Gaia Vince is looking for individuals who do not believe in the seriousness of the climate crisis to join her in an exclusive residence in Florida. It is necessary for these individuals to have their own private ark.
A wealthy family of property developers in Florida is seeking to sell a luxurious waterfront property for $295m. The property, located on Gordon Pointe peninsula, was purchased by the late financier John Donahue for $1m in 1985. Over the years, the land has been transformed into a compound with multiple McMansions equipped with all the necessary amenities for those who can afford it. However, with sea levels rising rapidly and the area being at high risk for climate impacts and weather disasters, potential buyers should be cautious. As the saying goes, “buyer beware.”
A chilling prediction
Last week, it was revealed that the Earth has surpassed a temperature of 1.5C above the preindustrial average for a full year. Looking at the recent extreme weather events, such as fires, heatwaves, floods, and storms, it is evident that we are firmly in the post-climate-change era and have been for several years.
Surprisingly, an increase in global temperatures could result in northern Europe experiencing freezing temperatures. This is due to the potential collapse of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (Amoc), which is responsible for bringing warm water from the Gulf Stream up to Europe and keeping temperatures mild. A study showed that once a tipping point is reached, this collapse could happen at a rapid pace, leading to a decrease in temperatures by 1C per decade, compared to the current 0.2C increase. This sudden change would make it nearly impossible for society to adapt.
There is uncertainty about the timing of this event: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes it is unlikely to happen within this century; a recent study from the University of Copenhagen predicts it may occur by the middle of the century; and the Met Office states it is highly improbable before 2100. The most recent research bluntly states that this would have detrimental effects on the climate and humanity. One potential consequence would be the English Channel freezing over. This could lead to a change in migration patterns, with the phrase “stop the boats” possibly being replaced by “stop the bobsleighs”. It is difficult to predict the direction in which climate migrants would travel.
Allowed to sell untrue stories
As we approach the time for elections, the putrid and murky swamp of false information, misleading information, and conspiracy theories has found an unlikely advocate in the regulatory body Ofcom. Last week, they determined that Scottish anti-vaxxer Neil Oliver’s statement on his GB News show in January, claiming that Covid vaccines cause “turbo cancer” in children, was acceptable. Despite receiving over 70 complaints about Oliver’s linking of vaccines to a non-existent condition, Ofcom concluded that he was within his rights to share these beliefs as they did not significantly mislead the audience.
The sole reasoning behind this choice may be that Ofcom deems GB News’ content as not being taken seriously by its viewers – a potentially hazardous assumption. In the interim, it is crucial for the regulatory body to add some scientists to its panel.
The latest predictions from Big Wind are causing concern, as the top three companies are facing challenges with increased costs for materials, delays, financial difficulties, and high inflation. Offshore wind has seen a significant increase in cost, up to 30%. Vestas and Siemens Energy, both turbine manufacturers, will not be distributing dividends. Siemens Energy is anticipating losses of €2bn (£1.71bn) this year, in part due to issues with their equipment.
The news that has caused the most surprise is from the Danish wind company Ørsted. They have announced a reduction of one-third of their planned installations by 2050, from 50 gigawatts (GW) to 35-38GW. This decision will result in around 800 job cuts and their withdrawal from Norway, Portugal, and Spain, as well as a slowdown in their remaining projects in the US. Ørsted, formerly known as Dong, has been seen as a leader in the clean energy revolution, successfully shifting from an oil and gas company to a major player in wind energy. However, they have faced challenges in recent years, including delays in regulatory processes and difficulties obtaining tax credits and locally made parts in the US market. This slowdown is concerning as the world has committed to tripling renewable energy production by 2030. Governments must take action to support rapid growth in these offshore and floating markets, even if it means accepting higher energy prices in the short term. Now, where did we put that £28bn?