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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Photographer Peter Essick documents the swift changes wrought by global warming in Antarctica, Greenland, and other far-flung places. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video that chronicles the story of a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.