GOOD

UN says climate change disasters are occurring at a rate of one a week, and we need to start preparing

Photo by William Bossen on Unsplash

Large climate events, like Europe's crazy heatwave this summer, draw a lot of attention, but the U.N. is warning it's the smaller, unnoticed climate change events that should be getting our attention. Not only that, but they're more common than we think. In fact, we've been experiencing one a week.

According to Mami Mizutori, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative on disaster risk reduction, climate change isn't a long-term issue. "This is not about the future, this is about today," Mizutori told The Guardian. "Lower impact events," such as heatwaves and flooding, can wreak havoc just as much as the bigger storms, leaving death and destruction in their wake.

The point isn't to sit around and think about how we're all doomed; the point is to do something about it so that we're not doomed. Mizutori says we need to invest in solving the problem now. "People need to talk more about adaptation and resilience," she said. "We talk about a climate emergency and a climate crisis, but if we cannot confront this [issue of adapting to the effects] we will not survive," she told the Guardian. "We need to look at the risks of not investing in resilience." In other words, it's not just about stopping greenhouse emissions, it's about adapting to their effects.

RELATED: Climate change is unearthing artifacts from melting glaciers


Mizurtori says that climate change disasters could cost us $520 billion per year, but building infrastructure that can handle those disasters would only cost 3% of that amount, or $2.7 trillion over 20 years. It seems like a staggering price tag, but, according to Mizurtori, "This is not a lot of money [in the context of infrastructure spending], but investors have not been doing enough. Resilience needs to become a commodity that people will pay for."

Mizutori wants to see new standards for infrastructure so they will be less impacted by extreme weather. Additionally, "nature-based solutions" can protect people from climate change disasters, such as floods and storms. For example, mangrove swamps, forests, and wetlands have all been cited as natural barriers to flooding. "We need to take a more holistic view of the risks," Mizurtori said.

RELATED: Italy will require kids learn about climate change in school starting in 2020

If we're going to get anything done, we need to think about our future and our present by preparing for the disasters that are already starting to occur.

The Planet

Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

Keep Reading Show less

One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.



It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

Keep Reading Show less
via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture