An abandoned phosphate harbour in Aiwo on the Pacific island of Nauru. Nauru is one of many Pacific islands threatened by climate change.

An abandoned phosphate harbour in Aiwo on the Pacific island of Nauru. Nauru is one of many Pacific islands threatened by climate change.

The United Nations says “we’ll need to cut emissions by half before 2030 and go carbon-neutral by 2050,” according to a new report. At least, that’s how Wired summarized.

Pulling off that kind of reduction seems like a real challenge — particularly without buy-in from all nations. President Donald Trump has said he thinks climate change is a “hoax”, though he did walk that claim back, saying it was a joke. (In the same comment, he said climate change is a “very, very expensive form of tax.”)

The report also warns against a half-degree centigrade rise in planet temperature. This may not seem like much. But a half-degree is a huge deal. “A half a degree of warming could be significant for small island nations, which are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and other climate change impacts,” reports The New York Times.

So, what can governments around the globe do about climate change? What about the rest of us? And how can we avoid soul-crushing despair about the future of the planet (asking for a friend)?

Produced by Stef Collett. Text by Gabrielle Healy.

Guests

  • Coral Davenport Energy and environment correspondent, The New York Times. @CoralMDavenport
  • Diana Liverman Professor of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, and one of the authors on the IPCC special report on 'Global Warming of 1.5 °C'. @DianaLiv
  • Ted Halstead Founder, president and CEO of the Climate Leadership Council, a research and advocacy organization. He founded New America, a public policy think-tank. He is author of "The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics."

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