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Along with climate change come mosquito-borne diseases. Is Hong Kong ready for a public health emergency?

Months after Hong Kong was ranked by Bloomberg as the economy with the world’s most efficient health care, its public health system is caught in a crisis. More than 100 medical staff protested about the manpower crunch and ward overcrowding amid a winter flu surge in January, with many holding placards that sent the desperate message: “Breaking point”. This has been followed by a spike in measles infections since mid-March, and a shortage of vaccines. More alarmingly, the next public health… Source link

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What will we say to our grandchildren, as we dither over the solution to arrest climate change that lays before our eyes?

If temperatures are allowed to rise past 1.5ºC, island countries like ours will be in grave danger, with some facing the grim prospect of being wiped off the map by rising seas. The climate impacts will affect millions of people around the world, in both developed and developing nations.We also now know that it is already too late to keep warming to 1.5ºC by reducing global emissions alone. If we hope to meet the 1.5-degree target and save our countries from devastating impacts, we must find… Source link

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War on climate change is doomed if China turns back towards the coalface

It seems the battle to curb carbon dioxide emissions and keep global temperatures from spinning out of control is being lost before it has even gained traction. The battle is being fought and lost over coal – in China.  The challenge is less the climate deniers around US President Donald Trump, than the need to protect 4 million Chinese mining jobs and meet surging electricity needs across China and other parts of the world that are short of power. It seems whatever reductions in carbon… Source link

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Hong Kong’s property developers should have the sense to go green and protect assets from climate change

The Business Environment Council’s Low Carbon Charter, announced on March 19, breathes new life into the moribund dialogue about improving energy efficiency in Hong Kong’s buildings. The council, which promotes environmental solutions, has long urged companies in the property sector to set targets and timelines for reducing greenhouse gas emission as part of a robust long-term business strategy. The charter is also a timely addition to a public engagement exercise on Hong Kong’s long-term… Source link

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The climate could be about to do something it hasn’t done for 50 billion years

Clambering along Clear Water Bay’s mountain trails yesterday, sweltering in an unseasonably hot 26 degrees Celcius, I was reminded afresh of the harm inflicted by Typhoon Mangkut five months ago. Not just the shattered trees, but the silence, and the paucity of butterflies.I cheered myself by recalling the astonishing capacity of nature to recover from the constant onslaught it faces here in Hong Kong. Outside my house, predatory creepers are well on the way to engulfing the wall of flotsam… Source link

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Veggie ‘meat’ start-up backed by Nasa wins financing from tech moguls and Silicon Valley climate fund

A Chicago-based biotechnology company working with Nasa to develop a new form of plant-based protein fit for supporting space exploration has received US$33 million from venture capital firms, including an energy tech fund backed by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos. The funding will support the development and commercialisation of the animal protein alternative, according to Sustainable Bioproducts co-founder and chief executive Thomas Jonas. The climate-friendly protein is a product of research into extremophile organisms that live in Yellowstone National Park’s volcanic springs. “That work led to the development…

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Say hello the new trio of dangers that threatens the world: obesity, undernutrition and climate change

As if there were not enough plagues and pestilences looming over humankind, we have now been introduced to the mother of all threats – the Great Global Syndemic – which will undoubtedly soon be reduced to the neat acronym GGS. The once-fusty British medical journal The Lancet, joining forces in a “Lancet Commission” with the University of Auckland, the World Obesity organisation, and the Milken Institute School of Public Health, has just released an awesome but virtually unreadable expose on the Great Global Syndemic – the grave combination of the…

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Hong Kong trails Singapore, Christchurch in climate change readiness, thanks to its housing crisis

Hong Kong lags behind Singapore and other cities when it comes to preparation for climate change challenges, such as typhoons and flooding, according to Sean Tompkins, chief executive of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He said the city’s housing problem was to blame. “If you look at Hong Kong, there’s no doubt the developers are looking at issues around sustainability and resilience. The government is increasingly looking at this and it’s getting higher up the priority list. But is there any central coordination and control around resilience? Not as…

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