A Hotter Future – The New York Times
It is too late to reverse the damage done to Earth’s climate. It’s not too late to change course right away to prevent things from getting worse.
This is the scientific consensus presented this morning to world leaders by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is the most comprehensive synthesis of climate science available, based on a review of thousands of research papers assessing how the burning of coal, oil and gas has altered Earth’s climate and, with it, human destiny.
The report, however, does not present a predicted future. His most important conclusion is that there are several possible futures.
Heat cooked in
The cumulative greenhouse gas emissions – driven by the United States and European countries since the start of the industrial age, and more recently by China – have not only warmed the planet, but it has also warmed it. on track to worsen over the next 20 years, according to the report.
The panel concludes that the average global temperature is very likely to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels by 2040, and continue to warm for another 10 years. At that threshold, nearly a billion people could face potentially fatal heat waves at least once every five years, according to the report.
We will be facing more record heat (as in the Pacific Northwest in July and southern Europe last week); more frequent flooding (as in India, Germany and China); more frequent droughts (as in the western United States); and rising sea levels that will threaten coastal cities (such as Miami).
These changes are integrated and it is imperative to prepare for them.
But there is still room to limit warming by mid-century and avoid much worse consequences, according to the report. At 2 degrees Celsius of warming, the picture worsens, with more frequent heat spikes. At 4 degrees, the world is unrecognizable.
The authors of the report show each scenario as if they were holding a pair of binoculars to see the road ahead and the paths leading away from it.
Which direction to take?
It is up to the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations and corporations to determine the way forward. Limiting the rise in temperature requires major structural changes in the way the world generates electricity, heats buildings, moves and produces food.
So the choice before these leaders comes down to this: They could pursue policies that inject more global warming gases into the atmosphere and further warm the planet. Or they could replace fossil fuels with clean energy and stop cutting down forests. Technologically this is all doable, but it didn’t happen – not quickly enough – which is why we are in this predicament.
The United States has pledged to reduce its emissions by about 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The European Union and Britain have more ambitious emission reduction targets. And, unlike the United States, European countries have enshrined these commitments in law.
China, which now accounts for around 30% of the world’s greenhouse gases, has only said its emissions will peak before 2030. India, which accounts for around 6% today, said that it would greatly increase renewable energy sources, but without specifying when its emissions would start to decline.
This report is not the first such detailed assessment of climate risks. Scientists have offered these binoculars several times and many politicians have repeatedly ignored them. The question now is whether citizens, having seen the risks approach, will force their leaders to act. “For far too long, policymakers have put their short-term political interests and corporate greed ahead of the needs of their constituents,” said Rachel Cleetus, director of climate policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
You can read more about the report here.
Somini Sengupta is an international climate reporter for the Times.
The history of hip-hop
How to summarize the whole history of a musical genre in a box set? This is the goal of “The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap”, a collection of 129 songs that documents the growth of hip-hop from 1979 to 2013.
A committee of about 40 artists, industry figures, journalists and academics helped choose the songs, compiling a list of about 900 options. From there, a smaller executive committee narrowed down the choices. Producer 9th Wonder, a member of the executive committee, said its members chose songs that were “meant to be known by the next generation to come.”
The collection includes the earliest hip-hop recordings; party music by Ludacris and Lil Jon; gangster rap by artists like Ice-T; and a dash of white rappers, including Beastie Boys and Eminem. The history of women in hip-hop is also represented, through artists like Lil ‘Kim, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill and Nicki Minaj. The most recent track is a 2013 song by Drake, which contributed to the genre’s full expansion into pop music.
Today, hip-hop is the dominant musical force in pop culture, writes Jon Caramanica, pop music critic for The Times. Ending the anthology in 2013 makes sense, he says, because “it’s hard to control the boundaries of a genre when the genre is the whole world.” Read the story. – Sanam Yar, a morning writer
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
These meatballs have a secret: they are half vegetables, half chicken.
What to watch
“Reservation Dogs,” a black comedy on FX on Hulu about petty teenage crooks dreaming of a better life, shakes up Hollywood clichés about Indigenous culture.
What to read
In Stephen King’s “Billy Summers,” a hitman is lured out of retirement for one last job.
At the movie theater
“Joke, joke, kill, kill – that more or less sums up ‘The Suicide Squad’, the latest installment in the DC Comics franchise,” writes Manohla Dargis in a review.
Now is the time to play
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