Four years after countries struck a landmark deal in Paris to rein in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to avert the worst effects of global warming, humanity is headed toward those very climate catastrophes, according to a United Nations report issued Tuesday, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, having expanded their carbon footprints last year.
The report, published Wednesday, found that failing to limit emissions would lead to health problems caused by infectious diseases, worsening air pollution, rising temperatures and malnutrition.
When progressives propose new or expanded social programs, they face intense media scrutiny bordering on harassment over how they intend to pay for these programs. Republicans proposing tax cuts don’t face anything like the same scrutiny; they are seemingly able to get away with blithe assertions that tax cuts will pay for themselves by boosting economic growth, even though every single piece of evidence we have says that this is nonsense.
In war zones, evidence captured on smartphones can provide a path to justice — but platforms like YouTube and Facebook are getting in the way. In the Video Op-Ed above, the Syrian activist and archivist Hadi Al Khatib urges platforms to overhaul and improve their content moderation systems. He fears that automated removal, which in 2017 deleted 10 percent of the archive documenting violence in Syria, risks erasing critical history.
Up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, sea levels are rising rapidly, creating stands of dead trees — often bleached, sometimes blackened — known as ghost forests. The water is gaining as much as 5 millimeters per year in some places, well above the global average of 3.1 millimeters, driven by profound environmental shifts that include climate change.
After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, Houston jumped to the front of the pack in adapting to the threat of climate change. It passed tougher building codes, offered more buyouts for flood-prone homes and budgeted billions of dollars in new funding for flood control.
The skies are emptying out. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago. There are likely many causes, the most important of which include habitat loss and wider use of pesticides.
American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe. Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war. To get serious about stopping endless war, American leaders must do what they most resist: end America’s commitment to armed supremacy and embrace a world of pluralism and peace.
The International Life Sciences Institute, with branches in 17 countries, is funded by giants of the food and drug industries. The organization, which championed tobacco interests during the 1980s and 1990s in Europe and the United States, has more recently expanded its activities in Asia and Latin America, regions that provide a growing share of food company profits. It has been especially active in China, India and Brazil, the world’s first, second and sixth most populous nations.
Florida has the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world, but they are being devastated by increasing pollution and drastic declines in water flow. Some springs have dried up from overextraction; others have shown signs of saltwater intrusion and harmful algae blooms.
Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth’s population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running out of water. From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to new World Resources Institute data published Tuesday.
The Arctic spring thaw has begun with a bang, with extensive melting of the Greenland ice sheet and sea ice loss that is already several weeks ahead of normal, scientists said.A stagnant zone of high-pressure air over Greenland last week brought warm air from the south, raising temperatures as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. That, coupled with cloudless conditions, led to a pulse of melting across much of the ice sheet surface.
Climate change is increasingly linked to many forms of extreme weather. One analysis of extreme weather data found that human-caused climate change was a “significant driver” of 21 out of 27 extreme weather events, including droughts, floods and heat waves.
Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.
At least three million people were affected by the devastation, said Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations. He called it “one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa,” and urged the international community to send relief and funds quickly. He called Cyclone Idai an “uncommonly fierce and prolonged storm” that is “yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change, especially in vulnerable, at-risk countries.”
A historic snowy winter is turning into record spring flooding across a wide area in the middle of the United States, as major rivers spill over their banks, break levees and inundate towns and farms. The governors of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have declared emergencies, and Iowa’s governor has issued a disaster proclamation. At least two people in Nebraska have died in the floodwaters, and two others are missing.
It may now be that another gas — carbon dioxide (CO2) — can be removed from the air for commercial purposes, and that its removal could have a profound effect on the future of humanity. But it’s almost certainly too soon to say for sure.
NASA scientists announced Wednesday that the Earth’s average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth highest in nearly 140 years of record-keeping and a continuation of an unmistakable warming trend. “The five warmest years have, in fact, been the last five years,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis.
In a study published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists for the first time quantified the effects of rising temperatures on ice cover across 1.4 million lakes in the Northern Hemisphere. They found that, from Wisconsin to Japan, thousands of lakes that used to freeze reliably every winter already see some years without ice, and that “an extensive loss of lake ice will occur within the next generation.”
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were celebrated this month as symbols of diversity, the House’s first two Muslim women. But on Israel, they have exposed a Democratic Party divide. The tussle over Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar has exposed a growing generational divide within the Democratic Party, pitting an old guard of stalwart supporters of Israel against an ascendant wing of young liberals — including many young Jews — willing to accuse the Israeli government of human rights abuses and demanding movement toward a Palestinian state.
Some 252 million years ago, Earth almost died. In the oceans, 96 percent of all species became extinct. It’s harder to determine how many terrestrial species vanished, but the loss was comparable. This mass extinction, at the end of the Permian Period, was the worst in the planet’s history, and it happened over a few thousand years at most — the blink of a geological eye.
Bankers kept their name tags obscured behind ties. Many tried to keep a low profile and avoided talking to the news media. But those hoping to escape any tarnish from attending Saudi Arabia’s global investment conference in the wake of a dissident journalist’s killing were foiled when the crown prince himself, Mohammed bin Salman, appeared at the summit meeting and received a standing ovation.
The scars of the financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession are still with us, just below the surface. The most profound of these is that the uneven nature of the recovery compounded a long-term imbalance in the accumulation of wealth. As a consequence, what it means to be secure has changed. Wealth, real wealth, now comes from investment portfolios, not salaries. Fortunes are made through an initial public offering, a grant of stock options, a buyout or another form of what high-net-worth individuals call a liquidity event.
Over the past decade researchers have increasingly been able to draw direct links between our warming climate and extreme weather like hurricanes, heat waves and drought.But for other kinds of extreme weather events, namely tornadoes, a question lingers. Is climate change making tornadoes more frequent and severe?
In cities and counties across the country — including Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix, Ariz.; southeast Michigan; central Utah; and here in Tennessee — the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit, an offshoot of their longstanding national crusade for lower taxes and smaller government.
The anxiety and seething anger that followed the disappearance of middle-income jobs in factory towns has helped reshape the American political map and topple longstanding policies on tariffs and immigration. But globalization and automation aren’t the only forces responsible for the loss of those reliable paychecks. So is the steady erosion of the public sector.
As of 2017, according to Gallup polls, almost half of Americans agreed that immigrants make crime worse. But is it true that immigration drives crime? Many studies have shown that it does not.
At least five activists pushing social justice agendas have died over the last two years, drawing attention to the pressures they face. Along with the long hours, constant confrontation and frequent heartbreak they experience, activists work for little or no pay and sometimes struggle for basic needs like food and shelter even as they push for societal change.
Israel has compulsory military service and firearms are a common sight, but personal gun ownership is tightly restricted. In fact,contrary to the advocates’ arguments for more guns, Israel has strict gun control. Those citizens who are licensed to own a personal weapon have generally undergone some military training. Guns are not seen as a hobby, but as a tool for self-defense, and if necessary, to help protect others from terrorism. And while Israel has sophisticated policing and intelligence aimed at stopping terrorism, it has little experience with the kinds of civilian mass shootings that have become the source of anguished debate in the United States.
The Paradise Papers show how one percent of the worlds population, hides its money in tax havens, owns 40% of the wealth worldwide and abuses this privilege at the expense of the 99%. The wealthy have grown their assets by 9% over the last decade, while the rest of the world GDP has grown at 3%.
Members of Congress are currently considering a bill that threatens to silence the growing support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian freedom and human rights, known as B.D.S. This draconian bill, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, threatens individuals and businesses who actively participate in boycott campaigns in support of Palestinian rights conducted by international governmental organizations with up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Free-market boosters, including Betsy DeVos, promised that a radical expansion of charter schools would fix the stark inequalities in the state’s education system. The results in the classrooms are far more complicated. Today in Michigan, hundreds of nonprofit public charters have become potential financial assets to outside entities, inevitably complicating their broader social missions. In the case of Carver, interested parties have included a for-profit educational management organization, or E.M.O., in Georgia; an Indian tribe in a remote section of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; and a financial firm in Minnesota. “That’s all it is now — it’s moneymaking,” Darrel Redrick, a charter-school proponent and an administrator at Carver at the time I visited, told me.
Scientists are concerned over the cause of the rapid rise, which may indicate the world’s natural sponges that absorb carbon dioxide have changed. For more than two years, the monitoring station here, along with its counterparts across the world, has been flashing a warning: The excess carbon dioxide scorching the planet rose at the highest rate on record in 2015 and 2016. A slightly slower but still unusual rate of increase has continued into 2017.
President Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from the first worldwide deal to address global warming. See a graphical presentation of how each countries commitment will help reduce climate change.
Milo Yiannopoulos — the infamous internet troll, Donald J. Trump supporter and editor at Breitbart News — has compared Islam to cancer, mocked transgender people and suggested that women who are harassed online should stay off the web. Last July, he was permanently barred from Twitter for violating the platform’s rules against hate speech and harassment. So when Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint at Simon & Schuster, gave him a six-figure publishing contract, the blowback was swift and furious.
Two decades ago, Harris Rosen, who grew up poor on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and became wealthy in the Florida hotel business, decided to shepherd part of his fortune into a troubled community with the melodious sounding name of Tangelo Park.A quick snap from the city’s tourist engine, this neighborhood of small, once-charming houses seemed a world away from theme park pleasures as its leaders tried to beat back drugs, crime and too many shuttered homes. Nearly half its students had dropped out of school.