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We cheer for the African teams, so we’re a little conflicted with the USA-Ghana grudge match in the World Cup tonight. We harbor no illusions about USA’s chances to win the tournament. But at least we’ll have the electricity to watch it.
In our lifetime we will merely experience stronger storms, hotter heat waves, and higher floodwaters as a result of climate change. But over the course of centuries, rising seas from melting polar ice sheets threaten to erase the physical legacy of today’s coastal cities. A recent study found that sea-level rise from a global temperature increase of +3 °C would eventually threaten more than one hundred cultural World Heritage Sites, from Ayutthaya to Zanzibar, including the Statue of Liberty.
This year, a common theme of those discussions was financing for infrastructure investment in developing countries. I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that these conversations tend to focus exclusively on the need for new bricks-and-mortar infrastructure to meet needs for energy, water, or transport services, and seldom acknowledge the need to maintain the ecological infrastructure that already provides a large portion of those services for many of the world’s poor.
I love trees. Always have. As a kid I loved climbing them. As an adult I enjoy watching the wildlife that lives in them. And now as a Washington, DC-based policy wonk, I appreciate how the carbon that trees sequester from the atmosphere protects us from climate change and its regressive effects.
Avoiding dangerous climate change is possible, technologically and economically. That is one of the main takeaways from the report released Tuesday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on cost-effective ways to mitigate climate change. That report is the third of four constituting the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC. The first, on the science behind climate change, was released in September 2013; the second, on the current and future impacts of climate change, was released earlier this month. A synthesis report is set to be published in October.