August’s climate thermometer: who’s hot, and who’s not?

Who has shown some cool, green leadership this August… And who is heating up the planet?


Who’s hot and who’s not in the world of climate change?

Every month, RTCC takes a look at the heroes and villains of the news over the past 30 days.

Revolutionizing the ubiquitous thermometer motif, we’ve decided ‘hot’ means bad, because global warming is bad.

0CAmelia, India

Amelia – a village in the Madhya Pradesh – has the final say in whether an open cast coal mine destroys the ancient Mahan forest.

British registered Essar Energy and Hindalco have been given permission to start extracting coal from the area, but their plans are fiercely opposed by locals.

The village Gram Sabha, a vote of the community council, will determine their support for the destruction of a 1,182 hectare block of the ancient Mahan forest, which boasts a diverse array of wildlife.

The vote will formally conclude the long dispute, but its significance for India’s coal industries and forest communities makes it unlikely that either side will accept an unfavourable outcome.

1C – Sheldon Whitehouse, US Senator for Rhode Island

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse delivered a blistering speech to Congress sceptics who blocked a resolution acknowledging climate change.

Whitehouse represents the state of Rhode Island, which recently passed a new climate change law, outlining how it should cut fossil fuel use and prepare for extreme weather events.

The Resilient Rhode Island Act was passed on June 19, approved on the floor of both state chambers, which are dominated by Democrats.

2C – Air miles

Air miles rewards are encouraging rich people to fly too much, say researchers, despite new evidence that emerging clean technology will not be enough to keep pollution down. 

Sustainable transport policies will fail unless “taboos” around air and car travel are broken, and policymakers must take on the high-flying elite who are responsible for most transport emissions, according to the study.

“The richest and politically powerful contribute the most to global carbon emissions,”  said study co-author Scott Cohen.

“Ironically they are offered rewards for this behaviour with air miles, as well as earning prestige among peers who view international travel as a status symbol.”

3C – Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Modi will not attend a New York climate summit hosted by Ban Ki-moon on 23 September, concerned that he would “have nothing to do” between then and a meeting with Obama in Washington on the 30th.

Modi’s absence will be seen as a serious snub to Ban and the UN process. India is the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, and has a key role in talks on developing a global response.

The meeting  is intended to raise the level of awareness among heads of state and business of the threats posed by global warming.

US president Barack Obama has confirmed that he will attend.

Read more on: Blog | |