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Tag Archives: Environment

“The Battle Lines of the Future”

That Donald Trump is a grand disruptor when it comes to international affairs is now a commonplace observation in the establishment media. By snubbing NATO and withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, we’ve been told, President Trump is dismantling the liberal world order created by Franklin D. Roosevelt at the end of World War II. “Present at the Destruction” is the way Foreign Affairs magazine, the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, put it on its latest cover. Similar headlines can be found on the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post. But these prophecies of impending global disorder miss a crucial point: in his own quixotic way, Donald Trump is not only trying to obliterate the existing world order, but also attempting to lay the foundations for a new one, a world in which fossil-fuel powers will contend for supremacy with post-carbon, green-energy states.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176294/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_%22the_battle_lines_of_the_future%22/

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in North America

 

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Trump and the Truth About Climate Change

Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, the United States took another major step toward establishing itself as a rogue state on June 1, when it withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. For years, Trump has indulged the strange conspiracy theory that, as he put it in 2012, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” But this was not the reason Trump advanced for withdrawing the US from the Paris accord. Rather, the agreement, he alleged, was bad for the US and implicitly unfair to it.While fairness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, Trump’s claim is difficult to justify. On the contrary, the Paris accord is very good for America, and it is the US that continues to impose an unfair burden on others.

Source: Trump and the Truth About Climate Change by Joseph E. Stiglitz – Project Syndicate

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in North America

 

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This new disease could devastate our wildlife. Watch the Tories do nothing

The less you care, the better you will do. This has long been the promise of conservative politics on both sides of the Atlantic. People who couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about the consequences of their actions are elevated to the highest levels of government. Their role is to trash what lesser mortals value.This describes the position of almost everyone in Donald Trump’s cabinet. In the UK, I feel it applies, among others, to Jeremy Hunt at the Department of Health, Boris Johnson at the Foreign Office, Priti Patel at international development and now Michael Gove at the environment department: the worst possible candidates are given the most sensitive portfolios.

Source: This new disease could devastate our wildlife. Watch the Tories do nothing | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Europe

 

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Planetary Arson

Now that it seems virtually certain that Donald Trump will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, and the climate movement is quite rightly mobilizing in the face of this latest dystopian lurch, it’s time to get real about something: Pretty much everything that is weak, disappointing, and inadequate about that deal is the result of U.S. lobbying since 2009.

The fact that the agreement only commits governments to keeping warming below an increase of 2 degrees, rather than a much safer firm target of 1.5 degrees, was lobbied for and won by the United States.

The fact that the agreement left it to individual nations to determine how much they were willing to do to reach that temperature target, allowing them to come to Paris with commitments that collectively put us on a disastrous course toward more than 3 degrees of warming, was lobbied for and won by the United States.

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/planetary-arson/

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in North America

 

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Trump Pulls out of Climate Deal, Western Rift Deepens  

Until the very end, they tried behind closed doors to get him to change his mind. For the umpteenth time, they presented all the arguments — the humanitarian ones, the geopolitical ones and, of course, the economic ones. They listed the advantages for the economy and for American companies. They explained how limited the hardships would be.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the last one to speak, according to the secret minutes taken last Friday afternoon in the luxurious conference hotel in the Sicilian town of Taormina — meeting notes that DER SPIEGEL has been given access to. Leaders of the world’s seven most powerful economies were gathered around the table and the issues under discussion were the global economy and sustainable development.

The newly elected French president, Emmanuel Macron, went first. It makes sense that the Frenchman would defend the international treaty that bears the name of France’s capital: The Paris Agreement. “Climate change is real and it affects the poorest countries,” Macron said.

http://m.spiegel.de/international/world/trump-pulls-out-of-climate-deal-western-rift-deepens-a-1150486.html

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in North America

 

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Trump’s Rogue America 

Donald Trump has thrown a hand grenade into the global economic architecture that was so painstakingly constructed in the years after World War II’s end. The attempted destruction of this rules-based system of global governance – now manifested in Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement – is just the latest aspect of the US president’s assault on our basic system of values and institutions.


The world is only slowly coming fully to terms with the malevolence of the Trump administration’s agenda. He and his cronies have attacked the US press – a vital institution for preserving Americans’ freedoms, rights, and democracy – as an “enemy of the people.” They have attempted to undermine the foundations of our knowledge and beliefs – our epistemology – by labeling as “fake” anything that challenges their aims and arguments, even rejecting science itself. Trump’s sham justifications for spurning the Paris climate agreement is only the most recent evidence of this.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-rogue-america-by-joseph-e–stiglitz-2017-06

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in North America

 

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Trump’s exit of Paris climate accord strengthens China and Europe

President Trump’s much-anticipated decision to exit the Paris Agreement on climate change strikes another blow against the current multilateral international order by his administration and reinforces its America First stance toward the world.Trump declared his administration’s intent to stop honoring and cease all implementation of the nonbinding parts of the Paris Agreement. This includes the goals and actions to reduce emissions outlined in the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as well as any further contributions to the Green Climate Fund, which provides money to poor countries to lower emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Source: Trump’s exit of Paris climate accord strengthens China and Europe

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in North America

 

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Au Revoir: Trump Exits the Paris Climate Agreement 

After milking the fate of the planet for maximum drama, Donald Trump announced today that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord. To reach this decision, the President had to dismiss decades’ worth of research by the country’s most prestigious scientific organizations. He needed to resist pleas from the U.S.’s staunchest allies; ignore appeals from many of its largest corporations, including ExxonMobil; and disregard the counsel of his Secretary of State. All this for, well, what? To shore up his base on the coal-hugging right?

“analysis: telling literally every other country in the world to fuck off will probably create problems down the road,” David Roberts, who blogs about climate policy for Vox, tweeted, as the news of the move began to leak out. But, if Trump’s decision is evidently wrongheaded, it’s also possible that it won’t make all that much difference. This is in part because the U.S. had already effectively exited the agreement. In part it’s because just about everybody outside the Trump Administration seems to understand that the U.S. is making a world-historical mistake.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/au-revoir-trump-exits-the-paris-climate-accord

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2017 in North America

 

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The Doomsday Glacier

Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is so remote that only 28 human beings have ever set foot on it.Knut Christianson, a 33-year-old glaciologist at the University of Washington, has been there twice. A few years ago, Christianson and a team of seven scientists traveled more than 1,000 miles from McMurdo Station, the main research base in Antarctica, to spend six weeks on Thwaites, traversing along the flat, featureless prairie of snow and ice in six snowmobiles and two Tucker Sno-Cats. “You feel very alone out there,” Christianson says. He and his colleagues set up camp at a new spot every few days and drilled holes 300 feet or so into the ice. Then they dropped tubes of nitroglycerin dynamite into these holes and triggered a blast. Sensors tracked vibrations as they shot through the ice and ricocheted off the ground below. By measuring the shape and frequency of these vibrations, Christianson could see the lumps and ridges and even the texture of a crushed continent deeply buried beneath the ice.But Christianson and his colleagues were not just ice geeks mapping the hidden topography of the planet. They were mapping a future global disaster. As the world warms, determining exactly how quickly ice melts and seas rise may be one of the most important questions of our time. Half the world’s population lives within 50 miles of a coastline. Trillions of dollars of real estate is perched on beaches and clustered in low-lying cities like Miami and New York. A long, slow rise of the waters in the coming decades may be manageable. A more abrupt rise would not be. “If there is going to be a climate catastrophe,” says Ohio State glaciologist Ian Howat, “it’s probably going to start at Thwaites.”

Source: The Doomsday Glacier – Rolling Stone

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in Reportages

 

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Stop Insuring Climate Disaster

Last month, the United Kingdom enjoyed its first full day without the need for coal power since the Industrial Revolution began. That’s remarkable news – and a sign of the future to come as the country that began humanity’s centuries-long romance with burning black rocks is now moving on.

Just as the fax gave way to email and whale oil gave way to kerosene, so is coal giving way to cleaner forms of energy. And that handover will happen faster – perhaps fast enough to let us at least slow down the pace of climate change – if the massive and mighty insurance industry would play its part.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/insurance-industry-fossil-fuel-projects-by-bill-mckibben-2017-05

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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