China and fossil fuels, poisonous megayachts and carcinogenic forest fires
According to experts, China will reach its peak in greenhouse gas emissions even a few years before 2030. This is due to the local economic slowdown and the development of renewable energy sources, especially wind and solar energy investments. China is on track to install 1,200 GW of renewable energy five years ahead of schedule. At the same time, the Chinese continue to invest in constructing coal-fired power plants, explaining that they still demand more energy.
Research conducted in California found that wildfire smoke not only spreads large amounts of harmful fine particles but is also responsible for carcinogenic soil and ash. The California wildfires activate chromium in its carcinogenic form in the soil, creating piles of carcinogenic ash from burned infrastructure and vegetation. Soil layers become carcinogenic due to the high temperatures of fires, and the resulting and accumulating ash can persist for almost a year after the flames die out.
The most polluting activity anyone can undertake is owning and operating a megayacht. For example, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s yachts emit over 22,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, more than some small countries according to Prof. Chris Armstrong from the University of Southampton said that most of these emissions occur regardless of whether the yacht travels anywhere. Owning a megayacht – or just building one – is an act of massive climate vandalism and should be banned.