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As Covid threat diminishes, despots like Vladimir Putin and dangerous climate change are demanding more attention – Scotsman comment
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As Covid threat diminishes, despots like Vladimir Putin and dangerous climate change are demanding more attention – Scotsman comment


There are concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an invasion of Ukraine this month. (Picture by Alexei Nikolsky and Sputnik, Kremlin pool image via AP

Omicron is highly transmissible. South AfricaOfficials believe that the infection may have peaked in the area where it was first discovered in November.

This gives hope that Scotland, which has the variant, won’t have to wait too much longer before it happens. Omicron is less likely cause serious diseases, and Paxlovid is a new antiviral drug that is believed to dramatically lower the risk of death or hospitalization.

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There are good reasons to be optimistic. There are also reasons to be afraid, however.

With a vast Russian army menacing Ukraine, the increasingly tyrannical Vladimir Putin issued a warning to US President Joe Biden that imposing new sanctions would be a “colossal mistake”.

The West is discussing sanctions in the event Putin orders an invasion. This seems to be a threat to discourage interference in major European wars.

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Ukraine: Russian aggression may not be prevented by Vladimir Putin getting what he wants

The man who once declared “the liberal idea” had “outlived its purpose” is demonstrating just how dangerous the alternatives can be.

In the US, climate change was already being felt in Colorado as wildfires decimated parts of the state. Scientific research has established a clear link between increased wildfires and higher temperatures in the US West.

Daniel Swain, a climate scientist in the midst of the flames, reported a “pretty harrowing scene”. “Genuinely hard to believe this is happening in late December in Boulder, Colorado,” he tweeted. “But take a record warm and dry fall, only one inch of snow so far this season, and add an extreme (100mph+) downslope windstorm… and extremely fast moving/dangerous fires are the result.

“…Getting real tired of living in a real-world disaster movie.”

The COP26 summit was delayed by a year due to the Covid pandemic, and many people were disappointed by the Glasgow Agreement.

But let’s hope 2022 is the year the world truly wakes up to the threats posed by despots and dangerous climate change before it’s too late.

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