Thursday, November 05, 2020
3 min read

Thursday, November 05, 2020

It's 50 degrees in Mercer today. Here's the news—

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As of Now, the U.S. Is Officially Out of the Paris Climate Agreement

Lisa Friedman, New York Times (Tweet)

The United States under President Barack Obama promised to reduce its emissions about 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, but progress on that goal stopped under the Trump administration. As of Wednesday, in addition to the United States, the countries that originally signed but not formally adopted the Paris Agreement are: Angola, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, South Sudan, Turkey and Yemen.

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How Do You Know When Society Is About to Fall Apart?

Ben Ehrenreich, New York Times (Tweet)

The critical voices have been more likely to come from women — the appeal of collapse’s sudden, violent drama was always, as Dartmouth College’s Deborah L. Nichols put it, “more of a guy thing” — and from Indigenous scholars and those who pay attention to the narratives Indigenous people tell about their own societies. This is not to suggest that once-populous cities have never been abandoned or that the kind of rapid social simplification that Tainter diagnosed has not regularly occurred; only that if you pay attention to people’s lived experience, and not just to the abstractions imposed by a highly fragmented archaeological record, a different kind of picture emerges.

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The Election Edition

Henry Fountain and Lisa Friedman, New York Times (Tweet)

Mr. Wright, who was supported by the oil and gas industry, was criticized by environmental groups for promoting fringe theories about climate change and renewable energy. Theresa Ribera, Spain’s environment minister, said other countries had already demonstrated — first after the Kyoto Protocol, and later in the years after President Trump announced that the United States would leave the Paris Agreement — that they remain committed to addressing climate change no matter which way America sways.

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The U.S. Left the Paris Climate Pact. Allies and Rivals Are Pressing Ahead.

Lisa Friedman and Somini Sengupta, New York Times (Tweet)

WASHINGTON — At the stroke of midnight Wednesday, when the United States became the only country to formally quit the Paris Agreement, the global accord designed to avert catastrophic climate change, it fulfilled a campaign promise that Donald J. Trump made four years ago. Saber Chowdhury, a member of Parliament in Bangladesh who has attended international climate talks for a decade, said he hoped a renewed United States commitment to climate action would spur greater financing for poor countries and access to new technologies to switch from dirty to clean energy.

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The Election Outcome Will Make Sweeping Climate Action Harder

Bill McKibben, New Yorker (Tweet)

This summer, as well as the record-breaking summer that we had in 2019, also taught us that heat is the mothership of climate risk—it exacerbates hurricanes driven by warmer air and warmer water, drought and desertification, devastating and cataclysmic wildfires, food insecurity, water shortages, increased violence, and immense economic loss. The 2003 heat wave in Europe led to seventy thousand  In addition to loss of life, cities—especially ones with older infrastructure that is not designed for these temperatures—are exposed to heat risks to structures, transportation, and other critical systems during heat waves.