donald trump

A Little Light for the Clouded Enlightenment

Image: On Jeopardy facts win; The Paragraph

The United States is the world's first liberal democracy, a product of the The Enlightenment. As such, the founders built it on the principles of unity, liberty, tolerance and equal rights. And they designed it to make policy based on factual knowledge and bathed in the light of reason. But, today, in the time of Trump, factual knowledge is getting clouded over in several ways.

Trump gives Bernie some good advice

Donald Trump The Liar is no fan of Bernie Sanders, so any advice he gives is totally self-serving. Nevertheless, he can occasionally tell the truth, if only by accident.

World to Write Rulebook for Climate Action

Image: Kartowice, Poland (Wikipedia)

The annual world climate talks take place in Katowice, Poland, this week and next. For this year the goal is to come up with a rulebook for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.

A major goal of that agreement, made in December three years ago, is to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial average. As of last year, the planet stood at 1.0°C (1.8°F) warmer.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's top authority on the subject, produced a report for use at the meeting. The report focuses on the 1.5°C goal.

Effects of Warming

Effects of warming as we go from present to 1.5°C warmer, and then to 2.0°C, include ever higher risks to society. From the IPCC report:

B.1. Climate models project robust differences in regional climate characteristics between present-day and global warming of 1.5°C, and between 1.5°C and 2°C (3.6°F). These differences include increases in: mean temperature in most land and ocean regions (high confidence), hot extremes in most inhabited regions (high confidence), heavy precipitation in several regions (medium confidence), and the probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions (medium confidence).

B.3. Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C.