A Silver Lining in Canada’s Dark Cloud?

A Silver Lining in Canada’s Dark Cloud?

Canadian scientists issued a new report on climate change this week with some especially bleak news for Canadians: Canada's climate has warmed at about twice the rate of the rest of the world. In general, the country's north is warming even faster than the south. The effect is most severe in the Prairies and British Columbia.

What to do? According to the report, "Scenarios with limited warming will only occur if Canada and the rest of the world reduce carbon emissions to near zero early in the second half of the century." So all the Canadian government has to do is persuade the governments of the United States, China, and India to take steps that sharply reduce emissions inside their countries.

For Signal readers who may be cynical about Prime Minister Trudeau's ability to change the hearts and minds of President Trump, President Xi, and Prime Minister Modi on a question of shared sacrifice, there's a bit of hope—and it happens to have been made in Canada.

British Columbia-based Carbon Engineering has created a technology it says can remove carbon dioxide from the air in a cost-effective way. The development of "carbon dioxide removal" technologies in general is enthusiastically supported by much of the international scientific community, and this latest innovation has won some backing from major energy companies. How does the technology work? Here's a useful explainer.

The bottom line: There isn't nearly enough evidence to call this innovation a breakthrough in carbon capture, much less a "magic bullet." Some climate activists warn that it will simply encourage the world to keep pumping oil rather than switching to non-hydrocarbon alternatives. But history shows that small innovations inspire larger ones, particularly where technologies are shared.

And if you're concerned this new technology doesn't yet match the global scale of the problem, remember that the alternative depends on a particularly unlikely degree of international political cooperation.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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From climate change to connecting more people to the Internet, big companies like Microsoft are seeing an increasing role within multilateral organizations like the UN and the World Health Organization. John Frank, Microsoft's VP of UN Affairs, explains the contributions tech companies and other multinational corporations are making globally during this time of crisis and challenge.

7: Among the 10 nations showing the highest COVID-19 death rates per 100,000 people, seven are in Latin America. Weak health systems, frail leadership, and the inability of millions of working poor to do their daily jobs remotely have contributed to the regional crisis. Peru tops the global list with nearly 100 fatalities per 100,000 people. Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia are also in the top 10.

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