Meanwhile, Donald Trump rejects the existence of climate change, saying it is a fraud or a hoax invented by the Chinese. Because so much global warming is already “baked-in”—and because we face such a delicate moment in global diplomacy, with the Paris Agreement only recently ratified—it’s possible that a Trump presidency could ensure we simply never hit the two-degree Celsius global target and careen toward dangerous, irreversible climate change.
Bill McKibben, one of the leaders of modern American environmentalism, endorses Clinton specifically because she can be pressured on ecological and climate issues.
But if you know all this already, and just want to get onto links, here’s what I wrote this week:
First, while the race for the White House (and Congress) will shape the planet more than other elections, individual states are facing some of the most fascinating fights as they vote on climate-focused ballot questions. I wrote about it!
To wit: Floridians are voting on a deceptively-worded referendum that would make it more expensive to add solar panels to your house, and Washington is deciding whether it should adopt a carbon tax that a left-liberal coalition opposes. If adopted, the revenue-neutral carbon tax would become the most stringent in North America, pricing one ton of carbon at $25 by 2018.
Second—and this is one of the coolest climate studies I’ve ever seen—two researchers have discovered a linear relationship between atmospheric carbon and summer Arctic sea ice. This discovery allows them to definitively say: For every ton of CO₂ emitted, three square meters of summer Arctic sea ice disappears. Which, in turn, means:
The average American is personally responsible for 645 square feet of melted summer Arctic sea ice every year.
* * *
For the week beginning on October 30, 2016, the Mauna Loa observatory measured atmospheric carbon levels of 402.81 parts per million. One year ago, atmospheric CO₂ stood at 398.94 ppm. Ten years ago, when the 12th UN climate-change conference was opening in Nairobi, the observatory recorded carbon dioxide levels of 379.61 ppm.
This week, the 22nd UN conference on climate change begins in Marrakech, Morocco. The nations of the world will celebrate the ratification of the Paris Agreement and discuss how to measure the individual national commitments that signatories to the treaty have made.
Oh, and, hey: The Paris Agreement became international law on Friday.
In U.S. politics,