the marketplaces of Old Delhi, I know firsthand how important it is to come together and connect as part of the shopping experience. I am confident that our social marketplace will resonate with Indian consumers and allow us to build a thriving and successful community here." The platform's scalable model and infrastructure enables continued expansion to new countries and categories in the future. (IANS/ MBI)
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Keywords: Clothes, garage, Poshmark, India, Old Delhi, social marketplace
Great historic events that have shaped the world and changed the outlines of countries are often not recorded in memory, or so we think. Wars made sure to destroy evidence and heritage, and the ones who survived told the tale of what really happened. Folklore, albeit through oral tradition kept alive many such stories, hidden in verse, limericks, and rhymes.
Ringa-ringa-roses, a common playtime rhyme among children across the world, is an example of folklore that has survived for many centuries. It tells the story of the The Great Plague of London which ravaged the city between 1665-1666.
The Plague broke out from improper disposal of garbage and poor sewage conditions. Fleas from the rats that lived in the sewers spread the disease that killed more than half of London's population. Many people fled from their homes as there was no medicine available for those who were infected.
Beak-shaped masks worn during the Great Plague of London Image source: wikimedia commons
It was around this time that masks began to be invented. The first masks were shaped like beaks, and were worn not to protect the wearer from the disease, but to the prevent them from being able to smell the decay and death around them, which they called 'miasma'. The beaks were filled with floral herbs that allowed doctors and nurses to tend to the sick without being reviled from the smell.
Children are often seen forming circles by holding hands and reciting loudly,
Pockets full of posies
We all fall down"
An illustration of the Great Plague of London, 1665 Image source: wikimedia commons
When the last line is sung, they break the circle and fall down. The roses and posies are believed to be the preferred fragrances inside the masks, and a single sneeze (a-tishoo) was enough to infect the one who was exposed to the disease. Consequently, they fell down, ill, and later died.
An alternative version of this rhyme is sung about the fall of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the aftermath of World War II. The roses and posies are interchanged with geranium and uranium, to symbolise what was used in the atomic bomb. But this version is not as famous the original.
Keywords: Rhymes, Ringa-ringa-roses, Great Plague of London, WWII, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Folklore