What Might Man-Induced Climate Change Mean? [Excerpt]
Society, Science and Climate Change [Excerpt]
The Cost of Combating Global Warming
Toward a Real Global Warming Treaty
Stick with Kyoto: A Sound Start on Global Warming
What Makes Greenhouse Sense?
What to Do About Climate Change
Copenhagen's Inconvenient Truth
How to Salvage the Climate Conference
The Low-Carbon Diet
How the Market Can Curb Climate Change
Globalizing the Energy Revolution
How to Really Win the Clean-Energy Race
Tough Love for Renewable Energy
Making Wind and Solar Power Affordable
Cleaning Up Coal
From Climate Culprit to Solution
How Big Business Can Save the Climate
Multinational Corporations Can Succeed Where Governments Have Failed
How Washington Can Bolster a Stronger Climate Deal
Why Municipalities Are the Key to Fighting Climate Change
The Geopolitics of the Paris Talks
The Web of Alliances Behind the Climate Deal
The Problem With Climate Catastrophizing
The Case for Calm
Climate Catastrophe Is a Choice
Downplaying the Risk Is the Real Danger
Paris Isn't Burning
Why the Climate Agreement Will Survive Trump
Why Trump Pulled the U.S. Out of the Paris Accord
And What the Consequences Will Be
Trump's Paris Agreement Withdrawal in Context
The Polarization of the Climate Issue Continues
Frogs won’t actually let themselves be boiled to death, no matter how gradually you raise the water temperature around them. Humans? We’ll see.
Long ago, experts started worrying about the potential consequences of man-made climate change. As the plant ecologist Charles F. Cooper wrote in Foreign Affairs in 1978, “The addition of carbon dioxide and particulate matter to the atmosphere through burning of fossil fuels and clearing of land has become a significant agent of climatic change that could measurably raise the temperature of the earth by the end of this century.”
Over time, as theory transformed itself into reality, scientific consensus grew, worries increased, and calls rose for a response. Stated abstractly, the challenge doesn’t seem insurmountable: find a way to achieve growth and development without destroying the planet. But in practice, little has been done to put the world on a sustainable course because of the complexity of coordinating and accommodating all the different players and interests involved.
Many observers regarded the 2015 Paris agreement as a turning point—the moment when the international community finally reached a consensus on how to address the challenge of global warming. But the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the accord, and its attempt to reverse Obama administration climate policies more generally, has put the matter back in play.
We’ve been tracking these issues at Foreign Affairs from the beginning and decided to gather the highlights of that coverage into one handy collection. As always, we present a full range of expert opinion and argumentation, giving readers the information and resources they need to come to their own informed opinions on the seriousness of the problem and the relative merits of alternative solutions.
In the four decades since we published Cooper’s article, things have gotten worse, not better. By this point, the frogs are starting to tell parables about us.