What is a ‘black swan’ event and why are they key to the climate crisis?

Women and Covid in Cuba: Building Resilience

While COVID-19 has hit the population particularly hard, its tracks continue to be deeper on women, who continue to take on domestic chores in many homes because the patriarchal order persists. IPS Cuba’s editorial team has approached this issue by talking to five Cuban women about their experiences and their thoughts.

In spite of the rights Cuban women have won, we still have very few safeguards

How has Coronavirus affected women’s everyday lives in Cuba, bearing in mind that the burden of domestic chores and care responsibilities continue to fall on them, because of the patriarchal order persists?

It’s inevitable not to think negatively when we talk about COVID-19. This doesn’t deny the existence of possible positive interpretations such as a greater control of one’s time, not having to respond to working hours established by the patriarchy such as long working days that affect women’s rhythms of living, greater family unity, reassessing what’s truly important in order to live, a greater awareness about the role we play as another species in Nature, but this view isn’t in popular consciousness when we spontaneously think about words, feelings and experiences linked to the pandemic…READ ON

What is a ‘black swan’ event and why are they key to the climate crisis?

An upcoming report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will look at physical changes, both underway and looming, that are a result of climate change – from harsher extreme weather to rising sea levels.

“A small number of black swans explains almost everything in our world, from the success of ideas and religions, to the dynamics of historical events, to elements of our own personal lives.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The report, compiled by leading scientists and signed off by governments, is expected to confirm that the world is unlikely to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and that holding global warming to 1.5C above preindustrial times is now “very challenging”.

At the request of governments, it will for the first time look at the growing possibility of ‘black swan’ events, such as irreversible melting of major ice sheets that could lead to huge increases in global sea levels.

A black swan event is one that was unprecedented and unexpected at the time it occurred. “The fact we’re starting to see some of the impacts of climate change… really ought to be a wake-up call for global governments that this isn’t something they can ignore,” said Emily Shuckburgh, a University of Cambridge climate scientist…READ ON

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