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Pope Francis In Poland For World Youth Day

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Dziennik Polski, July 27th

Wednesday's edition of Polish daily Dziennik Polskifeatures extensive coverage on the World Youth Day celebrations in Kraków. Pope Francis arrives Wednesday, slated to lead an estimated two million Catholics in prayer during his five-day trip to Poland.

It is Francis' first visit to the homeland of his late predecessor Pope John Paul II, who once served as Archbishop of Krakow. The 13th edition of the Catholic Church's World Youth Day will include concerts, plays, a soccer tournament and many other activities during the gathering, considered the biggest celebration of the Catholic faith on the planet, which was launched by John Paul II.

Though John Paul holds an iconic status in Poland for his role in inspiring the nation to stand up to communist rule, Pope Francis may not get the same kind of adoration from one of Europe's most conservative Catholic nations. The Argentine-born pontiff has called for a more inclusive Church, which contrasts with the ideas of many Polish faithful.

The celebrations have also been marked by the attacks near Rouen, in France, on Tuesday. Two men armed with knives broke into the church Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and held 86-year-old Father Jacques Hamel and several others hostage for 40 minutes, killing the priest before being killed by the police. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the killing. On Tuesday evening, the World Youth Day started with a solemn open air mass for the victims of recent terror attacks around the world.

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The Problem With Always Blaming Climate Change For Natural Disasters

Climate change is real, but a closer look at the science shows there are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters. It is important to raise awareness about the long-term impact of global warming, but there's a risk in overstating its role in the latest floods or fires.

People on foot, on bikes, motorcycles, scooters and cars navigate through a flooded street during the day time.

Karachi - People wade through flood water after heavy rain in a southern Pakistani city

Xinhua / ZUMA
Axel Bojanowski


BERLIN — In September, thousands of people lost their lives when dams collapsed during flooding in Libya. Engineers had warned that the dams were structurally unsound.

Two years ago, dozens died in floods in western Germany, a region that had experienced a number of similar floods in earlier centuries, where thousands of houses had been built on the natural floodplain.

Last year saw more than 1,000 people lose their lives during monsoon floods in Pakistan. Studies showed that the impact of flooding in the region was exacerbated by the proximity of human settlements, the outdated river management system, high poverty rates and political instability in Pakistan.

There are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters, but one dominates the headlines: climate change. That is because of so-called attribution studies, which are published very quickly after these disasters to highlight how human-caused climate change contributes to extreme weather events. After the flooding in Libya, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described climate change as a “serial offender," while the Tageszeitung wrote that “the climate crisis has exacerbated the extreme rainfall."

The World Weather Attribution initiative (WWA) has once again achieved its aim of using “real-time analysis” to draw attention to the issue: on its website, the institute says its goal is to “analyse and communicate the possible influence of climate change on extreme weather events." Frederike Otto, who works on attribution studies for the WWA, says these reports help to underscore the urgent need for climate action. They transform climate change from an “abstract threat into a concrete one."

In the immediate aftermath of a weather-related disaster, teams of researchers rush to put together attribution studies – “so that they are ready within the same news cycle," as the New York Times reported. However, these attribution studies do not meet normal scientific standards, as they are published without going through the peer-review process that would be undertaken before publication in a specialist scientific journal. And that creates problems.

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