Climate Change / Pollution

Fossil Fuels are a threat to civilization, new U.N. report concludes

INCHEON, South Korea — “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a daunting report, suggesting that we are currently on track for around 3 degrees Celsius of warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC authors promise that we will see coastal cities swallowed by the sea, global food shortages, and $54 trillion in climate-associated costs as soon as 2040.

… many of the policymaking conversations around curbing greenhouse gas emissions revolve around how to incentivize fossil fuel producers to gradually wean off their bread and butter through pricing mechanisms, rather than the kind of breakneck regulatory phase-out that would pre-empt economic and environmental ruin. Oil companies — eager to paint themselves as allies in the climate fight — welcome the approach. Several fossil fuel producers are now sponsoring efforts like the Climate Leadership Council, or CLC, and its carbon tax plan, which would kneecap the government’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide directly while levying a modest fee on emissions — high enough to continue disincentivizing coal, but too low to pose a threat to oil and gas. The plan would also pay out a yearly $2,000 dividend to individuals around the U.S., without using revenue to fund things like green infrastructure or research and development.

Amid the doom and gloom that tends to accompany climate stories, it’s easy to lose site of who’s largely responsible for today’s mess, and who should pay the highest price as we navigate through it.”

— Kate Aronoff, The Intercept

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