What Is Earth’s Average Temperature?

GISS measures the change in global surface temperatures relative to average temperatures from 1951 to 1980. GISS data show global average temperatures in 2017 rose 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) above the 1951-1980 mean. According to GISS, the global mean surface air temperature for that period was estimated to be 57 F (14 C). That would put the planet’s average surface temperature in 2017 at 58.62 F (14.9 C).

Why societies collapse | Jared Diamond

http://www.ted.com Why do societies fail? With lessons from the Norse of Iron Age Greenland, deforested Easter Island and present-day Montana, Jared Diamond talks about the signs that collapse is near, and how — if we see it in time — we can prevent it.

Taking Down The Elites At Davos And Fox News

After causing a stir at Davos for demanding the world’s richest people pay more taxes, Rutger Bregman, journalist and author of Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World (Little, Brown and Company 2017), was invited on Fox News to bash the liberal elite. Instead he came for Fox host Tucker Carlson, suggesting that he too was a pawn of the billionaire class. He explains why, when it comes to addressing global income inequality, the terms “liberal” and “conservative” don’t have much value.

“Since the early 90s, the vast majority of Americans have been in favor of higher taxes for the rich… these are mainstream ideas and positions, but if you watch Fox News it seems like it’s a crazy, lunatic idea,” says @rcbregman.
“Donald Trump, who doesn’t want to show his own tax returns, and who knows how many billions he has hidden away in the Cayman Islands… he was brought into power by this propaganda channel, Fox News,” says @rcbregman.
“It’s a very American idea…. If you want to make capitalism work, you got to ensure competition. If companies become too big, like it’s clearly the case with Amazon right now, you break them up, that’s what you do if you have a proper capitalist economy,” says @rcbregman.

A New Climate Tipping Point

Last week, a long-awaited report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change showed that the worst consequences of global warming would occur even sooner than previously thought. Here’s the story behind the findings.

On today’s episode:

  • Coral Davenport, who covers energy and the environment for The New York Times.

  • William D. Nordhaus, who was awarded a Nobel this year for his work on the economics of climate change.

Background reading: