And the realizations that would change my perspective forever

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When I was born in 1991, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere was 356 ppm. This year I turned 30 and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere now stands at about 416 ppm.

For the majority of my 30 years on earth, those numbers were meaningless to me.

Now, they’re the most important numbers I pay attention to.

While economists focus on GDP growth and investors focus on ROI, I focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.

GHG concentrations are now higher than during the Pliocene period over three million years ago — a time well before…

A vision of a sustainable future told through a compelling story is far more powerful than scientific facts and figures

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Crafting a vision for the future

Imagine it’s the year 2050 and we’ve successfully been able to hold global warming below the 2°C threshold (and ideally 1.5°C) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists have been warning us about.

What does that future world look like and feel like when you imagine it?

Are we more connected to nature or more connected to technology, or both?

How do we communicate and treat one another?

Do our political and economic systems function the same as they do now, or are they drastically different?

Is there more inequality than exists now or less?

Is it an extractive…

It’s a slippery slope to losing hope

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In 2018, I thought humanity was doomed.

Doomed as in we would eventually succumb to being wiped out by the forces of climate change and there was nothing we could do to stop the trajectory we were on.

In other words, I had become a climate doomer.

Fast forward to this year, and I have just graduated with my MS in Environmental Sciences and Policy and am devoting the rest of my life to taking on the climate crisis.

So how in the world did I go from believing that we were all doomed to now believing that it’s not…

Almost no debate is black and white — bitcoin’s energy consumption is no different

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The recent hot debate over bitcoin is its energy consumption. In this case, the debate is between the environmentalists and bitcoiners (i.e., those who own and believe strongly in bitcoin as an important technological innovation).

And as is the case in many debates, either side is largely refusing to hear the other out and be open-minded towards the other's concerns.

As both an environmentalist and bitcoiner myself, I believe it’s important to parse through the nuance of this debate rather than simply present a black and white view of it. …

What kind of advanced species destroys its own home?

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The (un)wiseness of our actions

Homo sapiens means “wise man”, but how wise are we really?

Sure, we discovered fire, designed the wheel, split the atom, sequenced our own genome, and landed on the Moon.

But we also lost half our wilderness, destabilized our climate, and are accelerating the sixth mass extinction. Not to mention, we’ve nearly destroyed ourselves several times now.

Would an advanced superior species actively go about destroying their own home and thus, themselves?

And when confronted with the devastating consequences of their actions, double down on them?

As just one example, the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions potential within current and planned…

If Biden is serious about dealing with climate change, then he’ll need to get to work quickly and take full advantage of his executive powers

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Joe Biden has officially been inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States today, and consequently, will chart a course for this country not only for the next four years, but decades to come.

Many news outlets called the 2020 presidential election the most consequential in history. And such a statement was not unfounded. Indeed, when it comes to dealing with the threats posed by climate change which are numerous and significant, President Biden could mark a crucial turning point from the past four years under Donald Trump.

The real question will be just how far Biden will go…

A day that will certainly go down in the history books

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January 6, 2021 will be a day for the history books. It is a day where America’s democracy was pushed to the brink of failure. Democracies are fragile things, not easily conceived and even harder to maintain.

It is a day where an unhinged man and the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, President Donald J. Trump, was directly responsible for purposefully misleading millions of citizens who voted for him into thinking the election was rigged and fraudulent, even though all evidence presented to federal and state courts could not back up these claims with even a single…

And exceeding 2°C isn’t far behind

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Article 2 of the Paris Agreement signed in 2016 stated as one of its objectives: “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

However, the world is currently not on track to avoid 1.5°C of global warming, or 2°C for that matter. In fact, we are currently on track for 3°C of warming by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels. …

Politics isn’t a sport. Yet we keep treating it that way.

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Politics shouldn’t be about winning and beating the other side

People who love sports will often use phrases like “We beat them!” or “We won!” when talking about an opposing team. Except they always use the wrong pronoun. It’s not we; it’s they. You’re not on the team, so therefore you didn’t win anything. Nor does the team actually care about you, unless of course you’re buying tickets to see their games or buying their merchandise.

In America, politics has taken on this form of a team sport. The Republicans vs. the Democrats. Talk about a rivalry! Folks from either side can barely stand one another at this point. …

The one question that is never asked in any presidential debate — and probably never will

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Foreign policy loses the spotlight

The third presidential debate is scheduled for today and the announced topics will cover the pandemic, race relations, climate change, national security, leadership, and families. In the past though, the final debate has typically focused on foreign policy. With all these topics to cover in today’s debate, foreign policy won’t receive as much attention as it normally would.

This is a shame as foreign policy is incredibly important, especially when it comes to the powers of the president. Understandably, there is less interest from the American public on foreign policy this year with a pandemic still raging out of control…

Sean Youra

Former engineer now focused on solving the climate crisis and building a better future | Founder and editor-in-chief of Climate Conscious

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