Radio Free Asia –
When it came to Asia’s natural environment during the year just past, this commentator tended to emphasize negative trends.
Rising sea levels threatening coastlines in the Mekong Delta, for example, and scientists’ predictions that Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City will be partly underwater by 2050.
In the meantime, recent developments have been less than encouraging.
Scientists in Australia, for example, which is located relatively close to a number of Asian nations, report that climate change is currently exacerbating the country’s worst-ever bushfires. The smoke from the fires is adding to greenhouse gases that get trapped in the atmosphere, thus contributing to global warming.
Most of the carbon dioxide included among these gases comes from the combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal.
Australia ships large quantities of coal to India and to Vietnam, and both countries use coal in power plants that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) notes that the Australian bushfires have burned through 25.5 million acres. That’s the size of Denmark and Belgium combined.