Christiana Figueres. Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer. Photo: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images On September 23, the United Nations opened its Climate Action Summit here in New York, three days after the Global Climate Strike, led by Greta Thunberg, will sweep through thousands of cities worldwide. To mark the occasion, Intelligencer will be publishing “State of the World,” a series of in-depth interviews with climate leaders from Bill Gates to Naomi Klein and Rhiana Gunn-Wright to William Nordhaus interrogating just how they see the precarious climate future of the planet — and just how hopeful they think we should all be about avoiding catastrophic warming. (Unfortunately, very few are hopeful.) Christiana Figueres was the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change beginning in 2010, when the organization had just failed to deliver any meaningful progress at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen, through 2016, when it had, … [Read more...] about Former U.N. Secretary Christiana Figueres: ‘We Have a Conceptual Lag’ on Climate
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Illustration: Robert Beatty This article was featured in One Great Story, New York’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly. “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.” When the novelist William Gibson said this — probably in the late ’80s, though, like a lot of prophetic aphorisms, when he first said it is not exactly clear — he was describing distribution by place: iPhones arriving en masse in Steve Jobs’s United States, all-inclusive social-credit scores blanketing Xi Jinping’s China, antibiotic-resistant superbugs cropping up in India before spreading as far as the Arctic, climate change flooding the Ganges Delta in Bangladesh long before it conquers New York or Tokyo. But the distribution is uneven in time, too, because the future never arrives all at once with the thunderclap of a brave new world suddenly supplanting the comfortable old one. Which is why future-gazers like … [Read more...] about The Weirdness Is Coming
(CNN)While astronomers estimate that the Andromeda galaxy will collide with our own Milky Way galaxy 8 billion years from now, they now believe that another collision will happen even sooner. Photos: Wonders of the universe An artist's impression of the Milky Way's big black hole flinging a star from the galaxy's center. Hide Caption 1 of 147 Photos: Wonders of the universe The Jack-o'-lantern Nebula is on the edge of the Milky Way. Radiation from the massive star at its center created spooky-looking gaps in the nebula that make it look like a carved pumpkin. Hide Caption 2 of 147 Photos: Wonders of the universe This new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures two galaxies of equal size in a collision that appears to resemble a ghostly face. This observation was made on 19 June 2019 in visible light by the telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Hide Caption 3 of 147 Photos: Wonders of the universe A new SPHERE/VLT image of … [Read more...] about Our galaxy is due for a catastrophic collision, study says
Photo: ElizabethForMA via Youtube Do we know anything new about Elizabeth Warren, now that we’ve seen her DNA test results? Besides, I mean, that she seems to have questionable judgment about when and when not to take the president’s bait. Before we learned that Elizabeth Warren most likely had a native ancestor somewhere between six and ten generations ago, we knew that she did not belong to a tribal nation, and that her connection to Native American identity was based largely on family lore. We now know that lore has some evidentiary basis. But the criticism of Warren’s claims around her identity has never been about the purity of her bloodline, but about the facts of her experience as a person in the world. As Nick Martin writes on Splinter, Warren “is not Native because she is not, and has never been, a Native American to anyone else, especially not Native peoples.” Has the discovery of a Native predecessor changed that? If not, do we really know … [Read more...] about DNA Testing Can’t Tell Us Who We Really Are. It Can Tell the Cops.
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images Despite the lack of an election campaign, there was probably a small victory party in Menlo Park on Tuesday night: Finally, a major news event had passed in which no one was blaming Facebook. For all the social network’s elaborate preparation — and for all the close fact-checking attention of news organizations — the election had come and gone, and no one seemed prepared to suggest that Facebook, or social media more generally, had played a decisive role, for good or for ill. So far, the close races have come down to the kind of standard modern political campaigns we’re much more used to, not networks of state-sponsored Russian bots or Macedonian teenagers spreading conspiracy theories for money. The idea of anyone writing an article claiming that “Republicans Control the Senate Because of Facebook” seems far-fetched. This is, needless to say, a striking change from 2016, when Facebook was … [Read more...] about Facebook Stopped Russia. Is That Enough?