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Chris Taylor, 3-28-2019, “The Catastrophe: Climate change and the 22nd Century,” Columbia University

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Chris Taylor, 3-28-2019, “The Catastrophe: Climate change and the 22nd Century,” Columbia University, //WP
Many of my contemporaries found such comparisons overblown. In which case, I advised they read The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, a round-up of the latest climate science currently giving a lot of readers nightmares. Often, scientists of our era mince their words and make conservative projections. Wallace-Wells, in stitching their research together, is unafraid to describe the interconnecting calamities of a relentlessly warming world. And it’s hard to gainsay any of it. More droughts, more storms, rising seas, rising disease: all are coming, all will make
each other worse. To take one minor aspect of The Catastrophe: air pollution, which climate change is already making worse, will kill an estimated 150 million more people worldwide for every single degree celsius of warming, researchers estimate. This, the author points out, is the death toll of 25 Holocausts or two World War IIs. Human activity has already locked in one degree of warming compared to pre-industrial levels. Two, three, or four more may come along before you do. If anything, a name like “The Catastrophe” undersells what may be about to happen — just as “four degrees of warming” sounds like a fight over the thermostat instead of the end of our entire way of life.

Wangshu 21
China's high-speed railway network has led to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a recent study has shown. Published in the journal Nature Climate Change last month, the study was carried out by researchers from Singapore, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. The research found that the high-speed railway connection has led to an annual reduction of nearly 11.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by replacing road traffic, equal to 1.33 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in China's transport sector. Researchers explained that the mitigation came from more cargo being switched to greener regular-speed trains instead of roads. With the development of the high-speed railway network, passengers have more choices and opt for bullet trains, which opens up capacity on slower trains for freight shipments. The research also found that the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway-one of China's busiest high-speed railway lines and which opened in 2011-led to the highest overall reduction of emissions of 2.39 million tons per year on average. The study also found the current electricity-powered high-speed railway network in China produces more emissions than cars since electricity production in the country relies heavily on coal. But researchers "suggest that in greener electricity conditions, the direct passenger flow substitution of high-speed rail can contribute positively to the reduction in GHG emissions".

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