Interview: An Influential Voice
Warns of Runaway Emissions
Fatih Birol is a man watching a clock — the clock that ticks off the years in which little is done to slow emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases. As chief economist of the authoritative
International Energy Agency, Birol has a bully pulpit, and he has used it to consistently warn that time is running out if the global community hopes to avert potentially catastrophic climate change. In an interview with Yale Environment 360
Senior Editor Fen Montaigne, Birol discusses why the emissions situation is getting worse rather than better, why an overreliance on abundant natural gas reserves is a dangerous strategy, and why the global community has to take action in the next several years if it hopes to avert temperature increases that soar way past the 2 degrees C increase that climate scientists say is a prudent upper limit. “Individual efforts of countries or sectors will not bring us to 2 degrees,” said Birol. “And if the trends continue like this, we can very soon kiss goodbye to a 2-degree trajectory.” Read the interview
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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, winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, documents the work of African researchers monitoring wildlife in Uganda's remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Watch the video.