By David Roberts
The nations of the world have agreed that allowing global average temperature to rise more than 2 degrees from preindustrial levels would be a disaster — that 2 degrees should be avoided at all costs, and that prudence suggests aiming for closer to 1.5 degrees.
Those targets, agreed upon in December in Paris, are now almost certainly out of reach. The fight to prevent dangerous climate change was lost last night with the election of Donald Trump.
I’m seeing a lot of whistling past the graveyard about this. “The main forces determining emission levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide will be just as much out of President Trump’s hands as they were out of President Obama’s,” writes New York Times columnist Andy Revkin. There’s only so much damage Trump can do, right? This is bigger than him. Right?
Sorry, but I don’t think so.
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