2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?)
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2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?)
When we call these dangers existential, that is exactly what we mean: They threaten the very existence of civilization… http://goo.gl/EZmlVF
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Elizabeth Warren Launches Exploratory Committee for President

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NASA Climate Kids :: How do we know the climate is changing? - Last Updated 9/27/18

NASA Climate Kids :: How do we know the climate is changing? - Last Updated 9/27/18 | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

"So what if Earth gets a tiny bit warmer?

The sky is still blue. Trees are still green. Wind still blows. Clouds are still white and fluffy. Rain still pours from the sky. Snow falls and it still gets really cold sometimes in some places. Earth is still beautiful.

So what is the problem? What is the fuss about climate change and global warming?

Well, after observing and making lots of measurements, using lots of NASA satellites and special instruments, scientists see some alarming changes. These changes are happening fast—much faster than these kinds of changes have happened in Earth's long past.

Global air temperatures near Earth's surface rose almost one and one-half degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Eleven of the last 12 years have been the warmest on record. Earth has warmed twice as fast in the last 50 years as in the 50 years before that.

One and one-half degrees may not seem like much. But when we are talking about the average over the whole Earth, lots of things start to change."

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2018 - Is there hope? A brief history of climate change: 1712-2013

2018 - Is there hope? A brief history of climate change: 1712-2013 | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
1999 - Human population reaches six billion.
2001 - President George W Bush removes the US from the Kyoto process.
2001 - IPCC Third Assessment Report finds "new and stronger evidence" that humanity's emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause of the warming seen in the second half of the 20th Century.
2005 - The Kyoto Protocol becomes international law for those countries still inside it.
2005 - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair selects climate change as a priority for his terms as chair of the G8 and president of the EU.
2006 - The Stern Review concludes that climate change could damage global GDP by up to 20% if left unchecked - but curbing it would cost about 1% of global GDP.
2006 - Carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and industry reach eight billion tonnes per year.
2007 - The IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report concludes it is more than 90% likely that humanity's emissions of greenhouse gases are responsible for modern-day climate change.
2007 - The IPCC and former US vice-president Al Gore receive the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".
2007 - At UN negotiations in Bali, governments agree the two-year "Bali roadmap" aimed at hammering out a new global treaty by the end of 2009.
2008 - Half a century after beginning observations at Mauna Loa, the Keeling project shows that CO2 concentrations have risen from 315 parts per million (ppm) in 1958 to 380ppm in 2008.
2008 - Two months before taking office, incoming US president Barack Obama pledges to "engage vigorously" with the rest of the world on climate change.
2009 - China overtakes the US as the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter - although the US remains well ahead on a per-capita basis.
2009 - Computer hackers download a huge tranche of emails from a server at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit and release some on the internet, leading to the "ClimateGate" affair.
2009 - 192 governments convene for the UN climate summit in Copenhagen with expectations of a new global agreement high; but they leave only with a controversial political declaration, the Copenhagen Accord.
2010 - Developed countries begin contributing to a $30bn, three-year deal on "Fast Start Finance" to help them "green" their economies and adapt to climate impacts.
2010 - A series of reviews into "ClimateGate" and the IPCC ask for more openness, but clear scientists of malpractice.
2010 - The UN summit in Mexico does not collapse, as had been feared, but ends with agreements on a number of issues.
2011 - A new analysis of the Earth's temperature record by scientists concerned over the "ClimateGate" allegations proves the planet's land surface really has warmed over the last century.
2011 - Human population reaches seven billion.
2011 - Data shows concentrations of greenhouse gases are rising faster than in previous years.
2012 - Arctic sea ice reaches a minimum extent of 3.41 million sq km (1.32 million sq mi), a record for the lowest summer cover since satellite measurements began in 1979.
2013 - The Mauna Loa Observatory on Hawaii reports that the daily mean concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958.
2013 - The first part of the IPCC's fifth assessment report says scientists are 95% certain that humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.
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Why We Keeping Ignoring Climate Change Warnings

Why We Keeping Ignoring Climate Change Warnings | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

"You’d think the end of the world would be enough to get us scared. Humans have always been an exceedingly risk-averse species—which is how we came to survive as a species at all. If there are lions on one part of the savannah, we go to another. If crocodiles keep coming out of the river, we fish somewhere else. So when it comes to the loss of the entire planet, well, we ought to take action. And yet we don’t; we never do.

That odd contradiction is on display again, in the wake of an announcement by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that a catastrophe is nigh—that that distant future of an Earth best by floods, droughts, wildfires and typhoons isn’t distant anymore, but as little as 12 years away. Unless we act dramatically and fast, the report says, by 2030 temperatures will have risen to 2.7º F (1.5º C) above the average of the pre-industrial era—the threshold that has long been cited as the tipping point for calamity. And while the announcement has been reported widely, the public reaction—again, as always—has been meh.

Volumes of research have been published over the decades trying to explain how and why we so often miscalculate risk—over-preparing for things that are not likely to hurt us and ignoring or shrugging off the things that are. The bad news for environmental scientists and policymakers trying to wake the public up to the perils we face is that climate change checks almost every one of our ignore-the-problem boxes."

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Climate change: IPCC report warns rapid changes needed to stem catastrophic global warming

Climate change: IPCC report warns rapid changes needed to stem catastrophic global warming | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

"Governments around the world must take "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, says a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change.

The report issued Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.

The date, which falls well within the lifetime of many people alive today, is based on current levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
The planet is already two-thirds of the way there, with global temperatures having warmed about 1 degree C. Avoiding going even higher will require significant action in the next few years.

"This is concerning because we know there are so many more problems if we exceed 1.5 degrees C global warming, including more heatwaves and hot summers, greater sea level rise, and, for many parts of the world, worse droughts and rainfall extremes," Andrew King, a lecturer in climate science at the University of Melbourne, said in a statement.

Global net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach "net zero" around 2050 in order to keep the warming around 1.5 degrees C.
Lowering emissions to this degree, while technically possible, would require widespread changes in energy, industry, buildings, transportation and cities, the report says.


"The window on keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C is closing rapidly and the current emissions pledges made by signatories to the Paris Agreement do not add up to us achieving that goal," added King."

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The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say - The

The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say - The | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

"The world stands on the brink of failure when it comes to holding global warming to moderate levels, and nations will need to take “unprecedented” actions to cut their carbon emissions over the next decade, according to a landmark report by the top scientific body studying climate change.

With global emissions showing few signs of slowing and the United States — the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide — rolling back a suite of Obama-era climate measures, the prospects for meeting the most ambitious goals of the 2015 Paris agreement look increasingly slim. To avoid racing past warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over preindustrial levels would require a “rapid and far-reaching” transformation of human civilization at a magnitude that has never happened before, the group found.

“There is no documented historic precedent” for the sweeping change to energy, transportation and other systems required to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wrote in a report requested as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.


At the same time, however, the report is being received with hope in some quarters because it affirms that 1.5 degrees Celsius is still possible — if emissions stopped today, for instance, the planet would not reach that temperature. It is also likely to galvanize even stronger climate action by focusing on 1.5 degrees Celsius, rather than 2 degrees, as a target that the world cannot afford to miss. 


“Frankly, we’ve delivered a message to the governments,” said Jim Skea, a co-chair of the IPCC panel and professor at Imperial College London, at a press event following the document’s release. “It’s now their responsibility … to decide whether they can act on it.” He added, “What we’ve done is said what the world needs to do.” 


The transformation described in the document is breathtaking, and the speed of change required raises inevitable questions about its feasibility."

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Sounding Code Red: Electing the Trump Resistance

Sounding Code Red: Electing the Trump Resistance | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
With the primary season winding down and the midterms soon upon us, it’s time to point out that this election is not about what you may think it’s about. It is not a choice between the particular basket of policies offered by the candidates for House or Senate in your district or state — policies like gun control, right to choose, free trade or fiscal discipline. No, what this election is about is your first chance since 2016 to vote against Donald Trump.

As far as I am concerned, that’s the only choice on the ballot. It’s a choice between letting Trump retain control of all the key levers of political power for two more years, or not.

If I were writing the choice on a ballot, it would read: “Are you in favor of electing a majority of Democrats in the House and/or Senate to put a check on Trump’s power — when his own party demonstrably will not? Or are you in favor of shaking the dice for another two years of unfettered control of the House, the Senate and the White House by a man who wants to ignore Russia’s interference in our election; a man whose first thought every morning is, ‘What’s good for me, and can I get away with it?’; a man who shows no compunction about smearing any person or government institution that stands in his way; and a man who is backed by a party where the only members who’ll call him out are those retiring or dying?”

If your answer is the former, then it can only happen by voting for the Democrat in your local House or Senate race.
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The Doomsday Clock just moved: It’s now 2 minutes to ‘midnight,’ the symbolic hour of the apocalypse

The Doomsday Clock just moved: It’s now 2 minutes to ‘midnight,’ the symbolic hour of the apocalypse | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says the Doomsday Clock “is as close to midnight today as it was in 1953, when Cold War fears perhaps reached their highest levels.”
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Here’s how to score Trump’s State of the Union address

Here’s how to score Trump’s State of the Union address | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
If you must.
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Exclusive: Here Is A Draft Of Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review. He Wants A Lot More Nukes.

Exclusive: Here Is A Draft Of Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review. He Wants A Lot More Nukes. | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
In his first year in office, President Barack Obama gave a landmark address in Prague in which he famously affirmed “clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” The commitment to total nuclear disarmament was a major departure from the George W. Bush administration — the first time, in fact, that the United States had declared a nuclear-free world a major policy goal.

Now, eight years later, it’s the Trump administration’s turn to lay out its nuclear weapons policy. And according to a pre-decisional draft of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) obtained by HuffPost, Trump’s Department of Defense has gone a decidedly different route: new nukes, for no good reason.

The final version of the NPR is scheduled to be released in February. You can read the draft in full at the bottom of this article. A Defense Department spokesperson declined to comment on the draft, saying that the agency “will not discuss pre-decisional drafts of the document.”

In October, NBC reported that President Trump had told a gathering of high-ranking national security leaders that “he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.” While the report doesn’t nearly go that far, it does call for the development of new, so-called low-yield nuclear weapons — warheads with a lower explosive force.

The logic of those pushing for the development of smaller nukes is that our current nuclear weapons are too big and too deadly to ever use; we are effectively self-deterred, and the world knows it. To make sure other countries believe that we’d actually use nuclear force, the thinking goes, we need more low-yield nukes.
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False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump’s Nuclear Risk

False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump’s Nuclear Risk | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
It was the sort of nightmare that had only ever been real for most people’s parents or grandparents — the fear of an impending nuclear attack. “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii,” read the emergency alert that residents of the Aloha State received on Saturday morning. “Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

The authorities quickly announced that the alert was a mistake. But it made tangible the growing fears that after decades of leaders trying to more safely control the world’s nuclear arsenals, President Trump has increased the possibility of those weapons being used.

At a time when many are questioning whether Mr. Trump ought to be allowed anywhere near the nuclear “button,” he is moving ahead with plans to develop new nuclear weapons and expanding the circumstances in which they’d be used. Such actions break with years of American nuclear policy. They also make it harder to persuade other nations to curb their nuclear ambitions or forgo them entirely.

Mr. Trump has boasted about the size and power of America’s nuclear arsenal, threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, pushed for a massive buildup of an arsenal that already has too many — 4,000 — warheads and wondered aloud why the United States possesses such weapons if it isn’t prepared to use them.
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Powerful Pictures Show What Nuclear ‘Fire and Fury’ Really Looks Like

Powerful Pictures Show What Nuclear ‘Fire and Fury’ Really Looks Like | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
These historic pictures show the aftermath of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a black-and-white reminder of what “fire and fury” actually looks like—although the capabilities of modern nuclear weapons far outstrip those of their mid-century counterparts.
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North Korea advances its nuclear power: Live updates

North Korea advances its nuclear power: Live updates | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
"North Korea best not make any more threats to he United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," Trump said. "They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen."
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76 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump

76 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

"Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change.

To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 70 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been involved in more than a third of the policy reversals identified by The Times. Scott Pruitt, the head of the E.P.A. who spearheaded the administration’s agenda of environmental deregulation, resigned after facing a number of ethics scandals. Andrew Wheeler, the new acting chief of the agency, is a former coal lobbyist who also wants to roll back environmental regulations.

Rules targeted for reversal so far include key Obama-era efforts to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, as well as broader air and water pollution controls and protections for threatened animals and habitats. The Trump administration has, in many instances, pared back these regulations in favor of more expansive energy extraction policies — often as a direct response to petitions from oil, gas and coal companies. Mr. Trump has argued that supporting the fossil fuel industry strengthens the economy."

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Preparing for the Future | A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change | US EPA - Last Updated 5/9/2017

Preparing for the Future | A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change | US EPA - Last Updated 5/9/2017 | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
Preparing for the Future

Because carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have been building up in the atmosphere, climate change is already happening, and more changes are in store that will affect people and the environment in many ways. While it's important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, changes to the climate have already begun, and more changes will happen in the future.

That's why it's so important for people to plan for both the immediate and future impacts of climate change. Planning now will help keep societies healthy and strong by making it easier for people to successfully adapt to the changes that lie ahead.

Select a topic to explore some of the ways people can prepare for climate change.

Severe Weather
Rising Seas
Drought and Wildfires
Health
Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems
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What Humanity Must Do to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change

What Humanity Must Do to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

A landmark United Nations report on Monday warned that sufficiently limiting man-made global warming will “require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” in order to avoid dramatic global consequences, including rising sea levels, dying coral reefs and human casualties due to extreme heat.

The special report — published Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — assessed what it will take to limit global temperature increase to no more than 2.7º F (1.5º C) above preindustrial levels, in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement. Scientists consider that temperature to be a tipping point at which many severe effects of global warming will be realized.

“Examples of actions include shifting to low- or zero-emission power generation, such as renewables; changing food systems, such as diet changes away from land-intensive animal products; electrifying transport and developing ‘green infrastructure’, such as building green roofs, or improving energy efficiency by smart urban planning, which will change the layout of many cities,” the report said.


The report called climate change “an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet,” and warned that delayed action would make it impossible to limit warming to 2.7º F. 


“While the pace of change that would be required to limit warming to [2.7º F] can be found in the past, there is no historical precedent for the scale of the necessary transitions, in particular in a socially and economically sustainable way,” the report stated. “Resolving such speed and scale issues would require people’s support, public-sector interventions and private-sector cooperation.” 


Here are some of the changes that will need to be made in order to stop the current pace of global warming:"

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Final call to save the world from 'climate catastrophe'

Final call to save the world from 'climate catastrophe' | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

It's the final call, say scientists, the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures.


Their dramatic report on keeping that rise under 1.5 degrees C says the world is now completely off track, heading instead towards 3 degrees C.


Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".


It will be hugely expensive - but the window of opportunity remains open.


After three years of research and a week of haggling between scientists and government officials at a meeting in South Korea, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5C.

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New UN Climate Report Dims Hope For Averting Catastrophic Global Warming

New UN Climate Report Dims Hope For Averting Catastrophic Global Warming | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

"The world is rapidly running out of time to scale back greenhouse gas emissions, dimming hopes of keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, beyond which catastrophic planetary changes are forecast.

That assessment comes from a sobering new report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, the leading United Nations consortium of researchers studying the speed and scope of human-caused temperature rise.

“This is one of the most important reports ever produced by the IPCC, and certainly one of the most needed,” Hoesung Lee, the chair of the body, said at a press conference in South Korea on Monday. “Climate change is already affecting people, livelihood and ecosystems all around the world.”

He continued: “Every bit of warming matters.”

The report ― authored by 91 researchers and editors from 40 countries citing more than 6,000 scientific references and released Sunday night following a summit in Incheon, South Korea ― details how difficult it will be to keep the planet from warming beyond the 1.5-degree target, considered the aspirational goal of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

To meet that target, the world would need to aggressively phase out fossil fuels to meet net-zero emissions by mid-century, and remove carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases out of the atmosphere from then on, according to the IPCC. More immediately, emissions would have to drop by about 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030.

At 1.5 degrees of warming, small islands and major coastal metropoles like New York City, Mumbai and Jakarta risk disastrous flooding without costly sea barriers.

Yet carbon emissions began growing again last year after a three-year plateau as fossil-fuel emissions hit an all-time high. Emissions have quadrupled since 1960, and globally the last four years have been the warmest four on record, according to an international report released in August.

“I see so little evidence that 1.5 is achievable that I think that the main impact of a focus on 1.5 will be to demoralize people,” Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, said in an email Sunday. 

Under President Donald Trump, the United States ― the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita ― is shredding every major policy to reduce its carbon footprint. The U.S. has also stopped giving money to a fund that helps poorer countries invest in clean energy and adapt to a warming world.


In a surprise move late last year, the White House signed off on a lengthy report by dozens of federal agencies that concluded the planet has entered the warmest period “in the history of modern civilization,” with global average air temperatures having increased by 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last 115 years. And buried in a report released in August, the White House said it assumes a cataclysmic 4 degrees Celsius (or 7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming is inevitable by the end of the century."

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Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040 - The New York Times

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040 - The New York Times | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

"A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.

The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization. “We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.

The authors found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels by 2040, inundating coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty. Previous work had focused on estimating the damage if average temperatures were to rise by a larger number, 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), because that was the threshold scientists previously considered for the most severe effects of climate change.


The new report, however, shows that many of those effects will come much sooner, at the 2.7-degree mark."

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How to Be a Prophet of Doom

How to Be a Prophet of Doom | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

In the [September 1961] essay’s*  most remarkable passage, [Hans J.] Morgenthau envisioned the apocalyptic annihilation whose enormity his contemporaries seemed unable to grasp:

'Nuclear destruction is mass destruction, both of persons and of things. It signifies the simultaneous destruction of tens of millions of people, of whole families, generations, and societies, of all things that they have inherited and created. It signifies total destruction of whole societies by killing their members, destroying their visible achievements, and therefore reducing the survivors to barbarism. Thus nuclear destruction destroys the meaning of death by depriving it of its individuality. It destroys the meaning of immortality by making both society and history impossible. It destroys the meaning of life by throwing life back upon itself.
It is easy to ridicule or dismiss Morgenthau’s warnings now. After all, we avoided an all-out nuclear war. If Morgenthau was a “prophet of doom,” his prophecy failed. But this was surely his intention. He was a self-defeating prophet of doom. He foretold a nuclear apocalypse to help us imagine — and so to avoid — what had been unthinkable.'

Today, there are about 9,200 stockpiled nuclear warheads in the world. About 4,300 of these are controlled by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which has been investing heavily in modernizing its forces and ominously flaunting a new range of destructive weapons. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, contrary to President Trump’s triumphalist Twitter announcement, has not promised “denuclearization” in any common-sense understanding of the term.

About 4,000 of the world’s nuclear warheads are in the hands of a United States president whose nuclear “policy” oscillates between antagonizing and inexplicably praising the ruthless leaders of nuclear states. Trump is now supported by a secretary of state and a national security adviser who hold even more alarming views. And yet most of America seems to be in denial.

What would Morgenthau say to us now? And would we listen?


*“'Death in the Nuclear Age,' an essay in Commentary magazine that detailed in stark terms the cost a nuclear war would exact on humanity. It was both a warning and an attempt to spread existential fear."

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Ground Zero of Amphibian 'Apocalypse' Finally Found

Ground Zero of Amphibian 'Apocalypse' Finally Found | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
Many of the world's amphibians are staring down an existential threat: an ancient skin-eating fungus that can wipe out entire forests' worth of frogs in a flash.

This ecological super-villain, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has driven more than 200 amphibian species to extinction or near-extinction—radically rewiring ecosystems all over Earth.

“This is the worst pathogen in the history of the world, as far as we can tell, in terms of its impacts on biodiversity,” says Mat Fisher, an Imperial College London mycologist who studies the fungus.
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Brief History of the Doomsday Clock

"You've heard of the book 'A Brief History of Time' by Stephen Hawking (who, incidentally, is on our Board of Sponsors)? Well, this is a brief history of the Bulletin's Doomsday Clock, set to a song by Arielle Martinez Cohen, a high school student who wrote 'Two Minutes to Midnight' after hearing about the Clock last year. You can get a free download of the song at CD Baby."

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‘I cannot express how wrong I was’: Country guitarist changes mind on gun control after Vegas

‘I cannot express how wrong I was’: Country guitarist changes mind on gun control after Vegas | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
The Josh Abbott Band's Caleb Keeter feared for his life during the mass shooting, and now says, “We need gun control RIGHT. NOW.”
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Violent clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville

Violent clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it
"CHARLOTTESVILLE -After a morning of violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters, police ordered hundreds of people out of a downtown park - putting an end to a noon rally that hadn’t even begun. • Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m. • Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly at about 11:40 a.m., and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, where hundreds of neoNazis, Ku Klux Klans members and other white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. They were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Princeton professor Cornel West."
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Rescooped by Dennis Richards from Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KGCCI) - "But the minute [Trump's] door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades." Thomas L. Friedman
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Climate Change Now Impacting U.S., Government Report Warns

Climate Change Now Impacting U.S., Government Report Warns | 2 Minutes to Midnight - Threats to the existence of civilization… (Under 2 Minutes in 2019?) | Scoop.it

The review also summarizes the key findings of thousands of studies, conducted by tens of thousands of climate scientists across the globe over a period of decades:

- Global evidence makes clear that today’s climate is changing rapidly compared to the natural climatic changes that have occurred throughout Earth’s history.


- The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation and extreme heat events are increasing in most regions of the world, consistent with the expected physical responses to a warming climate.


- Human activities—especially emissions of greenhouse gases—are primarily responsible for the observed changes in climate since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. There are no alternative explanations or observed natural cycles that can explain recent climate change.


- Atmospheric CO2 levels have now passed 400 parts per million, a concentration last seen about 3 million years ago, when average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today.


- The world is not reducing emissions enough to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius relative to preindustrial temperatures by 2100, the goal of the Paris Agreement.

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