The climate emergency is an increasing threat to food security…It is time to change how we produce and consume, including to reduce greenhouse emissions.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres 
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Life at 50C: Heat hitting home in Australia

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From summer drought to a rainy harvest, Alberta weather has dealt farmers a tough hand

Farmer Christi Friesen says best hope right now is for a killing frost

When Alberta farmers needed rain, the weather was dry as a bone.

Now that harvest season has arrived and they need dry weather, the sky has brought forth showers. 

“(Crops) are considerably less than what they would be on a normal year,” Christi Friesen, who has a grain farm near  Peace River, Alta., told CBC’s Edmonton AM on Wednesday. 

Friesen grows canola, barley, oats and wheat. Because of the drought that persisted through the summer, some of her crops yielded less than 25 per cent of normal, she said.

Barley, for example, normally comes in at more than 100 bushels per acre. “We’re lucky to hit 30 this year,” she said.

The late-season rain, meanwhile, leaves wet crops that interfere with the combines and halts harvesting work.

Friesen said they have harvested half of their crops, but more rain is in the forecast.

Delays in the harvest lead to a threat of snow — and snow can cause a crop to be downgraded, she said.

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Quebecers march in Montreal to demand better action on climate change

Quebecers across the province took part in a Canada-wide demonstration to demand action be taken against climate change Friday.

Activists said they want to #uprootthesystem and “demand for intersectional climate justice.”

“I had really just been focusing on my own personal carbon footprint, my family, my school, but I saw that really what we need is to unite our voices to demand action from the people who can make a real difference — from our political leaders and from large companies,” said Shirley Barnea with Pour le Futur Montreal.

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The link between climate change, seaweed and ice cream

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Project Drawdown launches Climate Solutions at Work

“Inside most businesses, only a handful of people with ‘sustainability’ in their title consider climate issues as part of their work day,” says Jamie Beck Alexander, Director of Drawdown Labs. “But the scope and scale of the climate challenge calls on all of us to find our inroad. Climate Solutions at Work is a playbook for employees—no matter what you do or where you work—to help your business take bolder climate action.”

Pushing beyond “net zero”

In its infancy, “net zero” was meant to embody a long-term climate goal used by entire countries to track Paris Agreement(link is external) progress—a global goal to reach net zero by 2050 to keep increased warming to 1.5°C. Over the years, “net zero” has shifted from a collective goal to a leadership position from individual companies. This type of vague, long-term target only works if every company makes the same commitment with a shared deadline—a highly unlikely prospect.

Today’s definition of business climate leadership centers on companies doing less harm, gradually reducing their emissions—and the damage they cause—over time. Employees can demand a more expansive view, one that taps every company’s leverage points and the passion of every employee to scale climate solutions available right now, dramatically boosting expectations for business climate leadership around the world. Project Drawdown’s research shows the world can reach drawdown by mid-century so long as global interests make the best use of all existing climate solutions. Climate Solutions at Work focuses on the private sector so employees have a better sense of where to start—or intensify—their business climate action.

Building a “drawdown-aligned” business

For many employees committed to meaningful change, accelerating climate action at work can feel restricted to staff with “sustainability” in their job title. If a business is serious about their climate ambition, then they will welcome all employees to the work of helping them get there and holding them accountable.

“Project Drawdown wants employees to have the resources to identify and push for bigger climate ambition in the workplace,” says Alexander. “We’ve outlined a drawdown-aligned business framework that allows anyone, anywhere to make their job a climate job(link is external).” 

This drawdown-aligned business framework zeroes-in on eight key leverage points—and corresponding actions—that businesses must tap to help the world achieve drawdown quickly, safely, and equitably: 

  1. Emissions reductions
  2. Stakeholder engagement and collaboration
  3. Products, partnerships, and procurement (the “three Ps”)
  4. Investments and financing
  5. Climate disclosures
  6. Climate policy advocacy
  7. Business model transformation
  8. ​Long-term thinking

By moving step-by-step through topics primed for transformation, Climate Solutions at Work is a new north star for employees looking to push beyond net zero. Explore how to help build a “drawdown-aligned” business that leverages all of its social, political, financial, and employee power to secure a stable climate and just future for all.

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Is Climate Change Heating up Central Asia’s Border Disputes? Clues from Satellite Imagery

n late April, dozens were killed, hundreds were injured and thousands of civilians fled their homes during border clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It was not the first land dispute between the two Central Asian neighbours over their often poorly demarcated border, though it was the most serious in years.

This time, the spark was reportedly a disagreement over the installation of security cameras at the Golovnaya water distribution point in the border area between Tajikistan’s Sughd Region and Kyrgyzstan’s Batken Region. The unrest then spread to other areas, some situated well over a hundred kilometres away.

Long-standing, complex border issues that stretch back to the fall of the USSR, as well as local political dynamics within Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, have been highlighted as reasons for the April clashes and their rapid spread.

But a deeper look at satellite imagery reveals another possible reason why tensions have been high in the area — its changing climate, which has put water and arable land at a premium. Data indicate less rainfall, lower ground temperature, and poorer vegetation health in the year preceding the clashes.

While this change does not suggest that farming woes were the direct cause of April’s crisis, it is a correlation which warrants serious scrutiny.

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