As time runs out to put the brakes on global warming, world leaders seem loath to reduce gas emissions, because it's politically hard, says social scientist Clive Hamilton. Instead, he worries, we'll try to engineer the atmosphere — a tech fix that sounds quicker and simpler – but is fraught with risk.
Yale's William Nordhaus has been running the numbers on Earth's climate troubles. He says charging a fair price for any dumping of carbon dioxide into the air is a cost-effective solution. But at least half the planet must cooperate, his math suggests, or it will be all pain, no gain.
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five major mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on Earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. But this time around, writer Elizabeth Kolbert says, humans are causing the extinction.
Today's political polarization makes it seem harder than ever to tackle climate change. Republican Bob Dixson says the goals of going green aren't only for liberals. His town of Greensburg was hit by an unusually strong tornado, and now he's working on a White House task force to prepare communities like his.
France became the first European country this week to join a worldwide effort to destroy ivory. The goal is to send a warning to ivory traffickers and to anyone who might not consider buying it a serious crime.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made combating climate change a major focus during his time in office. Now, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist has a new international role to push his message. He has been appointed the U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change. Melissa Block talks with Bloomberg about the new job and what cities can do to fight climate change.
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