Connect with us

News

Boris Johnson Tells UN That Cop26 Must Be ‘Turning Point For Humanity’

Cop26

Boris Johnson tells UN that Cop26 must be ‘turning point for humanity’

Cop26 must be a “turning point for humanity” in just 40 days’ time, Boris Johnson has urged in a call to arms to fellow global leaders ahead of the climate summit in Glasgow.

Addressing the UN general assembly in New York on Wednesday evening, Johnson warned it was time for humanity to “grow up”.

“It is time for us to listen to the warnings of the scientists – and look at Covid, if you want an example of gloomy scientists being proved right – and to understand who we are and what we are doing.”

“The world – this precious blue sphere with its eggshell crust and wisp of an atmosphere – is not some indestructible toy, some bouncy plastic romper room against which we can hurl ourselves to our heart’s content,” he added.

He compared humanity to an impetuous 16-year-old “just old enough to get ourselves into serious trouble”.

“We have come to that fateful age when we know roughly how to drive and we know how to unlock the drinks cabinet and to engage in all sorts of activity that is not only potentially embarrassing but also terminal,” he said.

“We believe that someone else will clear up the mess we make, because that is what someone else has always done,” he said. “We trash our habitats again and again with the inductive reasoning that we have got away with it so far, and therefore we will get away with it again.

“My friends, the adolescence of humanity is coming to an end,” Johnson, said, adding: “We must come together in a collective coming of age.”

Johnson also claimed the Muppets character Kermit the Frog was wrong when he sang: “It’s not easy being green.” He also offered a lengthy explanation of the Greek word deinos.

“Sophocles is often quoted as saying that there are many terrifying things in the world, but none is more terrifying than man,” he said. “But what Sophocles actually said was that man is deinos and that means not just scary but awesome – and he was right.

“We are awesome in our power to change things and awesome in our power to save ourselves, and in the next 40 days we must choose what kind of awesome we are going to be.”

He highlighted technological developments that have made green energy cheaper and more accessible, and warned that unless action is taken urgently, “we will have made this beautiful planet effectively uninhabitable – not just for us but for many other species.”

The prime minister has been buoyed up by progress on climate during the three-day trip, including President Joe Biden’s commitment to double climate financing to $11.2bn – and China’s promise to halt the funding of coal-fired power stations overseas.

With just weeks to go until the summit, the UK is urging more countries to come forward with climate financing, to help meet the $100bn target set more than a decade ago.

Cop26 chair Alok Sharma has also been in New York holding bilateral meetings with a string of countries, urging them to come forward both with cash, and more ambitious climate reduction targets, in the next few weeks.

Biden has confirmed that he will attend the summit in person – but it is unclear whether president Xi Jinping will do so.

En route to the US, the prime minister suggested he believed there was only a six in ten chance of the $100bn target being reached, but the odds appear to have shortened significantly after the US announcement.

Johnson said it was critical that the outcome of Cop26 kept within reach the target of restraining global heating to within 1.5 degrees.

“We are not talking about stopping the rise in temperatures – it is alas too late for that – but to restrain that growth to 1.5 degrees. And that means we need to pledge collectively to achieve carbon neutrality – net zero – by the middle of the century. And that will be an amazing moment if we can do it,” he said.

At the start of his visit to the US, Johnson conceded that he had changed his mind on the climate crisis in recent years, because “the facts change and people change their minds”.

He told reporters that he had looked deeply into the science while mayor of London.

As recently as 2015, Johnson claimed “global leaders were driven by a primitive fear that the present ambient warm weather is somehow caused by humanity; and that fear – as far as I understand the science – is equally without foundation”.

He also wrote an article in 2013 suggesting the government should consider preparing for a mini-ice age caused by solar activity, drawing on a discredited theory by the climate denier Piers Corbyn – brother of the former Labour leader.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

1 × four =

News

Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

Continue Reading

News

400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

Continue Reading

Environment

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending