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Will The Middle East & North Africa Become Uninhabitable Because Of Climate Change?

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Up until fairly recently, our planet was able to maintain a harmonious ecological balance and support diverse forms of life. But human intervention, driven by profit and greed rather than the well-being of the planet, has deeply impacted the earth’s ecosystems, and we may soon be paying the cost of this shortsightedness.

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Climate changes caused by human activity will continue to increase, and it is the hottest regions of the world which are going to suffer the most for it. Syria has already been affected by such changes, as evinced by their 2011 crisis.

In fact the Syrian crisis that started in 2011 was just the beginning, warn researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia, who have been busy studying the climate change occurring in North Africa and the Middle East. They argue that the Paris climate change agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C, may be too little, too late for these regions, which are set to become unendurably hot.

The study suggests that the temperature during summer in these already hot regions will increase more than two times faster compared to the average global warming. What’s worse, these extremely hot days will occur five times more often than was the case just 16 years ago.

The official statement by the director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany reads as follows: “In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy.”

Prof. Lelieveld and his colleagues have recently released a report in a climatic change journal where they used a computer model to understand the climate changes taking place in the MENA region.

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Global warming clearly affects different regions in different ways, with many areas seeing warmer than usual winters, and the trend for Middle Eastern regions like Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, remains steady, with temperatures increasing at exponential rates.

Between 1986 and 2005, these regions experienced approximately 16 extremely hot days per year, but now the number could be as high as 80. It is believed that by the year 2040, that number could increase to 118 days, even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

Panos Hadjinicolaou, an associate professor at the Cyprus Institute who co-authored the report, notes: “If mankind continues to release carbon dioxide as it does now, people living in the Middle East and North Africa will have to expect about 200 unusually hot days, according to the model projections.”

Prof. Lelieveld and his co-authors from the Cyprus Institute also published a study in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journal which showed that soil in Middle Eastern countries, including Syria and Iraq, have become much drier, resulting in a 70%  increase in dust emissions since the onset of 21st century. The researchers warn of harsh summers and unstable conditions to come.

Dr. Lelieveld warns that if there is total temperature rise of just 2°c on Earth, inhabitants of these regions will be in great jeopardy:

By mid-century, during the warmest periods, temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees at night, and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit). By the end of the century, midday temperatures on hot days could even climb to 50 degrees Celsius (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit). Another finding: Heat waves could occur ten times more often than they do now.

Unfortunately, it is the poor who, unable to escape to comfortable air conditioned homes, will suffer the most from these changes, as their livelihood depends on their access to water and on the health of their crops and livestock.


 

Sources:

Thanks To Climate Change, The Middle East And North Africa Are Basically Screwed (IFL Science)

High temperatures will make much of Middle East, North Africa unlivable (Middle East Eye)

Searing heat may spark North Africa, Middle East exodus (Climate Change News)

Climate change could make parts of the Middle East and North Africa ‘uninhabitable’ (Independent)

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United States Drinking Water Pollution Could Cause 100,000 Cancer Cases

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study has found United States drinking water pollution could cause 100,000 cancer cases.

  • Reflect On:

    What will it take for us to clean up our planet and our waterways? Why are we always focused on raising money for cancer treatment instead of creating awareness about the many causes of cancer?

While the push for reducing carbon emissions is stronger than ever, there are plenty of environmental issues that deserve just as much, if not more, attention. One of those issues is the pollution of our water systems. This is a global problem that plagues the entire planet, and North America is no exception. In Canada, for example, First Nations reserves have some of the worst drinking water in the world. It’s terrible and makes absolutely no sense at all.

Water contamination in the United States is at an all-time high, which was further illustrated by a new study published in the Journal Heliyon. The study looked at 22 cancer-causing compounds that researchers found in 48,363 U.S. municipal water systems, and is the first of its kind to contemplate the total cancer risk from the mixture of these chemical components that’ve been found in tap water. It’s important to note that the study did not include the approximately 13.5 million people that are currently on private well water.

The study concludes:

Overall, state- and national-level cumulative cancer risks due to carcinogenic water contaminants are similar in magnitude to the risks reported for carcinogenic air pollutants. Thus, improving water quality at the tap and investing in measures for source water protections represent opportunities for protecting public health and decreasing potential disease incidence due to environmental pollution.

“We’re seeing cancer risk estimated at about 100,000 cases for the U.S.– due to drinking water contaminants at levels that currently meet requirements,” lead author, Sydney Evans, a science analyst at the Environmental Working Group, told EHN.

The astonishing thing is that the chemical water contaminates actually meet the safety requirements. It appears that safety requirements that’ve been set by our federal health regulatory agencies need to be adjusted. At the end of the day, is there really a safe level of harmful chemical contamination? The obvious answer is no.

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“Water at the legal limit may still hold health risks,” Evans said.

The 100,000 cancer cases estimate is the calculated risk of people drinking water over a lifetime. In the United States, there are approximately 300 million people who access their water from community water systems, which is a large majority of the US population. According to the authors, we’re talking about 4 lifetime cancer cases per 10,000.

That may not seem like a large number to some, but it is, especially when you consider all of the other environmental contaminants that have been linked to cancer like everyday household products, pesticides and herbicides like RoundUp that are now found on many of our foods, not to mention electromagnetic radiation, processed foods, sugar (high fructose corn syrup), air pollution, and a host of other factors that have been strongly linked to cancer.

There are many such studies on public water systems in America. According to an Environmental Working Group’s review of government water analysis, 75% of America’s drinking water is ridden with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium or chromium-6. And 200 million Americans are currently being exposed to it.

Chromium-6 is a heavy metal categorized as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization. The same heavy metal Erin Brockovich brought to attention–it’s a by-product of industrial manufacturing and is known to cause cancer even in minute concentrations. Indeed, California scientists labelled it dangerous when it surpasses a mere 0.02 parts per billion—the equivalent of one drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Bottled water isn’t much better, and also contributes to pollution.

Even antidepressant drugs, making their way through an increasing number of people’s bodies, getting excreted in small amounts into their toilets, and moving through the wastewater treatment process to lakes and rivers, have been found in multiple Great Lakes fish species’ brains. (source)

Research has exposed that no level of toxins is completely safe in your water. A two-year study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (2008) concluded that drinking water with traces of chromium-6 resulted in cancer among the test subjects.

Yes, we can protect ourselves from these risks by eating healthy, drinking clean water, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it’s really getting out of hand. One of the main concerns is that people are constantly raising money for cancer, but that money isn’t being used to combat these issues. The disease has become a popular hashtag without any of these supposed cancer activists creating awareness on the actual causes of cancer.

Cancer is Not Just A Stroke of Bad Luck

Cancer is not just a stroke of bad luck. We know there are many environmental factors, products and services that can cause cancer. It would be interesting to see a similar study done, but one that took into account the dozens upon dozens of factors that are clearly contributing to rising cancer rates. Why aren’t cancer activists creating awareness about this? Why is the cancer industry constantly trying to raise money for cancer, while at the same time ignoring a number of potential treatments that can’t be patented by big pharmaceutical companies? These are all very important questions to ask.

The Takeaway

Real cancer awareness is about educating others on the alternative treatment methods suppressed by big pharma and creating awareness about the known causes of cancer. It’s not just about raising money, so next time you or someone you know donates or wants to raise awareness, point them in the direction of the known environmental pollutants, foods, products and services that are clearly contributing to the massive cancer epidemic our world is experiencing. The best type of activism is a healthy lifestyle, and it starts with you.

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8 Year-Old Mexican Girl Invents A Solar Water Heater & Wins Nuclear Science Prize

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Photo Credit: Especial - ZONA FRANCA / Alfredo Alvarez, Imagen Television

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    An 8 year old girl named Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz has invented a solar powered water heater out of recycled materials that will bring warm water to those who don't have easy access.

  • Reflect On:

    Don't we have incredible innovation everywhere we turn? Why then does our world not see thrivability everywhere? Is it perhaps held back by systems that don't allow for all to thrive?

Innovation comes from all ages, and this is further seen in the story of Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz, an eight-year-old girl from Chiapas, Mexico who invented an entirely solar-powered device for heating water. The impact her invention could have on others around the world is immense, and this has inspired the UNAM’s (National Autonomous University of Mexico) Institute of Nuclear Sciences to award her.

To those in developed countries, her invention may not seem all that revolutionary as access to warm or hot water is commonplace, but for those in many other areas of the world, including her town in Mexico, this would be a luxury.

Cruz’s device was inspired by the desire to reduce deforestation and pollution by replacing the need to cut logs for heating water, which is the primary method used in her part of the world. Cruz furthers her commitment to environmentally sound practices by utilizing recycled materials to build her device.


The Cruz family has already installed their daughter’s invention on the roof of their home in Mexico. They now enjoy warm water that can be used for anything from cooking to bathing.

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Her solar-powered invention has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions around the world who still rely on wood as the primary source of fuel for heating water.

At CE we have long brought up the idea that our economic system ultimately holds back the ability for humanity to thrive. While many look at capitalism in developed countries as an ideal means to create high-quality products for consumers, the economic models we operate off of are designed at their core to enslave humanity. This can be explored via research into how money comes into our economy to begin with — a debt-based process initiated by central banks that indebts a country which then indebts the banking system which then indebts the business/consumer.

The very design of the system also makes it so that certain countries can easily be held down by others as they cannot easily access modern developments that come from other countries simply because the value of their currency is set by those who control the economy.

Thus, the need for inventions like this serve to temporarily provide help to people who could already be enjoying the luxury of energy technologies suppressed by the economic system and their rulers who choose to put power and control over the thrivability of humanity.

While we are here, let’s also consider the reality of new energy technologies that go well beyond wind, solar and fossil fuels. We did an interview series with Susan Manewich, another incredible voice in the space of emerging energy technologies to not only discuss the purposeful suppression of new energy technologies, but also a less talked about form of ‘suppression’ that is placed on the emergence of these technologies.

Below is a teaser to the Hidden Energy Technology interview we did with her, and you can sign up for a free 7 day trial to CETV to watch it.

The Takeaway

There is never a shortage of innovation, ideas, and problem solving within our society. But there is often a shortage of movement allowed in the rigid systems we have created that stop technology and basic needs from being brought to all.

When you consider the basic truth that millions don’t have access to clean water and food each day, when at the same time, others just a few hours away by flight live in completely developed countries where gluttony is commonplace, you begin to realize that this is being done by design, not by accident.

Do we still wish to put all of our faith and participation in systems that seek to enslave others vs. allow them to thrive? A deep question for such a simple story, but still a necessary one.

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Sobering Footage Shows Orangutan Fighting Off Excavator To Protect His Home

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Footage released in 2018 shows an orangutan trying to protect its habitat by attacking a machine deforesting for palm oil creation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we at a point where we are recognizing the disconnected nature of our actions? Do videos like this make us feel something? If so what are we feeling? Are we finally beginning to realize we are not in harmony with nature or ourselves?

By now many of us know about the destructive nature of palm oil harvesting. As each year goes by about 6,000 orangutans are killed as a direct result of deforestation for palm oil. According to The Orangutan Project, every hour 300 football fields of precious remaining forest is ploughed to the ground across South East Asia to make way for palm oil plantations.

The creation of palm oil is popular within the food industry because it is a cheap oil that can be used in many processed products. While the cost on the shelves might be cheap, the cost on wildlife and the environment isn’t, but it appears as though that isn’t the concern in society as we operate in a way where each individual or individual company is looking to capitalize on the market without considering the cost of our collective actions.

Orangutans and other animals are being forced from their homes as a result of this human action and it appears it’s time for us to begin reflecting not only on our choices as consumers, but also on how our systems and infrastructures are designed to support this type of action.

A video clip shot in 2013 but released in 2018 brings all the observation and emotional connection necessary to see just how big of a problem this has become for our wildlife friends. The clip obtained by International Animal Rescue captured footage of an orangutan attempting to defend his home from loggers.

The short clip shows an orangutan walking toward a bulldozer that is destroying its habitat in the Sungai Putri forest in Borneo, Indonesia. After slapping the machine’s bucket, he frantically tries to escape.

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The organization wrote on Facebook:

“This desperate orangutan is frantically seeking refuge from the destructive power of the bulldozer; a machine that has already decimated everything else around him.”

You could say there was some good news for the orangutan as it was rescued by the animal welfare group. But his home, much like the homes of many like him, was destroyed.

This is yet another example of how humans are responsible for the mass amounts of suffering taking place in our world. We are witnessing a time when cutting out animal products in our diets and clothing selections is becoming more popular due to the rise in awareness about how our unnecessary actions are causing suffering to others.

This showcases a shift in overall collective awareness that puts humanity back in connection with nature and its surroundings. The truth is, and you could say this is my opinion although for me it’s a deep feeling, when humanity is truly in touch with itself, the unnecessary killing of animals and the environment simply doesn’t make sense to partake in. No beliefs, ethics or morality necessary to feel that truth.

The Takeaway

Have we reached a point where we can say we do not respect our environment or natural life? Is our disconnection with self and our own consciousness beyond ‘the brain’ evident in how we treat other living things?

If you wish to help shift humanity away from practices like this and create a more peaceful society, share this article to raise awareness about the issue. Further, you can move into a more peaceful and connected state within yourself which helps shift collective consciousness by taking The 5 Days of You Challenge here.

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