The Hot Future Is Here: A Letter From Bloomberg Green’s Editor

Join us for the virtual Bloomberg Green Festival running through Friday, with speakers including Bill Gates. Registerhere.

These weeks ofalien orange skies over America’s West Coast weren’t on the schedule. Researchers working on a California Climate Assessment released just two years ago projected that burning on this scale wouldn’t arrivefor three more decades.

Spokane, U.S.Most polluted air today, in sensor range +0.​94° C Aug. 2020 increase in global temperature vs. 1900s average 0 6 5 4 3 2 0 3 2 1 0 9 0 4 3 2 1 0 .0 9 8 7 6 5 0 3 2 1 0 9 0 8 7 6 5 4 0 3 2 1 0 9 0 9 8 7 6 5 0 4 3 2 1 0 Parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere

$69.​9B Renewable power investment worldwide in Q2 2020 -40.​46% Today’s arctic ice area vs. historic average

50,​820 Million metric tons of greenhouse emissions, most recent annual data 51% Carbon-free net power in Germany, most recent data

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Climate events usually come with long schedules measured in increments of decades. And so do the solutions. BP might give itselfone decade to cut oil production by a million barrels and increase renewable output twentyfold. Presidential nominee Joe Biden will claima decade and a half to zero­ out greenhouse gases from U.S. electricity. Retail giant Amazon will allowtwo decades to eliminate its still-growing carbon dioxide emissions. Europe’s working on athree-decade interval to become a zero-emission continent.

The biggest consequences are also seen as generational ordeals. Perhaps we insist a bit too much that the worst will be borne by our children or theirs. Too hot to survive outdoor labor? That’s supposed to be theend of this century, near the equator. Metropolis-ending sea level rise?Later next century, along the coasts.

But look out the window—or, better yet, through the window of a colleague in California during a videoconference. That smudgy gloaming at noon is something new. There’s a quickness to the wildfires causing it, just as there was speed toAustralia’s epic burn last year. Almost nothing moves faster than this summer’s pace forbroken heat records. Even the permafrost isthawing faster.

This is life at 1C. In the blink of a decade, the ­unnerving summer of 2020 will be among the coolest on average that anyone will have experienced in the prior 10 years. This unbearable heat of our own making requires faster solutions.

Welcome to the second issue of Bloomberg Green’s quarterly magazine. You can find the contents of the issuehere, with more to come in the week ahead. Our cover story is a data narrative on this summer’s extreme heat andwhat it means for the future. Some highlights now available include:

  • The solar-powered future is assembled in China. A look inside the single biggest stop on the supply chain.
  • A vaccine for wildfires? This salesman managed to convince wealthy, vulnerable Californians to believe in it.
  • Rainforests are undergoing rapid destruction. We used satellite images to reveal the scope of the loss.
  • Money, murder and…renewable energy. Corruption and violence can sometimes shape the drive toward green development. (This is an extension of our first-ever podcast series, Blood River, which investigates the 2016 murder of environmental activist Berta Cáceres in Honduras.)
  • Is cow poop a climate solution? The natural gas industry wants to think so.
  • Three months of climate science. Summarized in just a few hundred words.
  • Green stimulus could remake coal country. Out-of-work Kentucky miners are looking for solar jobs.
  • What happens after planting billions of trees? China’s 40-year tree blitz shows the risks.
  • Good, better, best. A guide the green credentials of consumer items like diapers, pet food and beer.
  • What keeps you up at night? This time we asked an artist in China.
  • Homes that are already too hot. Climate change exposes the downside to energy-efficient design.

There’s much more to come.Check back on the issue page through next week for more.And be sure to register for the Bloomberg Green Festival, happening throughout the week.

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