A massive ice shelf on the edge of Antarctica is starting to crack. Fissures began appearing in the ice holding back the Thwaites glacier – a sheet the size of Florida which could raise sea levels around the world by more than half a metre, should it slip into the Southern Ocean.
Geophysicists estimated this collapse could come within five years – a warning surely made sharper by the news that ‘heatwaves’ this year have seen both poles more than 30°C higher than normal.
It’s just one illustration of the urgency to act on climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, at current rates of emissions we have only nine years before there is no longer a good chance to keep the world under 1.5°C degrees of warming.
Something’s got to give but the oil and gas industry, the driving force behind the climate crisis, has a different idea of what is practical.
For this Big Story we dive into how these corporations have kept on turning a profit even as the evidence of hydrocarbons’ destructiveness piles up – like the mess the companies leave behind. We look for ways out of that mess, envisaging a better world.
Also in this edition, we report from Tajikistan where there’s a chill wind of change afoot as mighty powers jostle to exert influence. And more strong-arm tactics are exposed in Tina Burrett’s piece on how lawsuits are being used by the uber-rich to silence critical journalists.
Nick Dowson for the New Internationalist co-operative.
Big Oil is throwing money at new fossil fuel infrastructure like there’s no tomorrow. New pipelines, refineries, wells and rigs are being built across all continents. But everywhere the industry goes, it meets resistance. Here are four profiles of groups saying enough is enough. Words by Nick Dowson.
Branded as terrorists by President Erdoğan’s hardline regime, LGBTQI+ people in Turkey are finding ways to express themselves and build solidarity, writes Tuğçe Özbiçer.
It’s been 40 years since New Internationalist sounded the alarm on child sponsorship. But today thousands of people are still signing up to the idea. To whose benefit?, asks Kathleen Nolan as she explores why this quick fundraising tool is not all it’s cracked up to be.
As climate change stretches human fragility towards breaking point, should we be preparing for societal collapse? This is the existential question behind ‘deep adaptation’, a theory that is rapidly gaining adherents. Richard Swift assesses how far, if anywhere, it will take us and what better paths we could go down.