Climate change poses real threats to Indonesia, China

Wildfires in Indonesia . . .

The wildfires in Indonesia have scorched an estimated 800,000 acres of rain forest. Between August 1 and September 22, about 450 million tons of carbon dioxide was released into the air from these fires. Earlier this week, skies turned red across parts of Indonesia as fire-induced haze emerged. The damage caused by Indonesian wildfires this year is comparable to that suffered in 2015, which impacted the health of millions. While the main cause of wildfires is the ‘slash and burn’ practice in Indonesia, experts note that the dry weather and global warming have exacerbated the situation.

Shanghai headed underwater?

Indonesia won’t be the only ‘victim’ of climate change, according to research from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the U.S. The Center estimated that 55 million tons of Greenland ice melted into the ocean between July 30 and August 2 of this year, and suggested that a rise of sea levels at a catastrophic level may occur sooner than expected. Beijing is increasingly concerned that Shanghai and other Chinese coastal cities will be dramatically impacted by these rising sea levels.

No further commitment at the UN . . .

Despite these clear ‘warnings,’ there are no signs of more ambitious plans to tackle climate change on the global stage. World leaders are in New York this week to address the crisis at the UN Climate Summit, but neither China nor the U.S. have shown a willingness to make a meaningful move, while a handful of countries have proposed only incremental changes. The inertia in the UN contrasts starkly with 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg’s desperate, urgent call for action that is catalyzing worldwide climate strikes, largely by global youth.