14 March 2019   Leave a comment

The British Parliament has voted 413 to 202 to request a delay from the European Union on a agreement for Great Britain’s exit from the Union. Having voted yesterday no to have a “no-deal”Brexit, there was really no alternative. But more than half of the Conservative Members of Parliament voted against the government’s motion–a clear sign of discontent with Prime Minister May. The Parliament also voted against holding a second referendum on Brexit. The request for a delay must be unanimously approved by all 27 member states of the Union, something which is likely but not at all assured. European Council President Donald Tusk has signaled that he would prefer an extended delay, but it is not at all clear that there is any basis for believing that the British will do better than they have over the last two years.

The United Nations Environment Programme has published a very good overview of the threats facing the Arctic environment entitled “Global Linkages: A graphic look at the changing Arctic”. The report has graphics which are informative and easy to understand. The conclusion, however, is sobering; “Unless humanity makes very rapid and deep pollution cuts, Arctic winter temperatures will rise 5.4° to 9.0°F (3° to 5°C) by 2050 — and will reach an astounding 9° to 16°F (5° to 8.8°C) by 2080”. Even if the temperature targets of the Paris Accords are met, it seems as if the rise in Arctic temperatures is already locked in. The report contains useful information about pollution in the Arctic–such as the extent to which mercury has invaded the Arctic environment–which is not easily accessible.

Posted March 14, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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