Hurricane Michael made landfall in the southeastern United States this week. As of Thursday afternoon, two people were confirmed dead as a result of the Catagory 4 storm. Michael is the strongest hurricane on record to hit the U.S. in 50 years.
The storm comes amid the fallout from a United Nations report on climate change, which had intense directions on what action governments, corporations and people across the planet need to take in order to combat climate change.
As expected, the report doesn’t pull any punches: Staying at or below 1.5°C requires slashing global greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.
Meeting this goal demands extraordinary transitions in transportation; in energy, land, and building infrastructure; and in industrial systems. It means reducing our current coal consumption by one-third. It also demands a vast scale-up of emerging technologies, such as those that remove carbon dioxide directly from the air. All in the very narrow window of the next 12 years while our momentum pushes us in the wrong direction.
The report also shows there’s no avoiding the costs of climate change; we either invest now to clamp down on greenhouse gases, or we pay down the line through property damage and lost lives. The additional sea level rise of going from 1.5°C to 2°C would put another 10 million people at risk, for example.
President Donald Trump has previously called climate change a hoax (a comment which he later said was a joke). His Environmental Protection Agency just got rid of the office that advises the E.P.A. administrator on science. So how will the U.S. respond to this report?
In other U.N. news, ambassador Nikki Haley resigned this week in a move that surprised White House officials and the public alike. She’ll stay on until the end of the year, but who is on deck to replace her? Could it be Dina Powell, the former deputy national security advisor?
Brett Kavanaugh started his first week as a Supreme Court justice. How is the country recuperating after a divisive and bruising confirmation process? And how are politicians on both sides of the aisle using his spot on the bench to their advantage?
And because we’re broadcasting live from KQED, we’re including a special section on California. What’s happening in that state’s gubernatorial race? Is there a blue wave in the works in the Golden State’s Central Valley?
Catch up on the week that was with the domestic edition of the News Roundup.
Shane Harris, Intelligence and national security reporter, The Washington Post; Future of War fellow, New America; author, “At War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex” and “The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State”‘; @shaneharris
Todd Zwillich, Political journalist and radio host
Lily Jamali, Co-host and correspondent, “The California Report” on KQED
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