Summary of “The Most Important Thinking Habit Nobody Taught You”

Elastic thinking allows us to shift gears and think about something in more than one way.
To survive in an environment of constant stimulation and rapid change, elastic thinking is essential.
Elastic thinking is about stretching your mind and using ‘bottom up’ processing in the brain rather than the top down executive functions that drive analytical thinking.
Elastic thinking, in combination with rational or logical thought, and creative thinking will make you indispensable.
Elastic thinking endows us with the ability to solve novel problems and overcome the neural barriers that can impede us from looking beyond the status quo.
Elastic thinking is what you need when the circumstances change and you are dealing with something new.
It’s not about following rules,” says Leonard Mlodinow, theoretical physicist, author of “Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change.
How to develop an agile mindThe good news is flexible thinking skills can be taught.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘We are in trouble.’ Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018.”

Global emissions of carbon dioxide are reaching the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are doing.
The expected increase, which would bring fossil fuel and industrial emissions to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, is being driven by a nearly 5 percent growth of emissions in China and more than 6 percent in India, researchers estimated, along with growth in many other nations.
“We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference, where countries will wrestle with the ambitious goals they need to meet to sharply reduce carbon emissions in the coming years.
Scientists have said that annual carbon dioxide emissions need to plunge almost by half by 2030 if the world wants to hit the most stringent – and safest – climate change target.
There’s little doubt that 2018 hit a record high for global emissions.
In the United States, emissions in 2018 are projected to have risen 2.5 percent, driven in part by a very warm summer that led to high air conditioning use and a very cold winter in the Northeast, but also by a continued use of oil driven by low gas prices and bigger cars.
Thanks to increased investment in green energy, China’s carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP, declined by 46 percent by 2017 from 2005 levels, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment reported earlier this week.
“With these goals met, a very solid foundation has been laid for meeting the target of halting the increase of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and even accomplishing that sooner than planned,” Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change affairs, told the state-owned news agency Xinhua ahead of the meeting in Poland.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The New York Review of Books”

It is no wonder that the planet’s carbon emissions, which had seemed to plateau in mid-decade, are again on the rise: preliminary figures indicate that a new record will be set in 2018.This is the backdrop against which the IPCC report arrives, written by ninety-one scientists from forty countries.
The burden of climate change falls first and heaviest on the poorest nations, who of course have done the least to cause the crisis.
The report provides few truly new insights for those who have been paying attention to the issue.
As the new report concedes, there is “No documented historical precedent” for change at the speed that the science requires.
Since the last IPCC report, a series of newspaper exposés has made it clear that the big oil companies knew all about climate change even before it became a public issue in the late 1980s, and that, instead of owning up to that knowledge, they sponsored an enormously expensive campaign to obfuscate the science.
The next Democratic primary season might allow a real climate champion to emerge who would back what the rising progressive star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called a “Green New Deal”; in turn a revitalized America could theoretically help lead the planet back to sanity.
In October, the attorney general for New York State filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming the company defrauded shareholders by downplaying the risks of climate change.
If we keep doing that, climate change will no longer be a problem, because calling something a problem implies there’s still a solution.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Should we really all fly less?”

So we don’t need to ask whether climate change is happening – or whether humans are causing it.
Of course, it’s true that climate change won’t be solved by your buying or driving habits alone – although many experts agree these are important, and can influence others to make changes too.
“Everyone is going to have to be involved,” says Debra Robert, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the group tasked with the report.
One 2017 study co-authored by Lund University’s Nicholas ranked 148 individual actions on climate change according to their impact.
After fossil fuels, the food industry – and in particular the meat and dairy sector – is one of the most important contributors to climate change.
Nicholas’s study concluded that having fewer children is the best way to reduce your contribution to climate change, with almost 60 tonnes of CO2 avoided per year.
We could ask if having children is necessarily a bad thing for solving climate change: our challenges may mean we will need more problem-solvers in future generations, not fewer.
Diego Arguedas Ortiz is a science and climate change reporter for BBC Future.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Using Wi-Fi to “see” behind closed doors is easier than anyone thought”

This kind of set-up is just too basic to reveal any useful detail about what goes on behind closed doors, other than the presence of the Wi-Fi network itself.
These guys have found a way to see through walls using ambient Wi-Fi signals and an ordinary smartphone.
“Bad actors using smartphones can localize and track individuals in their home or office from outside walls, by leveraging reflections of ambient Wi-Fi transmissions,” they say.
If humans were able to see the world as Wi-Fi does, it would seem a bizarre landscape.
Doors and walls would be almost transparent, and almost every house and office would be illuminated from within by a bright light bulb-a Wi-Fi transmitter.
This crazy Wi-Fi vision would clearly reveal whether anybody was behind a wall and, if so, whether the person was moving.
Provided nothing moves inside the target building, the Wi-Fi signal will be constant.
The team go on to say that they have tested this approach using Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 Android smartphones to peer into 11 different offices and apartments that the team had permission to observe, many of which contained several Wi-Fi transmitters.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘We’ve never seen this’: massive Canadian glaciers shrinking rapidly”

Scientists in Canada have warned that massive glaciers in the Yukon territory are shrinking even faster than would be expected from a warming climate – and bringing dramatic changes to the region.
After a string of recent reports chronicling the demise of the ice fields, researchers hope that greater awareness will help the public better understand the rapid pace of climate change.
The rate of warming in the north is double that of the average global temperature increase, concluded the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its annual Arctic Report Card, which called the warming “Unprecedented”.
“The region is one of the hotspots for warming, which is something we’ve come to realize over the last 15 years,” said David Hik of Simon Fraser University.
In their recent State of the Mountains report published earlier in the summer, the Canadian Alpine Club found that the Saint Elias mountains – which span British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska – are losing ice faster than the rest of the country.
“What we’re seeing now feels like time travel into the future. Because as the massive glaciers are retreating, they’re causing a complete reorganization of the environment.”
“We’re seeing a 20% difference in area coverage of the glaciers in Kluane national park and reserve and the rest of the Unesco world heritage site ,” Diane Wilson, a field unit superintendent at Parks Canada, told the CBC. “We’ve never seen that. It’s outside the scope of normal.”
“Never before in human history have mountains been revered as they are today. Mountains are landscapes people adore – and with awareness, real change can be affected,” said Robinson.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Demand Action on Climate Change”

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report-a klaxon, really-warning of the catastrophic consequences of climate change if global political leaders don’t take action right now.
Collectively we actually can slow climate change: “The first thing that someone can do,” says Michael Brune, the executive director for the Sierra Club, “Is to remember that you have power. As a citizen, a consumer, an investor, as a human being, you have the power to effect really great change.” Here’s how to get started.
Does your city have a sustainability office or a committee on the environment? Does your local university have a sustainability office you can communicate with about local efforts? If you truly turn up nothing, check out the Climate Resilience Toolkit for step-by-step instructions on addressing climate change in your community.
“The very first thing you have to do is take action yourself,” says David Miller, the North American regional director for the C40 cities’ climate leadership group.
“Building a political movement requires knowledgeable, engaged people who work together on an issue.” If fighting climate change is your new passion, or even your old passion, don’t keep it to yourself.
Brune says, “A lot of people may be more conservative politically, but they run a company or they’re active in the private sector, and want to make an economic argument in favor of taking action on climate change….We have seen people who organize through their church, to make a moral argument for why we should take stronger action in favor of clean energy. We’ve seen all these things be effective in their own right, but when they are coordinated together, you have a cacophony of voices all calling for stronger leadership.”
Catholic? Read what the Pope has to say on climate change.
Are you an engineer or architect? Are you an African-American person who wants to get into camping, or a Latino person who wants to connect with nature? Are you queer and interested in backpacking? I am going to guess that no matter your identity, hobbies, interests, or passions, you can hook up with some group that is enjoying nature and fighting climate change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Flexitarian’ diets key to feeding people in a warming world”

If the world wants to limit climate change, water scarcity and pollution, then we all need to embrace “Flexitarian” diets, say scientists.
Without action, the impacts of the food system could increase by up to 90%. Fast on the heels of the landmark report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes this new study on how food production and consumption impact major threats to the planet.
The authors say that the food system has a number of significant environmental impacts including being a major driver of climate change, depleting freshwater and pollution through excessive use of nitrogen and phosphorous.
“We can eat a range of healthy diets but what they all have in common, according to the latest scientific evidence, is that they are all relatively plant based,” said lead author Dr Marco Springmann from the University of Oxford.
“You can go from a diet that has small amounts of animal products, some might call it a Mediterranean based diet, we call it a flexitarian diet, over to a pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan diet – we tried to stay with the most conservative one of these which in our view is the flexitarian one, but even this has only one serving of red meat per week.”
If the world moved to this type of diet, the study found that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture would be reduced by more than half.
“Tackling food loss and waste will require measures across the entire food chain, from storage, and transport, over food packaging and labelling to changes in legislation and business behaviour that promote zero-waste supply chains,” said Fabrice de Clerck, director of science at EAT who funded the study.
“Feeding a world population of 10 billion people is possible – yet only if we change the way we eat, and the way we produce food,” said Johan Rockström, director designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who is one of the authors of the study.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown”

Huge reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment.
“Feeding a world population of 10 billion is possible, but only if we change the way we eat and the way we produce food,” said Prof Johan Rockström at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who was part of the research team.
“Greening the food sector or eating up our planet: this is what is on the menu today.”
“But dietary and technological change [on farms] are the two essential things, and hopefully they can be complemented by reduction in food loss and waste.” About a third of food produced today never reaches the table.
The researchers found a global shift to a “Flexitarian” diet was needed to keep climate change even under 2C, let alone 1.5C. This flexitarian diet means the average world citizen needs to eat 75% less beef, 90% less pork and half the number of eggs, while tripling consumption of beans and pulses and quadrupling nuts and seeds.
The millions of people in poor nations who are undernourished need to eat a little more meat and dairy.
Reducing meat consumption might be achieved by a mix of education, taxes, subsidies for plant-based foods and changes to school and workplace menus, the scientists said.
A global change is needed, he said: “I think we can do it, but we really need much more proactive governments to provide the right framework. People can make a personal difference by changing their diet, but also by knocking on the doors of their politicians and saying we need better environmental regulations – that is also very important. Do not let politicians off the hook.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How a Fortnite squad of scientists is hoping to defeat climate change”

It’s especially difficult to talk about climate science in the US where wealthy interest groups, from the coal mining conglomerate Murray Energy to oil colossus ExxonMobil, have lobbied for decades to suggest climate modeling is inaccurate, and humans aren’t to blame.
Hayhoe sensed an opportunity to make climate communication more fun for a much broader audience – crucially, an audience that wasn’t already invested in climate change.
A serious gamer since he was eight, he was thrilled about the chance to, as he puts it, “Make the time I’d spent gaming useful.” Drake quickly contacted Hayhoe via Twitter, and this past summer, the Climate Fortnite Squad was born.
The three-month-old squad has set out to make climate change information accessible to Fortnite fans.
In an early match, Dessler wonders whether telling people that the world has become a degree warmer since the Industrial Revolution is the best way to win hearts and minds compared to, say, talking about how climate change might impact crimes rates or incomes.
Early death isn’t much of a concern for the Climate Squad since the Fortnite dead can speak without interruption, Drake says.
Gaulin wanted to discuss how climate change can worsen military conflicts; as a result, he accidentally left all his in-game items behind.
Drake hopes the squad will grow at some point, the climate scientists may have to learn new games.

The orginal article.