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Mark Hertsgaard – The Fate of the World Changed in Paris—but by How Much?

Thanks a lot, Republicans. You weren’t in Paris physically, but you still managed to prevent last week’s global climate summit from reaching an agreement that would give humanity a better than iffy chance of avoiding catastrophic sea-level rise, scorching temperatures, and killer floods and drought in the years ahead. An iffy chance is better than none, and government and civil-society leaders worldwide left Paris pledging to build on the agreement so it becomes a floor, not a ceiling, of ambition. Nevertheless, on both scientific and humanitarian grounds, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is correct to say that the Paris Agreement “goes nowhere near far enough.” And the main reason why it doesn’t are his Republican colleagues in the United States Senate, which would have to ratify any bona fide treaty the Obama administration might have preferred in Paris.

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