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While a hurricane ravages America’s east coast, sea levels rise around the globe, and the world’s largest ice shelves begin to destabilize, it’s hard to feel optimistic about the Earth’s future.

But on Thursday, September 13, as part of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, leaders from 27 of the world’s largest cities announced their climate-harming carbon emissions have peaked and are now on a downward trajectory. The cities — which include some of the world’s largest — also pledged to cut them further.

To qualify, the cities had to have peaked at least six years ago, and the peak had to be at least 10% higher than the most recent emissions data.


Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Warsaw and Washington, DC have all seen their emissions fall over the last five years.

These cities are home to over 54 million people.

“It is an incredible achievement for these 27 cities, including Paris, to have peaked their emissions,” C40 network chair and Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said. “As the greatest custodians of the Paris Agreement, mayors of the world’s great cities have once again shown that cities are getting the job done.”

[rebelmouse-image 19479210 dam="1" original_size="827x452" caption="via UNclimatechange/Flickr" expand=1]via UNclimatechange/Flickr

According to C40 Cities, a coalition of local governments working to fulfill the goals of the Paris Climate agreement, the 27 cities are seeing emissions fall an average of 2% per year while their economies have grown at a rate of 3%.

The tremendous gains by these municipalities proves how emissions can be cut without having to sacrifice economic gains.

For example, San Francisco hit peak greenhouse emissions in 2000 and has reduced them by over 30% since 1990. During this time, the city’s population has grown by 20% and its economy by 111%.

The news comes as scientists warn that global emissions must peak by 2020 to avoid environmental catastrophe.

Reversing the rise in global emissions by the target date is important because it helps meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels”.

According to Real Climate, the Earth’s temperature has risen 1 °C since the late 19th century. If it were to rise another 1 °C, it would likely result in a massive destabilization of the planet’s ice sheets, causing sea levels to rise significantly throughout the planet.

[rebelmouse-image 19479211 dam="1" original_size="545x280" caption="via geekslop/Flickr " expand=1]via geekslop/Flickr

American participation in the C40 network and the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) flies the face of President Donald Trump who has  called climate change a "hoax" and pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

California Governor Jerry Brown was blunt about his opinion of the president at GCAS. When asked how Trump will be remembered, Brown replied, “I think he'll be remembered, on the path he's now? I don't know. Liar, criminal, fool,” the governor said according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

The work done by Governor Brown and other American lawmakers shows how local governments can work to solve a massive global issue without support from Washington DC.

Actor and activist Harrison Ford gave an impassioned speech at GCAS in which he warned people about supporting politicians who deny climate change science for their own political gain.

“For God’s sake, stop electing leaders who don't believe in science,” Ford said. “Or even worse, pretend they don’t believe in science. Never forget who you’re fighting for.”

Ford also painted a dramatic picture of the consequences we face by choosing not to act.

“We are all, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, we will all suffer the effects of climate and ecosystem destruction,” Ford said. “And we are facing what is quickly becoming the greatest moral crisis of our time. Those least responsible will bear the greatest costs.”

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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Canva

Small actions lead to big movements.

Acts of kindness—we know they’re important not only for others, but for ourselves. They can contribute to a more positive community and help us feel more connected, happier even. But in our incessantly busy and hectic lives, performing good deeds can feel like an unattainable goal. Or perhaps we equate generosity with monetary contribution, which can feel like an impossible task depending on a person’s financial situation.

Perhaps surprisingly, the main reason people don’t offer more acts of kindness is the fear of being misunderstood. That is, at least, according to The Kindness Test—an online questionnaire about being nice to others that more than 60,000 people from 144 countries completed. It does make sense—having your good intentions be viewed as an awkward source of discomfort is not exactly fun for either party.

However, the results of The Kindness Test also indicated those fears were perhaps unfounded. The most common words people used were "happy," "grateful," "loved," "relieved" and "pleased" to describe their feelings after receiving kindness. Less than 1% of people said they felt embarrassed, according to the BBC.


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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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