Summary of “Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world’s biggest investors”

Global investors managing $32tn issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning.
The investors include some of the world’s biggest pension funds, insurers and asset managers and marks the largest such intervention to date.
“The long-term nature of the challenge has, in our view, met a zombie-like response by many,” said Chris Newton, of IFM Investors which manages $80bn and is one of the 415 groups that has signed the Global Investor Statement.
“The low-carbon economy presents numerous opportunities and investors who ignore the changing world do so at their own peril.”
A key demand of the Global Investor Statement is to phase out coal-fired power stations across the world.
Peter Damgaard Jensen, the CEO of Danish pension fund PKA, said: “Investors, including PKA, are moving out of coal in their droves given its devastating effects on the climate and public health, compounded by its poor financial performance.”
The investors said current national pledges to cut carbon would lead to a catastrophic 3C of global warming and that plans must be dramatically increased by 2020.
UN climate summits are frequently dogged by disputes over the $100bn a year that rich nations have promised to poorer ones by 2020 to tackle climate change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Best Technology for Fighting Climate Change Isn’t a Technology”

The latest IPCC report does not mince words about the state of our planet: we must act now to achieve global change at a scale that has “No documented historical precedent” in order to avoid the climate catastrophe that would result from a 2 degree C rise in average global temperature.
Climate change already disproportionately affects the world’s most vulnerable people including poor rural communities that depend on the land for their livelihoods and coastal communities throughout the tropics.
Advocates and politicians have tended to focus on reducing fossil fuel consumption through technology and/or policy, such as a steep carbon tax, as climate solutions.
Recent scientific research confirms that forests and other “Natural climate solutions” are absolutely essential in mitigating climate change, thanks to their carbon sequestering and storage capabilities.
Natural climate solutions can help us achieve 37 percent of our climate target, even though they currently receive only 2.5 percent of public climate financing.
For this reason, policy makers and business leaders must create and enforce ambitious policies and incentives to prevent deforestation, foster reforestation of degraded land, and support the sustainable management of standing forests in the fight against climate change.
With increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, insufficient emissions reductions and continued high rates of deforestation, urgent action is needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
With world leaders gathering in December for their yearly U.N. climate talks, the time is ripe for concrete action on forests and natural climate solutions.

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 “‘A kind of dark realism’: Why the climate change problem is starting to look too big to solve”

As the 24th U.N. conference on climate change kicks off this week, a steady drumbeat of scientific reports have sounded warnings about current climate trajectories.
The world has waited so long that preventing disruptive climate change requires action “Unprecedented in scale,” the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in an October report.
William Nordhaus, the Yale University professor who just won the Nobel Prize for his work on the economics of climate change, recently described his outlook like this: “I never use the word ‘pessimism’; I always use the word ‘realism,’ but I’d say it’s a kind of dark realism today.”
Climate scientists and policy experts realize that they walk a fine line between jolting consumers and policymakers into action and immobilizing them with paralyzing pessimism about the world’s ability to hit climate targets.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron has ignited protests by proposing fuel taxes he says are needed to fight climate change.
“Like a married couple that has put off saving for the future for too long, at some point it becomes nearly impossible to retire comfortably,” Nigel Purvis, co-founder of the advocacy group Climate Advisers, wrote in 2015.
One of the earliest climate change models was drawn up in 2004 by a pair of Princeton University professors – Robert Socolow, an engineer, and Stephen Pacala, an ecologist.
Their 50-year scenario was optimistic: “Humanity already possesses the fundamental scientific, technical and industrial know-how to solve the carbon and climate problem for the next half-century,” they wrote.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Publish a Dire Federal Climate Report on Black Friday?”

It may seem like a funny report to dump on the public on Black Friday, when most Americans care more about recovering from Thanksgiving dinner than they do about adapting to the grave conclusions of climate science.
The report is blunt: Climate change is happening now, and humans are causing it.
“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities,” declares its first sentence.
“The assumption that current and future climate conditions will resemble the recent past is no longer valid.”
The report tells this story, laying simple fact on simple fact so as to build a terrible edifice.
This trend “Can only be explained by the effects that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, have had on the climate,” the report says.
“It shows us that climate change is not a distant issue. It’s not about plants, or animals, or a future generation. It’s about us, living now,” says Katharine Hayhoe, an author of the report and an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University.
The report visits each region of the country, describing the local upheavals wrought by a global transformation.

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 “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 “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.

Summary of “Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100”

Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous 7 degrees by the end of this century.
The administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change.
The document projects that global temperature will rise by nearly 3.5 degrees Celsius above the average temperature between 1986 and 2005 regardless of whether Obama-era tailpipe standards take effect or are frozen for six years, as the Trump administration has proposed.
The global average temperature rose more than 0.5 degrees Celsius between 1880, the start of industrialization, and 1986, so the analysis assumes a roughly 4 degree Celsius or 7 degree Fahrenheit increase from preindustrial levels.
Trump has vowed to exit the Paris accord and called climate change a hoax.
The statement is the latest evidence of deep contradictions in the Trump administration’s approach to climate change.
Conservatives who condemned Obama’s climate initiatives as regulatory overreach have defended the Trump administration’s approach, calling it a more reasonable course.
Obama’s climate policies were costly to industry and yet “Mostly symbolic,” because they would have made barely a dent in global carbon dioxide emissions, said Heritage Foundation research fellow Nick Loris, adding: “Frivolous is a good way to describe it.”

The orginal article.