2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #5

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 26, 2020 through Sat, Feb 1, 2020

Editor's Pick

Social tipping points are the only hope for the climate

A new paper explores how to trigger them.

Egg on Edge 


Egg on the edge. Fine balance, tipping point etc. Risk, danger concept or metaphor. by Sarah2, Shutterstock

At this point, the targets enshrined in the Paris climate agreement — holding the rise in global average temperature to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius, with efforts to limit to 1.5°C — are beyond the reach of incrementalism. If the world’s large economies had begun a slow, steady reduction in greenhouse gas emissions back in the 1990s, it might have sufficed. But action has been delayed so long now that only rapid, radical change can still do the job.

As I wrote in a somewhat gloomy post earlier this month, the world is not exactly filled with happy signs and portents these days. The chances of sudden, coordinated change in a positive direction seem ... slim.

If there is any hope at all, it lies in the fact that social change is often nonlinear. Just as climate scientists warn of tipping points in biophysical systems, social scientists describe tipping points in social systems. Pressure can build beneath the surface over time, creating hairline fractures, until a precipitating incident triggers cascading changes that lead, often irreversibly, to a new steady state. (Think of the straw that broke the camel’s back.) It is less a matter of simple cause and effect than of emergent network effects that are unpredictable and somewhat mysterious even in retrospect.

Social tipping points are the only hope for the climate by David Roberts, Energy & Environment, Vox, Jan 29, 2020

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on the Vox website.

Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun, Jan 26, 2020

Mon, Jan 27, 2020

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Wed Jan 29, 2020

Thu Jan 30, 2020

Fri Jan 31, 2020

Sat Feb 1, 2020

Posted by John Hartz on Saturday, 1 February, 2020

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