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Zahra Hirji
For Zahra Hirji's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Feb 29, 2024
Politicians betting the earth on climate backlash in election year
Moves to roll back green policies and downplay climate change within the world's top climate polluters follow the hottest year on record.
Around 100 YouTube channels actively deny climate change, while also spreading videos attacking solutions such as wind and solar.
BUSINESS / Tech
Jan 17, 2024
Attacks on renewable energy are proliferating on YouTube
While videos espousing climate denial are declining across nearly 100 YouTube channels, videos attacking solutions such as wind and solar are growing.
A woman sits where her apartment once stood in Lahaina, Hawaii, after the city was devastated by a wildfire, on Aug. 11.
ENVIRONMENT
Nov 17, 2023
Nowhere is safe from worsening climate change, new U.S. report warns
The report comes at a time of record-shattering heat, with recent months ranking as the hottest on record across the world.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 78th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
WORLD / Politics
Sep 20, 2023
Climate fault lines in clear sight at U.N. General Assembly
Disconnects are likely to remain front and center when many of the same leaders gather in Dubai for COP28 in November.
The beach at Brighton, on the south coast of England on Thursday, as the late summer heat wave continues.
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Sep 8, 2023
How climate change influenced the hottest summer on record
A growing body of attribution science seeks to analyze if or how climate change is making extreme weather worse.
Czech firefighters watch smoke rising as a wildfire burns at the Dadia National Park in the region of Evros, Greece, on Tuesday.
ENVIRONMENT
Aug 30, 2023
Wildfire-preparation tactics every community should consider
Looking at lessons from past disastrous fires, here are steps that can help reduce fire risk at the home and community level.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 27, 2023
Canada’s explosive wildfires have damaged a forest carbon offset project
With Canada facing what’s on track to be its worst wildfire season on record, climate experts and offset developers are concerned it could be a harbinger of what’s to come.
Japan Times
WORLD
Jun 22, 2023
Months after toxic train derailment, East Palestine faces community 'corrosion'
With residents wary of assurances that the air and water are safe, some have already moved away while those who remain are increasingly at odds with one another.
Japan Times
WORLD / Science & Health
Jun 9, 2023
How wildfire smoke impacts human health
Wildfire exposure is bad for the human body no matter how healthy a person is or how long they’re exposed to it.
Japan Times
WORLD / Science & Health
Jun 9, 2023
Wildfire smoke increases the risk of contracting COVID-19
Millions of people in Canada and the U.S. are currently at an elevated risk of catching COVID-19, thanks to the smoke from hundreds of wildfires.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 21, 2023
Report finds ‘rampant’ greenwashing in food sector
In its recommendations, the report suggests banning "outright generic climate claims,” as well as claims based on carbon offsetting programs.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 16, 2023
Where is the fast fashion backlash?
For all the talk about shifting shopping patterns, there is no clear quantitative evidence of any demographic ditching fast fashion en masse.
Japan Times
WORLD / Politics
Nov 5, 2022
Climate change eclipsed by inflation, crime and abortion in U.S. midterms
Even as the Mississippi River withers from drought and Floridians struggle to recover from Hurricane Ian, the climate crisis is not a deciding issue.
Japan Times
WORLD / Science & Health
Oct 18, 2022
Alaska’s snow crab collapse is likely tied to climate change
Alaskan officials recently canceled the Bering Sea snow crab season for the first time ever after scientists discovered an unprecedented decline in crab numbers.
Japan Times
WORLD
Sep 22, 2022
Climate takes a back seat to other problems at U.N. meet
So far, the handful of leaders who focused their U.N. speeches on climate have been those representing countries most affected by it.
Japan Times
WORLD
Sep 2, 2022
Water crisis in southern U.S. city previews a wetter and hotter future
In addition to warming up the planet, climate change is making precipitation events more intense, and therefore more likely to overwhelm strained systems.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves