News

Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition – The case for stronger, more targeted and coordinated international action

Stopping emissions requires fundamental innova-tion, rapid diffusion of new technologies, and the reshaping of markets and socioeconomic systems. This requires actions far beyond simply putting a price on carbon or adopting bold emissions goals. A more targeted, hands-on and strategic approach to policymaking is required to reconfigure the tech-nologies, business models, infrastructure and mar-kets in each of the greenhouse gas-emitting eco-nomic sectors. The Energy Transitions Commission

The Superpowers of Super-Thin Materials: In materials science, 2-D is the new 3-D

Researchers are taking super-thin layers of materials and stacking them into three-dimensional blocks that have properties distinct from both 2-D and conventional 3-D materials. The craze for 2-D chemistry began in 2004, when two researchers at the University of Manchester used cellophane tape to peel one-atom-thick layers of carbon from chunks of graphite, forming graphene. Graphene is identical to graphite and diamond in composition, but the thinness gives it very different properties: It is flexible, transparent, extremely strong and an exceptional electrical and thermal conductor. New York Times

A Decade of Urban Transformation, Seen From Above

To grasp the scale of transformation to many communities, The Upshot worked with Tim Wallace and Krishna Karra from Descartes Labs, a geospatial analytics company, using a tool that has itself evolved significantly over this time: satellite imagery. With its growing power and precision, we can see both intimate details — a single home, bulldozed; a tennis court, reinvented — and big patterns that recur across the country. New York Times

Joseph E. Stiglitz: Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy

European Union’s political leadership cannot continue with a business-as-usual approach. Europe cannot continue to be a continent of peace and broadly shared prosperity without a renewal of the vision the EU’s founders had over 60 years ago. Europe needs new institutions and new rules, govern-ing both economy and polity, based on new ideas. Foundation for European Progressive Studies

Why the Fed, Long Reticent, Has Started to Talk About Climate Change

An increase in severe weather events could lead to bank failures as property prices rapidly adjust, stoke uncertainty and harm economic growth. That makes global warming and its fallout relevant to the Fed, which is responsible for both financial regulation and for guiding the nation’s economy toward full employment and stable prices. New York Times

Flood of Oil Is Coming, Complicating Efforts to Fight Global Warming

A surge of oil production is coming, whether the world needs it or not. The flood of crude will arrive even as concerns about climate change are growing and worldwide oil demand is slowing. And it is not coming from the usual producers, but from Brazil, Canada, Norway and Guyana — countries that are either not known for oil or whose production has been lackluster in recent years. New York Times

Denmark Approves Route for a Controversial Russia-German Pipeline

Denmark gave permission on Wednesday for a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany to pass through waters in its exclusive economic zone, meaning that the project, Nord Stream 2, can be completed despite sharp criticism from the United States, Ukraine and Poland. With nearly all of its 2,400 kilometers of pipe already laid, Nord Stream 2, wholly owned by Russia’s Gazprom, should be completed roughly on schedule early next year. It is actually a pair of pipelines, complementing a previous pair, Nord Stream 1, and will double capacity to 110 billion cubic meters, or about 3.9 trillion cubic feet.

Rachel Maddow: BLOWOUT – Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth

A rollickingly well-written book, filled with fascinating, exciting and alarming stories about the impact of the oil and gas industry on the world today. While she is clearly animated by a concern about climate change, Maddow mostly describes the political consequences of an industry that has empowered some of the strangest people in the United States and the most unsavory ones abroad. New York Times