Newsletter #39 - August 2009 for the
Crisis Coalition at

What is a Footprint?

Comparison of US and Australian ecological footprints with African. Every Australian puts 26.5 tons of CO2-e into the atmosphere every year, every American puts 23.6 tons and most Africans a lot less than 1 ton each.

For earlier Footprints visit our archive.

The Crisis Coalition aims to raise awareness and to galvanise action.
For the latest information read this fully referenced report.

Dear Friend

Despite a global recession, carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.94 percent in 2008 to 31.5 billion tons, the 10th straight year of significant increases. Emissions have risen by 40 percent since 1990.

Trapping Carbon Dioxide Or Switching To Nuclear Power Not Enough To Solve Global Warming
Remarkable finding that completely changes the way we understand global warming. Calculations show that three fourths of accumulated heat is from heat emissions. In other words, most of the global warming is from heat humans have generated, not from increased levels of greenhouse gas in the air. They also show that trapping carbon dioxide as sequestration, and storing it deep underground or on the sea floor, will have very little effect on global warming.

Water wars forecast as feeding India's hungry leaves the land thirsty
India is destined for water wars, because in a decade India could look like Darfur in Sudan. A patchy monsoon on the subcontinent this year has hit crops, particularly rice, highlighting the region's vulnerability to water shortages. In Haryana and Punjab, two states crucial to India's food security, farmers are drawing too much groundwater. Dubbed the subcontinent's breadbasket, this region has been the heartland of the country's green revolution since the mid-1960s. The high-yielding crop varieties grown here have enabled the country to feed its huge, fast-growing population. But the hybrid crops of the green revolution require a lot of water. ''When you run out of water it's a recipe for killing. Water really makes people so desperate.''

Asia facing unprecedented food shortage
and huge social unrest unless hundreds of billions of dollars are invested in better irrigation systems to grow crops for its burgeoning population. India, China, Pakistan and other large countries avoided famines in the 1970s and 1980s only because they built giant state-sponsored irrigation systems and introduced better seeds and fertilisers. But the extra 1.5 billion people expected to live on the continent by 2050 will double Asia's demand for food. Then what?

NASA data: Greenland, Antarctic ice melt worsening
New information based on 50 million laser readings from a NASA satellite, shows that ice sheets in Greenland and western Antarctica continue to shrink faster than scientists thought. The melting along the crucial edges of the two major ice sheets is accelerating and is in a self-feeding loop. The more the ice melts, the more water surrounds and eats away at the remaining ice. In some parts of Antarctica, ice sheets have been losing 30 feet a year in thickness since 2003, according to a paper published online Thursday in the journal Nature.

Toxic Assets – George Monbiot
The Trafigura case, like the financial crisis, suggests that in business there are people ruthless enough to shut their eyes to almost anything if they think they can make money. Business without regulation is scarcely distinguishable from organised crime. Regulation without strict enforcement is an open invitation to mess with people’s lives. Tedious directives, state power and bureaucratic snooping – the interference that everyone professes to hate - are all that stand between civilisation and corporate hell.

John James

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