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Fossil fuel companies must pay $209bn a year in climate damages, study says | climate crisis



A new study has calculated that the world’s largest fossil fuel companies must make at least $209 billion in climate offsets annually to compensate the communities most affected by their polluting business and decades of lies.

BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Total, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company and Chevron are among the top 21 polluters responsible for $5.4 trillion (£4.3 trillion) in drought, wildfires, sea level rise and melting glaciers among other climate catastrophes expected between 2025 and 2050, according to a groundbreaking analysis published in magazine One Earth.

For the first time, researchers have quantified the economic burden caused by individual companies that have extracted and continue to extract wealth from planet-warming fossil fuels.

Amid a growing debate over who should bear the economic costs of the climate crisis, an article titled Time to pay the piperrepresents a moral argument for the carbon corporations most responsible for climate disruption to use some of their “spoiled wealth” to compensate the victims.

The study considers this to be a significant but conservative price as the methodology excludes the economic cost of lost lives and livelihoods, species extinctions and other biodiversity losses, and other components of welfare not reflected in GDP.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of long-term climate damage, mitigation and adaptation costs,” said co-author Richard Hide, co-founder and director of the Climate Responsibility Institute.

The research is based on database of major carbon companieswhich records the emissions of individual oil, gas and coal companies since 1988, the year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed and industry claims of scientific uncertainty about the climate crisis became untenable.


The creation of an evidence-based ‘polluter pays’ price tag has been hailed as an important step towards achieving climate justice for communities and countries that have contributed least but have the most to lose as climate worsens.

“As increasingly destructive storms, floods and rising sea levels bring suffering to millions of people every day, the issue of reparations has come to the fore,” said Harjit Singh, head of global policy strategy for the Climate Action Network, an international network of nearly 2,000 people. . civil society groups in 130 countries.

“This new report presents the numbers: Polluters can no longer hide from their crimes against humanity and nature.”

Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, a climate and energy think tank based in Kenya, said: “Oil and gas companies must pay compensation for the damage caused by their fossil fuels. Not only did their dirty energy destroy the climate, they [in many cases] spent millions of dollars on lobbying and disinformation to prevent climate change action.”

In the painfully slow world of international climate negotiations, the question of who should pay for combating climate impacts is largely centered on the role and responsibility of nation states. This view is widely held, as the world’s richest 1% are responsible for twice as much greenhouse gases as the world’s poorest 50%, who suffer the main harm.

It is still believed that the rich countries of the global north have promised too little – and done even less – for climate change adaptation efforts in poorer countries.

Claims for damages are rising as the planet’s warming climate brings death and destruction at an ever-increasing rate.

Last year at the UN Cop27 summit, after decades of pressure from the climate justice movement, governments agreed to create a “loss and damage” financing fund that would eventually partly offset the irreparable and unavoidable economic and non-economic costs of extreme conditions to poor countries. weather events and slow-onset climate disasters such as rising sea levels and melting glaciers.

The deal in Egypt came after unprecedented floods left a third of Pakistan under water, a drought left 37 million people starving and starving in the Horn of Africa, and heatwaves across Europe likely caused more than 20,000 deaths.

According to Margareta Wewerinke-Singh, Associate Professor of Sustainability Law, a new study that rethinks the debate on international climate finance by focusing on the financial responsibility of fossil fuel companies for climate harm could help negotiate about loss and damage. at the University of Amsterdam.


“These data and the underlying methodology can provide policymakers and negotiators with a concrete basis for allocating responsibility for climate-related spending on the world’s biggest polluters,” Weverinke-Singh said.

Overall, the global economic cost of the climate crisis is estimated at $99 trillion between 2025 and 2050, of which $69.6 trillion is from fossil fuel emissions. according to over 700 climate economists.

The study conservatively attributes one-third of these future climate costs to the global fossil fuel industry, and one-third each to governments and consumers.

This means that the global fossil fuel industry is considered responsible for at least $23.2 trillion of climate-related economic losses expected over the next 25 years, or $893 billion per year.

The climate damage price tag suffered by the 21 largest oil, gas and coal producers is based on each company’s performance and product-related emissions since 1988, as well as the economic situation of their countries. About half of the observed warming to date has occurred since 1988, when NASA scientist James Hansen investigated the human role in climate change before the US Senate.

Companies could afford reparations:

  • Saudi Aramco, the state-owned company with the largest emissions, will owe $43 billion annually, the equivalent of just over a quarter of its 2022 profits.

  • ExxonMobil will owe $18 billion in annual reparations, compared to a record profit of $56 billion in 2022.

  • British oil giants Shell and BP, which together earned $68 billion for shareholders last year, will be collectively liable for $30.8 billion in annual climate change offsets, according to the study.

The authors release four companies in low-income countries (India, Iran, Algeria, and Venezuela) and halve the liability of six manufacturers in middle-income countries (Russia, China, Mexico, Brazil, and Iraq) using the moral argument that this should be allowed. they pay more taxes and make other progressive contributions.

Professor Marco Grasso, co-author from the University of Milano-Bicocca, said: The proposed framework for quantifying and attributing reparations to large carbon fuel producers is based on moral theory and provides a starting point for discussing the financial debt the fossil fuel industry owes to climate victims.”

As climate litigation moves forward in jurisdictions around the world, there is hope that evidence-based methodology can also help courts in establishing guilt and calculating damages, said Erica Lennon, senior lawyer for the Energy and Climate Program at the Center for International Environmental Law. .

“This is an addition, not a replacement for climate finance being discussed in political circles, but it will help fill a huge gap. [left] states to cover the scale and cost of climate damage,” Lennon said. “This is the next step in holding fossil fuel companies accountable for their trillion-dollar climate impacts.”

The fossil fuel companies mentioned in the study were contacted for comment. Shell said: “The energy system is the result of societal choices in everything from transportation to land use over many decades. Tackling a major challenge like climate change requires unprecedented collaboration in which everyone can play a part. For our part, we are reducing our own emissions and working closely with our customers to help them reduce their emissions.” Saudi Aramco declined to comment, the rest did not respond.

This article was amended on May 19, 2023 to correct the annual reparations figure in the study. That’s $209 billion, not $281 billion.


NASA’s Webb Space Telescope discovers water around mysterious main belt comet



NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has helped astronomers find gas around a comet in the main asteroid belt for the first time.

In a press release, the agency said the presence of water vapor was confirmed using the observatory’s near-infrared spectrograph instrument.

The findings indicate that water ice from the early solar system, which formed about 4.5 billion years ago, may be preserved in the region.

However, unlike other comets, scientists have stated that comet 238P/Read does not contain carbon dioxide.


An artist’s concept of comet 238P/Read shows the main belt comet sublimating, its water ice evaporating as it orbits the Sun. Sublimation is what distinguishes comets from asteroids, creating their characteristic tail and hazy halo. (NASA, ESA)

“Our water-drenched world, teeming with life and unique in the universe, to our knowledge, is something of a mystery — we’re not sure how all that water got here,” Stephanie Milam, Associate Scientist for Planetary Science at the Webb Project. and co-author of the study reporting the discovery, published in the journal Nature, the statement explains.

“Understanding the history of the distribution of water in the solar system will help us understand other planetary systems and see if they might be on their way to creating an Earth-like planet,” she said.

A comet is an object that is found in the main asteroid belt and periodically displays a halo and tail like a comet.

These main belt comets are a fairly new classification, and Comet Reed was one of three comets used to establish this category.

Prior to this classification, comets were known to be outside the orbit of Neptune, where ice could persist further from our Sun.

emission spectrum data

This graphical representation of the spectral data highlights key similarities and differences between the 2022 observations of Comet 238P/Read by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Near-Infrared Spectrograph and those of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 by NASA’s Deep Impact mission in 2010. show a distinct peak in the region of the spectrum associated with water. (NASA, ESA, CSA and J. Olmsted (STScI))


The frozen material that evaporates as comets approach the sun is what distinguishes them from asteroids, giving them their characteristic halo and tail.

Scientists have previously speculated that water ice might persist in the warmer asteroid belt – inside the orbit of Jupiter – but NASA said the evidence has so far been elusive.

Comet in the night sky

This image of Comet 238P/Read was taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Near Infrared Camera on September 8, 2022. The dusty coma and tail are the result of the evaporation of ice as the sun heats the main body of the comet. (NASA, ESA, CSA, M. Kelley/University of Maryland | Image Processing: H. Hsieh/Planetary Science Institute), A. Pagan (STScI)

“Thanks to Webb’s observations of Comet Reed, we can now demonstrate that water ice from the early solar system can persist in the asteroid belt,” said University of Maryland astronomer Michael Kelly, lead author of the study.


The lack of carbon dioxide, which typically makes up about 10% of the volatiles in a comet, has two possible explanations presented by the researchers.

“Being in the asteroid belt for long periods of time can do this – carbon dioxide evaporates more easily than water ice and can seep out over billions of years,” Kelly suggested, also suggesting that Comet Reed could have formed in a particularly warm part of the planet. A solar system where there was no carbon dioxide.

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Paleontologists have discovered a new species of spinosaurus dinosaur



A new genus and species of spinosaurid dinosaur, named Protathlitis cinctorrensis, was discovered by Dr. John Wilson. Andres Santos-Cubedo of Jaume I University and colleagues.

The post Paleontologists discover new spinosaurian dinosaur species first appeared on Sci.News: Breaking Science News.

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5 best psychological theories of Sigmund Freud



This article was originally published on May 6, 2022.

When we tell our friends about a crazy dream we had with them, or when we use terms like ego and free association, we are referring to Sigmund Freud.

More than 80 years after his death, Freud’s theories about the human unconscious and how it affects our behavior continue to permeate Western culture. Freud’s pioneering psychological theories, presented to the world at the turn of the 20th century, changed our understanding of the human mind. His theories have influenced not only psychological theory, but also the way we behave in everyday life, in the family and at work. life.

Freud’s psychoanalytic theory

Terms like sleep analysis, free association, Oedipus complexthe Freudian slip and the ubiquitous ego, and id and superegowoven into much of what we do, think and say.

1. Sleep analysis

In modern society, we often talk about our dreams. If you google “dream quotes” there seems to be an endless supply of them. From bestselling author Erma Bombeck’s joke, “It takes a lot of guts to show your dreams to someone else,” to the American rapper and actor, Tupac Shakur lyrics, “Reality is wrong. Dreams are real.” But it is Freud who reveals what a dream is – an alternative reality that we experience when we sleep.

“The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind,” writes Freud.

Freud’s theory of dreams and his book The Interpretation of Dreams., were revolutionary. Before its publication in 1899, scientists considered dreams to be “meaningless”. Freud believed that dreams were “the disguised fulfillment of repressed childhood desires”.

While popular culture has taken Freud’s theories and applied their meaning – for example, dreams about flying mean that you are subconsciously thinking about ambition – Freud never wrote a dream dictionary. In fact, he shied away from such specifics. He insisted that although dreams are symbolic, they are specific to the individual and cannot be defined in general for the entire society.

2. Free association

Freud’s dream theories directly influenced his free association theory. Based on the theory that dreams and their meanings are individual, Freud allowed his patients to interpret their dreams for themselves, instead of giving them their own opinion. He called his process free association. With each new feature of a dream during a psychoanalytic session, Freud suggested that his patients relax and—to use a modern term—spit out what they thought it meant. Patients threw out ideas as they came, no matter how trivial they might be.

3. Reports on Freud

One of the most popular phrases from Freud’s theories: Freudian slip. He believed that a “slip of the tongue” – when we say something that we are not going to say – shows what we are thinking, subconsciously. Freud presented his theory of the Freudian slip in his 1901 book. Psychopathology of everyday life, and suggested that these verbal (and sometimes written) errors were rooted in “unconscious urges” and “unexpressed desires”. In addition, Freud believed that the inability to remember something – for example, someone’s address or name – is due to our need or desire to suppress it. Modern science has yet to explain why Freudian slips happen.

4. Oedipus complex, penis envy and womb envy

Experts believe Oedipus complex, psychosexual theory, as Freud’s most controversial theory. According to Freud, this is an unconscious desire that begins at the phallic stage of development, between the ages of three and six. The child is sexually attracted to its parent of the opposite sex and is jealous of its parent of the same sex.

Popular culture uses the Oedipus complex as a general term for the phase for both boys and girls. But Freud postulated that boys experience an Oedipus complex and girls an Electra complex. This is when a girl unconsciously becomes sexually attached to her father and is hostile to her mother.

Freud believed that the Oedipus complex was “the central phenomenon of the sexual period of early childhood”, but there is no scientific evidence to support his theory.

“Penis envy” grew out of Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex, and Freud published it in 1908. Freud believed that a woman’s realization that she does not have a penis leads to intense envy, which underlies female behavior.

“Freud claimed that the only way to overcome this penis envy was to have a child of his own, and even went so far as to suggest that he wanted a male child in his efforts to gain a penis,” the researcher writes. British Psychological Society. Psychoanalyst Karen Horney, a contemporary of Freud whose theories led to the feminist psychology movement, saw penis envy as purely symbolic.

Horney postulated that envy, not of the phallus itself, but of the envy of the penis, had more to do with a woman’s position in society and “the desire for social prestige and position that men experience.” Thus, women felt inferior because of the freedom and social status they lacked because of their gender, and not because of their literal lack of a phallus,” the author writes. British Psychological Society.

In addition, Horney introduces the term “womb envy” and explains that men are negatively affected by their inability to have children and envy the “biological functions of the female sex”, including breastfeeding and pregnancy.

5. Ego, Id and Superego

Somebody think human psyche as the most enduring psychoanalytic theory in Freud’s career. Freud published his personality theory in 1923, which hypothesizes that the human psyche is divided into three parts – the ego, the id, and the superego. And they all develop at different stages of our lives. It is important to note that Freud believed that these are not physical objects in our brains, but rather “systems”.

While the word “ego” is used much more frequently in popular culture than “id” and “superego”, the three are related. According to Freud, the id is the most primitive part of the human psyche. This is the basis of our sexual and aggressive urges. The superego is our moral compass, and the ego is the judge, if you will, between the pulls of the id and the superego.

Freud’s psychological theories remain in our subconscious and consciousness

The next time you wake up from a strange dream that you can tell your best friend in detail, he will respond: “Oh, snakes? This dream is all about penis envy.” Or your boss yells at you and you mutter under your breath, “Too ego.” Or you are killing time on a long car ride and throwing away words and free associations – you have to thank Freud. And, if you’re looking for a reason to pay tribute to Freud and all of his contributions to our folk, pop culture and therapy, consider raising a toast to the father of psychoanalysis. He was born on May 6, 1856.

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