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The Economist (August 4)

2018/ 08/ 06 by jd in Global News

“Earth is smouldering. From Seattle to Siberia this summer, flames have consumed swathes of the northern hemisphere.” And humanity is not rising to the challenge. Three years following the Paris Accord, “greenhouse-gas emissions are up again. So are investments in oil and gas. In 2017, for the first time in four years, demand for coal rose. Subsidies for renewables, such as wind and solar power, are dwindling.” While “it is tempting to think these are temporary setbacks and that mankind, with its instinct for self-preservation, will muddle through to a victory over global warming. In fact, it is losing the war.”


The Economist (July 28)

2018/ 07/ 30 by jd in Global News

“No consequence of global warming is as self-evident as higher temperatures. Earth is roughly 1°C hotter today than it was before humanity started belching greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during the Industrial Revolution.” This summer the consequences are widespread: “Heat is causing problems across the world.” But if global warming continues, “the toll on human lives is hard to imagine.” The bright spot is that better government response appears to be saving some lives. “If only the world could take in a similar lesson about the importance of stopping climate change in the first place.”


Popular Mechanics (May 16)

2018/ 05/ 18 by jd in Global News

“Scientists have confirmed that plastic bags litter the very depths of the Earth’s oceans inside the Mariana Trench. The findings highlight a polluted region of the ocean often ignored: the very bottom.” While disturbing, the knowledge could prove a source of hope.  “The better understanding of the damage being down there, the better chance there is of correcting the damage.”


The Economist (April 21)

2018/ 04/ 23 by jd in Global News

“Humans have had a good run. But with the most recent breakthrough in robotics, it is clear that their time as masters of planet Earth has come to an end.” Such statements remain unlikely and “furniture-assembly helps explain why.” Researchers in Singapore were able to get two robots to assemble an Ikea flat pack, but it was a long, painstaking exercise. Robots and AI continue to struggle in the real world. “It seems to be a fundamental truth: physical dexterity is computationally harder than playing Go.”


The Economist (May 27)

2017/ 05/ 29 by jd in Global News

“Earth is poorly named. The ocean covers almost three-quarters of the planet.” While “the ocean sustains humanity. Humanity treats it with contempt.” One sign of this contempt is that “scientists expect almost all corals to be gone by 2050,” a time when “the ocean could contain more plastic than fish by weight.” Our very survival now hinges on successfully answering the question, “How to improve the health of the ocean?”


The Economist (April 29)

2017/ 05/ 02 by jd in Global News

“Those who doubt the power of human beings to change Earth’s climate should look to the Arctic, and shiver…. In the past 30 years, the minimum coverage of summer ice has fallen by half; its volume has fallen by three-quarters. On current trends, the Arctic ocean will be largely ice-free in summer by 2040.”


Bloomberg (August 18)

2016/ 08/ 20 by jd in Global News

“Last month wasn’t just the hottest July on record for the surface of earth. It continued the longest-ever streak of record-breaking months—15.” The data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came at an alarming time. “As more than 100,000 Americans flee destructive wildfires in California and floods in Louisiana, earth sends yet another reminder that the worst is yet to come: a new record for planet-wide heat.”


New York Times (April 19)

2016/ 04/ 20 by jd in Global News

“Civilization’s understanding of Earth has expanded enormously in recent decades, making humanity safer and more prosperous.” But a new “dark age is a growing possibility” as our ability to predict future weather patterns is disrupted by climate change. Without the ability to accurately forecast long-term phenomena, “we will face huge challenges feeding a growing population and prospering within our planet’s finite resources.”


Los Angeles Times (January 20)

2016/ 01/ 21 by jd in Global News

“2015 was Earth’s hottest year on record, and it appears the planet is still getting hotter.” If the planet conforms with 2016 forecast from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it will “mark the first time the average global temperature reached record-breaking heights for three consecutive years.”


Financial Times (December 24)

2014/ 12/ 26 by jd in Global News

“The triumph and tragedy of space flight, manned and unmanned, have been on full view over the past year.” Funding both types of space exploration is essential, as each provides benefits. “Space exploration is a worthy activity for our modern industrial civilisation. It is the ‘manifest destiny’ of humanity to move beyond Earth.”


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