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Damien Gayle and Sundus Abdi

Disney VIP world tour will produce 6.2 tonnes of carbon for each guest

Disney is marketing a $110,000-a-ticket elite package tour that comes with a carbon price tag of 6.2 tonnes of emissions for each guest – 20 times more than a person in a low-income country accounts for in an entire year.

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This article provides a further example of the impossibility of tackling climate change risks and rising emissions by either focussing on corporates on the one hand, or individual consumers on the other.  According to this article, Disney has elected to launch an exclusive VIP tour package which will emit the equivalent of around 10 private cars over their 15 year lifespans.  Walt Disney Company notes on its website that it “is committed to protecting the planet, and delivering a positive environmental legacy for future generations”.  Disney might well note this in the hope that future generations will be able to still positively visit its facilities for the remainder of the 21st century.  Helping its consumers make informed decisions by spelling out their net individual emissions impact may be one useful strategy to achieve that aim.  Alternatively, Disney might elect to not launch such extravagantly emitting events in future.  If we are to achieve our global target reductions by 2050, our individual decisions at both corporate and personal levels will be the difference between success and failure.
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Robin McKie

Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert

The publication of Bill McGuire’s latest book, Hothouse Earth, could not be more timely. Appearing in the shops this week, it will be perused by sweltering customers who have just endured record high temperatures across the UK and now face the prospect of weeks of drought to add to their discomfort. And this is just the beginning, insists McGuire, who is an emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London. As he makes clear in his uncompromising depiction of the coming climatic catastrophe, we have – for far too long – ignored explicit warnings that rising carbon emissions are dangerously heating the Earth. Now we are going to pay the price for our complacency in the form of storms, floods, droughts, and heatwaves that will easily surpass current extremes. “This is a call to arms,” he says. “So if you feel the need to glue yourself to a motorway or blockade an oil refinery, do it. Drive an electric car or, even better, use public transport, walk or cycle. Switch to a green energy tariff; eat less meat. Stop flying; lobby your elected representatives at both local and national level, and use your vote wisely to put in power a government that walks the talk on the climate emergency.”

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Developed countries have a significant impact on transport emissions that is far greater than developed countries.  On average, countries like the USA, Australia and New Zealand show an outsized per capita emissions of between 13 Tonnes – 17 Tonnes CO2-eq.  In comparison, the average emissions per person in developing countries (up to middle income) are around 2 Tonnes.  Another study found that 92 % of global excess emissions are due to developed (global north) country activities, including transportation missions.  A significant part of our personal emissions are from our usage of transport, and significantly from our use of private vehicles.  At an individual user level, this book is a call to action to consider our personal transport choices and whether we could individually and collectively reduce our annual emissions by making better, informed and sustainable transport choices where possible.
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Karl McDonald

Rate of melting is increasing fast

One of the world’s largest ice sheets could raise sea levels by more than 7 metres if it disappeared – and melt is accelerating. Greenland’s vast ice sheets cover most of the world’s biggest island, locking up enough water to raise sea levels by 7.42m worldwide. But just as wildfires have gripped Europe and annual droughts have struck parts of the United States, the recent July heatwave in the northern hemisphere is having an impact on the Arctic outpost too.

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Nathan Gardels

Planetary Homeostasis: Technology can expand the short-term horizon of our Paleolithic survival instinct

The future may be unpredictable, but it is not unknowable. We can’t pinpoint where the next raging forest fire or record temperature will hit. But we know they will happen. This summer, cool Britannia is most unexpectedly busting the thermometer. The fire this time is visiting a broad swath of Mediterranean countries and, as usual, scorching California’s most treasured natural landmarks.

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Oliver Milman

More unsustainable behavior - Private jets

Kylie Jenner has faced a torrent of criticism for her decision to take her private jet on a flight that lasted just 17 minutes. But the practice of taking brief journeys on luxury aircraft appears to be common among the rich and famous despite mounting concerns over the climate crisis.

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