In global politics and policy, Brazil ratified and joined the Paris Agreement, the third-largest country by emissions to sign on. Brazil is also the largest emitter in Latin America. At this point, 27 parties representing 39 percent of global emissions have joined. Fifty-five parties representing 55 percent must do so for it to enter “legal force.”
John Kerry is “more and more confident” the agreement will enter force before Obama leaves office. If legally activated this year, the United States could not depart the Paris Agreement until 2020.
Costa Rica ran on entirely renewable energy (and mostly hydroelectric power) for two straight months this summer.
New Zealand is granting legal personhood to the Whanganui River in order to recognize its importance to the Maori.
In U.S. policy, President Obama designated a new expanse of Atlantic Ocean as a marine monument on Thursday. One-hundred-thirty miles off the coast of Cape Cod, it’s the first protected ocean in the Atlantic ever.
Justin Gillis’s lengthy investigation into how climate change is already affecting the United States— it just looks like coastal flooding—is of course worth reading. A panel of climate scientists said it reflected scientific consensus accurately.
Meanwhile, the flooding that Louisiana saw earlier this month looks exactly like the kind of flooding that climate change would trigger.
And it sure looks like oil companies gave generously to state attorney generals right before the AGs sued to prevent the Clean Power Plan.
In historical reading, my colleague Brentin Mock has a good overview of the National Park Service’s racist and eugenicist origins in honor of its 100th birthday. Madison Grant, a friend of Teddy Roosevelt’s who helped conserve the first American parks, also wrote The Passing of the Great Race, a hugely influential work of scientific racism.
This week, the Anthropocene looked like: Testing a dumpster with bear workers. Massive trucks driving wind-turbine blades up a mountain. A bridge more than 1,800 feet tall nearing completion in southwestern China. (Is it worth adding that the Sears Tower is only about 1,750 feet tall?) And Typhoon Meranti loosing a giant inflatable moon balloon on Fuzhou.
This is the last Not Doomed Yet of Northern summer/Southern winter. The September equinox, and with it the transition to Northern autumn, comes next Thursday. The sun will shine over McMurdo Station in Antarctica for 11 hours, 11 minutes today.
Here’s what that Antarctic sunrise will look like, as seen from a satellite.