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回顧星期天LBS - 氣候變遷相關時事趣聞 All about climate change
Topic: More ’Korean bananas’ to be harvested this year amid climate change
Jeju Island was long considered the only warm-enough region in Korea for commercial banana farming, but climate change is now turning the mainland into a producer of the tropical fruit.
According to the agricultural technology center in North Chungcheong Province, the number of people investing in banana farming has surged in recent years.
About 99.7 percent of all bananas consumed here are imported, mainly from the Philippines, and most of the rest is produced on Jeju. But with more farmers exploring the field, this soon could change.
Topic: Climate change exposes future generations to life-long health harm
A child born today faces multiple and life-long health harms from climate change, growing up in a warmer world with risks of food shortages, infectious diseases, floods and extreme heat, a major global study has found.
Climate change is already harming people’s health by increasing the number of extreme weather events and exacerbating air pollution, according to the study published in The Lancet medical journal. And if nothing is done to mitigate it, its impacts could burden an entire generation with disease and illness throughout their lives.
“Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants,” said Nick Watts, who co-led the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change study. He warned that health damage in early childhood is “persistent and pervasive,” and carries lifelong consequences. “Without immediate action from all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, gains in wellbeing and life expectancy will be compromised, and climate change will come to define the health of an entire generation,” he told a London briefing.
Yet introducing policies to limit emissions and cap global warming would see a different outcome, the research teams said. In that scenario, a child born today, would see an end to coal use in Britain, for example, by their sixth birthday, and the world reaching net-zero emissions by the time they were 31.
The Lancet study is a collaboration by 120 experts from 35 institutions including the WHO, the World Bank, University College London and China’s Tsinghua University.
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K260: 能源凜冬將至別責怪綠能
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K260: A Scary Energy Winter Is Coming. Don’t Blame the Greens.
Every so often the tectonic geopolitical plates that hold up the world economy suddenly shift in ways that can rattle and destabilize everything on the surface. That’s happening right now in the energy sphere.
Several forces are coming together that could make Vladimir Putin the king of Europe, enable Iran to thumb its nose at America and build an atomic bomb, and disrupt European power markets enough that the upcoming United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, could suffer blackouts owing to too little clean energy.
Yes, this is a big one.
Natural gas and coal prices in Europe and Asia just hit their highest levels on record, oil prices in America hit a seven-year high and U.S. gasoline prices are up $1 a gallon from last year. If this winter is as bad as some experts predict — with some in the poor and middle classes unable to heat their homes — I fear we’ll see a populist backlash to the whole climate/green movement. You can already smell that coming in Britain.
How did we get here? In truth, it’s a good-news-bad-news story.
The good news is that every major economy has signed onto reducing its carbon footprint by phasing out dirtier fuels like coal to heat homes and to power industries. The bad news is that most nations are doing it in totally uncoordinated ways, from the top down, and before the market has produced sufficient clean renewables like wind, solar and hydro.
But how did the bad-news side of this story emerge so fast?
Blame COVID-19. First, the pandemic erupted and signaled to every major economy that we were headed for a deep recession. This sent prices of all kinds of commodities, including oil and gas, into downward spirals.
This, in turn, led banks to choke off investment in new natural gas capacity and crude wells after seven years of already declining investments in these hydrocarbons because of lousy returns.
As Bill Gates points out in his smart book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” the only way to reach our climate targets is to shift production of all the big heavy industries, like steel, cement and automobiles, as well as how we heat our homes and power our cars, to electricity generated from clean energy. Safe and affordable nuclear power has to be
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K259: Metaverse「元宇宙」是什麼？
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K259: What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a virtual universe that blends aspects of digital technologies including video-conferencing, games like Minecraft or Roblox, cryptocurrencies, email, virtual reality, social media and live-streaming. Quite how these pieces will fit together is a work in progress, but some tech giants already see it as the future of human communication and interaction. It’s “the next frontier,” Mark Zuckerberg said when he changed his company’s name from Facebook Inc. to Meta Platforms Inc.
What will it look like? It may be easier to grasp the concept by first saying what it isn’t: It’s not a single product, it’s not a game, and it’s not being created by one company. Rather, it’s akin to a 3D World Wide Web, where businesses, information and communication tools are immersive and interoperable.
In a way it’s a digital facsimile of how we live in the physical world. Just as you might create a document in Microsoft Word and send it via Gmail to a colleague to read on an iPad, items in the metaverse should be able to move across an ecosystem of competing products, holding their value and function. An original piece of digital art bought as a non-fungible token, or NFT, from Company A, say, should be displayable on the virtual wall of a house in a game made by Company B.
The metaverse won’t reach its full potential — millions of people accessing and living in the virtual world anywhere, at any time — without ultrafast Internet. That’s why mobile carriers around the world are spending billions of dollars to build 5G networks.
The rise of the metaverse also presents a tangle of legal and regulatory issues to be resolved. Some of the thorniest issues around the metaverse revolve around users’ personal data and privacy rights.
元宇宙的興起也帶來一連串法律與監管問題，有待解決。與元宇宙相關的一些最棘手問題，主要是跟用戶個資與隱私權有關。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/11/22/2003768256
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K258: 英國法律成俄國等獨裁國追殺外逃政敵工具
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K258: The Power of Money: How Autocrats Use London to Strike Foes Worldwide
Olena Tyshchenko, a lawyer based in Britain, was facing years in a crowded Russian prison cell when a chance at freedom came via an unexpected source.
An English lawyer named Chris Hardman, a partner at Hogan Lovells, one of the biggest law firms in the world, flew into Moscow while his firm helped draft a tantalizing offer: Tyshchenko could be freed if she provided information that could be used to help his client in a sprawling web of litigation in London.
The twist is that Tyshchenko was one of the lawyers on the other side. To win her freedom, she would have to turn on her client. It was a ruthless exchange. But the Moscow prison had been ruthless, too, and she reluctantly agreed. In a later interview, she said what seemed “most abnormal” was that lawyers opposing her in a trial in London could play a role in her fate in Russia.
“They are extremely aggressive,” she added.
A Moscow prison. A London courtroom. One is part of a Russian legal system widely considered corrupt and subordinate to the Kremlin. The other is a symbol of an English legal system respected around the world. Yet after Hardman returned to London, an English judge would accept into the case the evidence obtained from the Moscow prison.
The episode is a vivid illustration of how the brutal politics of authoritarian countries like Russia and Kazakhstan have spilled into England’s legal system, with lawyers and private investigators in London raking in huge fees and engaging in questionable tactics in the service of autocratic foreign governments.
An investigation by The New York Times and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism — involving a review of hundreds of pages of case documents, leaked records and more than 80 interviews with insiders, experts and witnesses — reveals how London’s courts are being used by autocrats to wage legal warfare against people who have fled their countries after falling out of favor over politics or money.
Four out of the past six years, litigants from Russia and Kazakhstan have been involved in more civil cases in England than have any other foreigners. Authoritarian governments or related state entities are often pitted against wealthy tycoons who hav
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K257: 疫情還沒完健身產業已大轉型
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K257: The Transformation of the Fitness Industry
Like restaurants, retailers and other businesses normally conducted in crowded locations open to the public, the health and fitness industry in Europe is scrambling to recover and get its business back on track — as soon as it figures out what its business will look like.
The orders by public health authorities to close health and fitness clubs several times have had a profound effect on the industry. The consulting firm Deloitte estimates that clubs in Europe lost 15.4% of their members, or more than 10 million people, even when closures were relatively brief. Industry revenue fell twice as much, by almost 33%, as clients froze their accounts or requested refunds.
While the pandemic drags on, club executives are trying to fully understand how fundamentally COVID-19 has transformed their industry, which generated $96.7 billion in global revenue in 2019.
“For a long time now, I believe that too many health club leaders around the world assume they have the full and undivided attention of the exercising consumer,” said Ray Algar, a global fitness industry business adviser and analyst with Oxygen Consulting in Brighton, England. “That the gym sits at the top of some exercise industry hierarchy.”
“The gym may have once had this temporary monopoly, but this is over, and the pandemic has demonstrated that consumers can capably locate and enjoy many different gym substitutes,” he said. “What the pandemic has done has made these gym substitutes more visible.”
Stefan Ludwig, a Deloitte partner and leader of the Sports Business Group, said that the lockdowns had indeed had a “significant impact on both consumer behavior and operator offerings.”
A report by ClubIntel, a marketing research and consulting firm, found that closed clubs led many people to lose the habit of exercising regularly and caused others to try alternatives, such as biking, joining a walking club, signing up for video classes (dance and boxing are popular options) or buying an interactive device like a Peloton or Mirror.
Many customers, the report found, have chosen remote
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K256: 聯合國峰會通過格拉斯哥氣候協定
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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K256: What’s in the Glasgow Climate Pact?
Nearly 200 nations agreed to adopt the Glasgow Climate Pact on Saturday after more than two weeks of intense negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow, UK.
The agreement acknowledges that commitments made by countries so far to cut emissions of planet-heating greenhouse gases are nowhere near enough to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures.
To attempt to solve this, it asks governments to strengthen those targets by the end of next year, rather than every five years, as previously required.Failure to set, and meet, tougher emissions-cutting goals would have huge consequences. Scientists say that to go beyond a rise of 1.5C would unleash extreme sea level rise and catastrophes including crippling droughts, monstrous storms and wildfires far worse than those the world is already suffering.
TARGETING FOSSIL FUELS
The pact for the first time includes language that asks countries to reduce their reliance on coal and roll back fossil fuel subsidies, moves that would target the energy sources that scientists say are the primary drivers of anthropogenic climate change. The wording was contentious, though. Just before the Glasgow deal was adopted, India requested that the deal call on countries to “phase down,” instead of “phase out,” unabated coal. That minor word change triggered a lot of angst in the plenary hall, but delegations agreed to the request to save the deal.
PAYMENTS TO POOR AND VULNERABLE NATIONS
The deal made some headway on the demands from poor and vulnerable countries that wealthy countries responsible for most emissions pay up. It also, for the first time, made mention of so-called “loss and damage” in the cover section of the agreement. Loss and damage refers to the costs that some countries are already facing from climate change, and these countries have for years wanted payment to help deal with it. Under the deal, though, developed countries have essentially just agreed to continue discussions on the topic. We will see where that leads.
I really love the live series！ 標題多給四顆星，如果多一點直播系列， 就滿分10🌟！雙語學習而且介紹的很仔細，並且 在這裡可以一直重複聽直播系列學習，很棒！