Monday, December 28, 2020

81 Million Cases and Climate Change Impacts

Coronavirus are still on a rampage all around the globe – and its caseload is now past 81 million infections. 

And South Africa becomes country #18, having diligently amassed one million cases. 

While the world struggles to get to grips with the pandemic, millions of people have also had to cope with the impacts of climate change. 

According to a report from UK charity Christian Aid that works in 29 countries to fight global poverty, the world is paying a very high price for extreme weather in 2020. 

In the US, record hurricanes and wildfires caused some $60 billion in losses.

Floods in India and China did more than $40 billion damage. An unusually rainy monsoon season was associated with some of the most damaging storms in Asia, where some of the biggest losses were. 

Over a period of months, heavy flooding in India saw more than 2,000 deaths with millions of people displaced from their homes. China suffered even greater financial damage from flooding, running to around $32 billion between June and October this year. The loss of life from these events, however, was much smaller than in India.

Africa witnessed massive locust attacks devouring crops and vegetation to the tune of $8.5 billion. The UN have linked these swarms to climate change, with unusually heavy rains in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa in recent years contributing to the locust outbreaks.

It is pertinent to mention that financial losses don't convey the full impact of these disastrous events. While South Sudan's floods weren't among the costliest in dollar terms, they have had a huge impact, killing 138 people and wiping out this year's crops. 

Unfortunately, we can expect more years to look like 2020 and worse. 

What the world needs urgently is unified political will. 

Celtic maintained their revival as they powered past Scottish Premiership strugglers Hamilton Academical for a 3-0 win on Saturday. 

A foul on Odsonne Edouard, rewarded him with a penalty that he slammed into the net in the forty-ninth minute. Then he linked up with his strike partner to put the game beyond the Accies, laying the ball off for Leigh Griffiths to fire home from the edge of the box five minutes later. And finally, a deserved third arrived in the seventy-fourth minute when David Turnbull pounced to convert the rebound after Edouard's header from a Callum McGregor cross rebounded off a post. 

The victory keeps Neil Lennon's side 16 points behind Rangers – who they face this Saturday – with three games in hand. But before that, Celtic will meet Dundee United on Wednesday.

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