By Karl Maier
Heat waves, black-outs and droughts are spreading across the globe, from India and the Horn of Africa to Europe and the US, straining power grids and food supplies.
This year is promising to be a scorcher, and while in some cases local weather conditions are playing a role, most scientists agree the changing climate worsened by the world economy’s addiction to fossil fuels is mostly to blame.
Then there’s the impact of war. As Western economies try to wean themselves off Russian energy exports in response to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, they’re in a desperate search for alternatives — clean or not. Sanctions on Moscow are also disrupting supplies, while a Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports is roiling grain markets.
Some of the world’s poorer countries are being devastated. Damaged crops and the death of livestock in countries including Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are compounding the jump in food prices spurred by Russia’s war.
For the richer countries, it means slower economic growth, rising inflation and fewer jobs.