Nov 24, 2018

Catastrophic climate scenarios come true

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia, Calif., this month. (Noah Berger/AP)

In three increasingly strident reports — two in the past two months — scientists reach the dire, unified conclusion that global warming is already costing lives and inflicting a mounting economic toll.

Why it matters: It will take unprecedented global action to avert potentially catastrophic scenarios in many of our lifetimes.

The latest report, with the release buried by the Trump administration on Black Friday, warns under the present course of emissions, "It is very likely that some physical and ecological impacts will be irreversible for thousands of years, while others will be permanent." 

The report, written by scientists at 13 federal agencies and extensively peer reviewed, concludes that the impact of global warming is outpacing previous projections.

The takeaway: The pace and extent of economic growth will be increasingly curtailed by a sweltering, flooded and more hostile planet. 

  • Call it Mother Nature's recession, if you will, except it will be an extended downturn.
  • The only way to avoid that would be significant steps to adapt to global warming while sharply curtailing emissions — which isn't the course we're on now.

The Black Friday climate report, formally known as the National Climate Assessment, follows a landmark U.N. science report in October, and Volume I of yesterday's report, published a year ago.

The bottom line: The decisions made in the next few years will set the course of the planet's climate far into the future.

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Trump's big, empty beef with Twitter

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump finally acted on his now year-old threat to take action against social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives. But so far, according to experts in both government and the industry, the threat looks mostly empty.

Driving the news: Trump escalated his war on Twitter Friday morning, tweeting repeatedly that the company needs to be regulated after it overnight added a warning label to a tweet of his calling for the military to start shooting looters, which violated Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence.

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.”