At WP, Robert Kagan notes that the Saudi government's assassination of a journalist is one bad sign among many: "There have been many other similar warning signs: China’s arrest of the head of Interpol; the Burmese military’s campaign of genocide against the Rohingya; the systematic and deliberate slaughter of civilians in Syria, including by outlawed chemical weapons; the Russian invasion of Ukraine and seizure of Crimea." Kagan continues:
We want to believe that Hitler and Stalin were bizarre products of another era. But the Hitlers and Stalins are all around us, waiting to reveal themselves if given half a chance. Today we know a Vladimir Putin who has grand ambitions but not yet the capacity to realize them. He reveres Stalin, but he is not Stalin. But what would a less constrained Putin be? Today a more powerful China is abandoning the cautious foreign policies of Deng Xiaoping’s weaker China. What will an even less constrained China be like? Who can say whether either of these powers might in time become a threat on a par with those we faced in the past if they are allowed to expand their regional and global influence by military means?
And how quickly might this happen? Quicker than we think. A character in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” asked how he went bankrupt, responds, “Gradually and then suddenly.” That is a fair description of how the world order collapsed before the two world wars, and of how it likely will collapse in our own time. Welcome to the jungle.
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the IPCC said in a new assessment. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday.
The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was approved by the IPCC on Saturday in Incheon, Republic of Korea. It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.
The report's full name is Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
"One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes," said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.
The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2°C.
"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems," said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.