Taking Heat on Climate Change Deepnews Digest #32

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Deepnews Digest #32

Taking Heat on Climate Change

The world’s attention this week turned to climate change, with the COP25 conference in Madrid and activist Greta Thunberg, who criticized leaders there, being named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. A lot of the headlines focused on a certain head of state insulting her, though at Deepnews we prefer our news to be a little less focused on Twitter. It turns out there are plenty of in-depth quality articles about climate change, the conference and Ms. Thunberg. Here are the top 25, as ranked by the Deepnews Scoring Algorithm.

Story Source
CSIS
To get to The Truth of the Matter on the impact of climate change on food security and global hunger, we’re going to talk with Kimberly Flowers. Ms. Flowers is the Director of the Humanitarian Agenda and Global Food Security Project at CSIS

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Asia Times
A key architect of the Paris Agreement, Xie Zhenhua was China’s top climate negotiator for over a decade

Editor’s Note: With China the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide by a large margin, every change in its policy is a big deal. One switch heading into this week’s conference in Madrid is the departure of Xie Zhenhua a mainstay of contentious negotiations between developed and developing countries. Dave Makichuk writes about it for The Asia Times.

The Japan Times
However, what is less well known is the ways in which oceans play a vital role as a climate regulator. Oceans cover almost 75 percent of the Earth and they are responsible for absorbing more than 93 percent of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions since the 1970s, and 28 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted since 1750.

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The Wire
Madrid: WhatsApp groups began buzzing this (December 6) morning. “Greta Thunberg is at the venue,” one journalist informed her comrades. Everyone was unprepared. She had arrived unannounced.

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The Outline
If there’s one place where billionaire and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg knows how to look presidential, it’s at the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It’s easy, he seemed to acknowledge during a speech at this year’s conference in Madrid, when President Donald Trump is so conspicuously absent.

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Asian Development Bank
As they extend their power grids, build more roads and bigger cities, and cultivate forestland, developing countries in Asia and the Pacific are increasingly contributing to the global climate change problem. Two of the top three emitters of greenhouse gases are developing countries in Asia — the People’s Republic of China and India.

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Ohio State University
The last remaining tropical glaciers between the Himalayas and the Andes will disappear in the next decade – and possibly sooner – due to climate change, a new study has found. The glaciers in Papua, Indonesia, are “the canaries in the coal mine” for other mountaintop glaciers around the world, said Lonnie Thompson, one of the senior authors of the study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Editor’s Note: One of the things that Deepnews does well is pull in articles from the academic community of universities, many of whom are announcing research but few of whom get mainstream media coverage. Here is a development from scientists at Ohio State.

Quartz
This week in Madrid, delegates from around the world are meeting to nail down the finer points of how to achieve their Paris Agreement commitments. The gloomy backdrop to the UN’s COP25 climate change conference is the fact, repeated in several reports, that current pledges to cut carbon emissions are not enough to curb worst-case-scenario warming.

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The Hill
Democrats on Friday warned of the “existential threat” posed by climate change, hammering President Trump’s inaction on the topic while vowing to move aggressively next year on legislation designed to tackle the global issue.

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Mother Jones
“With climate change, the world is going to suck, but Buffalo may suck less.”

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Forbes
In recent years the issue of climate change has taken a decidedly apocalyptic turn. Earlier this week United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned, “If we don’t urgently change our way of life, we jeopardize life itself.” A group of scientists writes that we “might already have lost control” over “tipping points” in the Earth’s climate, warning that the “stability and resilience of our planet is in peril.”

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Towards Data Science
Time magazine selected Greta Thunberg, with all her 16 years of vigor and a laser-focused mission for saving our planet, as its ‘Person of the Year’, for 2019. Greta has been speaking, courageously, all around the world, about the impending danger (some even call it an existential crisis) that we humans, as a species, face collectively in the form of climate change and environmental damage, accelerated primarily due to human activities.

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Bloomberg Business
Exxon Mobil Corp. won a closely watched trial over its accounting for the financial risks of climate change, in an outright rejection of New York state’s claim that the energy giant engaged in a cynical scheme to mislead investors for years.

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The Guardian
Anxiety: Much like the planet, people have a tipping point. Mine came last summer, when a respected scientist told me matter-of-factly that he thought it was “at least highly unlikely” that his teenage children would survive beyond late middle age. At that point, three decades of climate unease crystallised into debilitating dread, and I’m far from alone.

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Al Jazeera English
Madrid, Spain – With higher-than-average increases in temperature, steadily advancing desertification and rising risks of drought and sea flooding, few would disagree that Spain is on the frontline of Europe’s battle against climate change.

Editor’s Note: The location of this year’s conference also shines a spotlight on Spain’s own fight against climate change. Here Alasdair Fortheringham looks at desertification and a proposed climate change law for Al Jazeera.

Freight Waves
What would happen to global trade if the European Union (EU) implemented some form of carbon pricing for ocean shipping and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) did not follow suit, or did so years later, leading to a permanent or temporary ‘Balkanization’ of carbon-emission regimes?

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POLITICO
Meanwhile, the long-restive province of Quebec has worked for years to establish itself as a climate change-fighting leader within the Canadian federation. For Quebec, agreeing to link its cap-and-trade programs with California’s in 2014 was a way for the province to meet its emissions targets and encourage other jurisdictions to join them.

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University of Illinois
The Global Carbon Project recently released its 2019 annual report, giving decision-makers access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain is among the many scientists worldwide who contributed data to the report. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Jain about this year’s findings

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Green Biz
Driving along County Road 28 south of Platteville, the signs of Colorado’s oil and gas boom are everywhere you look. Storage tanks and wellheads dot the horizon. Bundles of pipe sit by the roadside, waiting to become pipelines. Drilling rigs loom behind enormous brown temporary sound barriers, a stone’s throw from homes and businesses.

Editor’s Note: Beyond carbon dioxide, methane is also a gas that contributes significantly to the greenhouse effect. Here freelance journalist Jonathan Mingle looks at a technology in Colorado that is trying to keep the oil and gas industry from leaking the substance into the air.

EURACTIV
The verdict of the EEA’s “State of the Environment Report 2020” is scathing. But if we get it right, the European Green Deal can provide us with a unique opportunity to turn the tide, writes Ester Asin.

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NPR
Greta Thunberg did not sail across the Atlantic Ocean for two weeks to become a lead singer. But, just days after the 16-year-old proselytizer censured a room of world leaders many times her age for their shared “fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” the internet made her one, anyway.

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The Atlantic
For the third year in a row, carbon emissions from fossil fuels have hit a record high.

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POLITICO Europe
When the best news for Brussels is coming out of London, EU leaders have clearly had a tough night. Just as the British election results appeared to bring clarity to the Brexit process, the EU’s new leaders — Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen — resorted to a messy fudge early Friday to mask their failure to convince all 27 remaining EU countries to sign on to an ambitious new objective to become climate neutral by 2050

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Radio New Zealand
As thousands of delegates enter this convention centre on the outskirts of Madrid, a giant screen pierces through the murky morning fog. “Tiempo de Actuar,” the blue and white letters cry. “Time for action,” it tells the suits filing in beneath. But after nearly two weeks of negotiations, that call doesn’t seem to have been heeded.

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The Nation
Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America’s wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

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