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Invert Insights July 21, 2023

– John Kerry aims to put geopolitical tensions aside to work with China on climate crisis
– A new epoch?
– North America under air quality advisory

  • US and China on Climate Crises: John Kerry aims to put geopolitical tensions aside
  • A new epoch?  
  • North America under air quality advisory

John Kerry Aims to Put Geopolitical Tensions Aside to Work With China on Climate Crisis

US climate envoy John Kerry called for urgent climate action during his visit to China. The meeting with his Chinese counterpart marked the first climate discussion since relations were frozen last August. Kerry stressed the need for progress in reducing emissions, as together, they contribute 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, broader issues between the two nations remain unresolved, and Kerry faced hostile opposition from Republicans in the US, questioning China’s commitment and his own actions.

Invert Insights:

The cooperation between China and the United States may face challenges due to previous geopolitical issues. Nevertheless, the success of achieving global climate goals heavily depends on the commitment of major emitters. Working together would strengthen global climate governance, set a significant example, and promote the interchange of knowledge and resources. 

A New Epoch?  

Scientists are suggesting that we might be in a new epoch, the Anthropocene, and they have chosen Crawford Lake in Ontario as the ‘golden spike,’ meaning the ideal marker showing where one epoch ends and another begins—typically at a major global event such as a mass extinction or climatic shift. An epoch represents a significant period, typically ranging from several million to tens of millions of years. It is defined by notable events and transformations that shape the planet’s geological and biological landscapes. As a proposed trigger for this potential new geological epoch, scientists are pointing to human activity and specific events such as the Industrial Revolution and nuclear weapons tests. Others argue, however, that it may be too soon to classify Earth’s current stage as a new epoch.

Invert insights:

While the confirmation of being in a new epoch is still subject to ongoing debate, what remains indisputable is that human actions have significantly altered the  climate and the environment. 

North America Under Air Quality Advisory

Nearly 900 forest fires are estimated to be burning nationwide, most of which are categorized as out of control by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. This relentless spread of wildfires has raised concerns about air quality, with millions of people from New York to Montana facing potential air quality advisories. 

Invert Insights:

Wildfires not only affect the environment and public health but also raise economic issues, including straining the healthcare system, increasing firefighting costs, reducing tourism, and reducing the available timber supply. As the frequency of wildfires increases, it can strain the country’s ability to respond and recover economically, meaning more resources may need to be put towards fire response and prevention that could have gone elsewhere.

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