[public-health] WORLD HERITAGE SITES : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Global Warming and the Death of World Heritage Sites

 

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WORLD HERITAGE SITES :

ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE:

Global Warming and the Death of World Heritage Sites

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Global Warming and the Death of World Heritage Sites

BY MARTIN WAGNER

The Japan Times

Opinion

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/07/30/commentary/ world-commentary/global-warming-death-world-heritage-sites/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/za6dlpm

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SAN FRANCISCO  Climate change has claimed another victim. Almost one-quarter of the coral in Australias Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area  one of the worlds richest and most complex ecosystems  has died this year, in the worst mass coral bleaching in recorded history. Even in the far northern reaches of the reef, long at a sufficient distance from human pressures like coastal development to preserve, to a large extent, coral health, a staggering 50 percent of the coral has died.

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The above-average sea temperatures that triggered this bleaching were made 175 times more likely by climate change. As the ocean continues to absorb heat from the atmosphere, large-scale coral bleaching like that which has decimated the Great Barrier Reef  not to mention other destructive phenomena spurred by rising temperatures  is likely to become even more frequent and devastating.

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The future of priceless World Heritage sites  and, indeed, our planet depends on the immediate reduction of climate-change-inducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet many of the governments responsible for protecting these sites within their borders are not only failing to take strong climate action; they are actively pursuing dirty energy projects like coal mines and coal-fired power plants.

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Even as the Great Barrier Reef dies before our eyes, Australia continues to increase its exploitation of dirty fossil fuels. In the past year, the Australian government has approved both the massive Carmichael coal mine and the Abbot Point terminal, located near the reef, to facilitate the global export of output from the Carmichael mine. The emissions attributable to the mine will be some of the highest resulting from a single project anywhere in the world.

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The problem isnt limited to Australia. In low-lying Bangladesh, one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, the government supports a proposal to build two huge coal-fired power plants adjacent to the Sundarbans World Heritage site. India, too, supports the proposal.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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