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World High stakes for Earth's climate future in US vote

08:21  19 october  2020
08:21  19 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

The Struggle to Save City Trees

  The Struggle to Save City Trees Arborists are planting trees today that must survive decades of global warming. The health, comfort, and happiness of city dwellers hang in the balance.“We’re talking about trees that are very vulnerable,” says Navé Strauss, the head of street-tree planting for New York City. His team manages the planting of new trees on streets and public rights of way; there are more than 666,000 street trees in the city, and the team plants about 16,000 new ones annually.

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Carson City Airport, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Carson City, Nev. Image Credit: AP.

And just a day after the US vote on November 3, the country will formally withdraw from the Paris agreement, the international accord aimed at restraining emissions and averting runaway warming. Trump' s signature act of climate disruption has "already diminished our moral standing, taking us

The United States presidential election will be "make or break" for the planet after four years during which Donald Trump frustrated global efforts to slash emissions, climate experts warn, fearing his re-election may imperil the world's chances of avoiding catastrophic warming.

a man that is standing in the dark: Climate change amplifies extreme weather like droughts, which create ideal conditions for wildfires © Samuel Corum Climate change amplifies extreme weather like droughts, which create ideal conditions for wildfires a man wearing a suit and tie: Trump has rolled back environmental protections © SAUL LOEB Trump has rolled back environmental protections

In a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, increasing signs of the brutal impacts of climate change have come into view, with record temperatures, sea ice loss and enormous wildfires scorching parts of the Arctic Circle, Amazon basin and the US itself.

Celebrities lead TED global call to act on climate crisis

  Celebrities lead TED global call to act on climate crisis With a call to "fix our climate" by 2030, Prince William on Saturday joined a global array of activists, artists, celebrities and politicians taking part in a free streamed TED event aimed at mobilizing and unifying people to confront the climate crisis. "The shared goals of our generation are clear," Prince William said in a video message kicking off the event, dubbed Countdown. "Together we must protect and restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world and fix our climate."Countdown opened with a focus on ways in which damage to the environment also fuels social and racial injustice.

Without US climate leadership “I fear that the rest of the world will not take seriously enough their obligations to reduce emissions in time to avert the He wants the US to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and has announced a -trillion climate change package to revamp the country’ s energy sector.

Without US climate leadership "I fear that the rest of the world will not take seriously enough their obligations to reduce emissions in time to avert the He wants the US to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and has announced a -trillion climate change package to revamp the country' s energy sector.

a couple of people that are talking to each other: Biden has vowed to rejoin the Paris deal © JIM WATSON Biden has vowed to rejoin the Paris deal

Scientists say the window of opportunity to contain Earth's warming is narrowing fast.

This deadline magnifies the global significance of American voters' choice between Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden to lead the world's second-largest emitter for the next four years.

Trump, who has described climate change as a hoax, has doubled down on support for polluting fossil fuels and revoked or rolled back a host of environmental standards.

And just a day after the US vote on November 3, the country will formally withdraw from the Paris agreement, the international accord aimed at restraining emissions and averting runaway warming.

a flock of seagulls standing on a beach: Global warming, which reduces the part of the Arctic Ocean that is permanently covered by ice, puts at risk species such as polar bears © Kt MILLER Global warming, which reduces the part of the Arctic Ocean that is permanently covered by ice, puts at risk species such as polar bears

Trump's signature act of climate disruption has "already diminished our moral standing, taking us from a leader to the rear of the pack", climate scientist Michael Mann told AFP.

The often-overlooked reasons why young people don’t vote

  The often-overlooked reasons why young people don’t vote Three young people explain the logistical challenges of voting in past elections.Narratives around the youth vote have long centered around apathy — that young Americans just aren’t showing up, even though elections increasingly impact them on issues such as climate change and educational debt. Michelle Obama said on a recent podcast episode, “I understand the people who voted for Trump. The people who didn’t vote at all, the young people, the women, that’s when you think, man, people think this is a game.

And just a day after the US vote on November 3, the country will formally withdraw from the Paris agreement, the international accord aimed at Without US climate leadership "I fear that the rest of the world will not take seriously enough their obligations to reduce emissions in time to avert the worst

Without US climate leadership "I fear that the rest of the world will not take seriously enough their obligations to reduce emissions in time to avert the worst impacts of climate change," he said. "That' s why I've called this a make-or-break election when it comes to the climate ."

Without US climate leadership "I fear that the rest of the world will not take seriously enough their obligations to reduce emissions in time to avert the worst impacts of climate change," he said.

"That's why I've called this a make-or-break election when it comes to the climate."

- 'Ultimate stress test' -

Earth has so far warmed on average by one degree Celsius above preindustrial levels, enough to boost the intensity of deadly heatwaves, droughts and tropical storms.

Climate change, driven by the greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, has accelerated in recent decades.

The 2015 Paris Agreement was meant to start putting the brakes on.

Under the deal, nations agreed to cap global warming at "well below" 2C.

The US undertook to cut its emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

In 2016, Trump's election heralded the unravelling of those pledges, culminating in the vow to withdraw completely from the Paris deal.

Why the US election could decide battle against climate change

  Why the US election could decide battle against climate change Who next occupies the White House could be decisive in the battle to limit global warming.Scientists studying climate change say that the re-election of Donald Trump could make it "impossible" to keep global temperatures in check.

Under a US president who pushes for climate policies, however, the world High stakes . In recent years, young people have been increasingly vocal about the climate crisis, demanding the "The future of all youth is at stake here, and there is no turning back if we pass the point of no return when

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a highly anticipated report that reveals a glimpse of Earth half a degree Celsius (0.5 C) warmer than it is today; and outlines what we must do to keep the global temperature from rising any higher .

It was the nightmare scenario to lose the support of one of the world's biggest polluters that has emboldened other nations to slow-walk their climate commitments, analysts say.

But Mohamed Adow, the director of climate think tank Power Shift Africa, said Trump showed the accord was actually "much stronger than many of us feared".

"He has been the ultimate stress test and despite his full frontal attack, no one else has followed his folly and quit the agreement," he said.

In fact, with an end-of-year deadline to upgrade their commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions, other major emitters have begun to fill the climate leadership void.

The European Commission now wants emissions in Europe cut 55 percent by 2030.

But it was China's recent vow to go carbon neutral by 2060 that has the potential to be a "game-changer", according to Lois Young, Belize's envoy to the UN, although she noted the plans unveiled by the world's largest emitter were still light on detail.

Young, who chairs the Association of Small Island States and has accused Trump of "ecocide", said countries like Brazil and India are "waiting and watching".

The Mess Congress Could Make

  The Mess Congress Could Make The Bush v. Gore fight has become the template of a disputed election, but many of the worst-case scenarios could end up before Congress, not the Court.In the current anxiety over the possibility of a disputed election, attention has focused most on the battle that could rage in America’s courts to count the votes. But Al Gore’s acceptance of the Supreme Court’s judgment in 2000 has obscured a more likely venue for that fight: Congress.

"If they come on board and leave America behind, following the China lead, I think it will minimise the damage," she told AFP.

But the US is still crucial.

Laurence Tubiana, who was a key architect of the Paris deal as France's top negotiator, said the rest of the world simply "cannot compensate" for the country's emissions.

While US states and businesses have independently acted to cut carbon, Tubiana predicted their efforts would fall short without new government policy.

In this context, she said a second Trump term would be "very bad news".

In contrast to Trump, Biden has pledged to return the US to the Paris accord.

He wants the US to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and has announced a $2-trillion climate change package to revamp the country's energy sector.

"There's no more consequential challenge" than climate change, Biden has said.

Increasingly, this position chimes with public opinion.

Some 60 percent of Americans think climate change was a major threat to US well-being, the Pew Research Center said this year, the highest proportion since the first survey in 2009.

And taking into account the drop in emissions linked to Covid-19, the group Climate Action Tracker has estimated that the US could meet its 2025 Paris targets.

"Ultimately, the transition to a zero carbon world is now unstoppable, the question is can it happen fast enough to protect the world's poorest people," said Adow from Power Shift Africa.

"The stakes for the planet could not be higher."

klm-abd/mh/adp

The Weekly Planet: The Secret Political Power of Fossil Fuels .
Coal and fracking don’t work like other declining industries, and that matters for Democrats.A decade ago, the American coal industry began to die. From 2011 to 2016, more than 39,000 jobs eroded away. At a scientific conference last year, I met a group of researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich who were curious about how this had affected American politics and, most pointedly, Donald Trump’s razor-thin victory in Rust Belt states.

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This is interesting!