FROM Jennifer L. Turner
How Will China and the US Accomplish Historic Carbon Reductions? For the first time Beijing has agreed to cap emissions by 2030. President Obama has pledged to cut the country’s emissions by about 27 percent by 2025. The joint agreement between President Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping took some for policy experts by surprise, but it comes after months and months of talks between Beijing and Washington. We look at why China and the US agreed to these goals. Thanks to Sasa Woodruff for production assistance.
China’s “Airpocalypse” “Airpocalypse” is a term coined last year in Beijing. In this city of Harbin, China this week, fine particulate matter in the air is estimated to be 20 times higher than safe levels. The World Health Organization says it’s enough to shorten people’s lives. Jennifer Turner is Director of the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Explosive Growth in China Causes Explosive Pollution Problems As China strives to be an economic colossus, hundreds of thousands of people are dying prematurely from un-breathable air and contaminated water. During next summer's Olympics , auto traffic and manufacturing will be curtailed in greater Beijing, and nearby coal mines may be shut down. American athletes may be housed in South Korea and flown to Beijing only to participate in their events. The International Olympic Committee says the marathon and other endurance contests may be postponed altogether. But the basic problem remains, that of mind-boggling expansion in the world's most populous country with few controls on waste and emissions. What does it mean for the rest of the world? What's China trying to do about it?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.