September issue: Managing the transition away from fossil fuels

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JOHN MECKLIN

Climate change action requires…action

The move toward low- and no-carbon energy systems will be a practical process, guided by governments, businesses, and the people who run them. Dive into editor-in-chief John Mecklin’s introduction to our September issue:

Managing the transition away from fossil fuels.

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NEIL GUNNINGHAM

Financing a low-carbon revolution 

Financial markets can and should become key drivers in achieving a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy. If they fail to do so, the risk of catastrophic climate change appears ever more likely.

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ELLIOT DIRINGER, BOB PERCIASEPE

The climate awakening of global capital

The connection between the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic was not lost on dozens of the world’s central bankers, who recently described the pandemic as “a real-life stress test of what we could potentially experience in an increasingly unstable climate.”

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YONATAN STRAUCH, ANGELA CARTER, THOMAS HOMER-DIXON 

However the pandemic unfolds, it’s time for oil use to peak—and society to prepare for the fallout

The decline of oil’s dominance will start with a peak in demand. The coronavirus pandemic presents activists with several openings to keep oil demand from ever returning to its pre-pandemic peak.

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JEAN-FRANÇOIS SEZNEC

Why US-Saudi Arabia relations will continue to be close, even when climate action reduces demand for oil

The old paradigm of oil-for-security as the cornerstone of the Saudi-US relationship will increasingly become moot when renewables start replacing oil. However, the relationship between the two countries will continue for two main reasons.

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SAGATOM SAHA

The climate risks of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China benefits, at the expense of US interests, by claiming its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a green project. However, BRI projects so far have contributed to emissions that will push global warming past 2 degrees Celsius. To combat China’s false claims of environmental leadership, there are steps the US should take.

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DANIEL M. KAMMEN

Over the hump: Have we really reached the peak of carbon emissions?

The slow-down in demand for fossil-fuels that came with the COVID-19-induced recession tipped the balance in favor of clean, renewable energy. But much depends on what we do next: Will we use this hiatus to craft a new, green, and job-creating economy?

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GARY R. EPPICH

Nuclear forensics: How science helps stop the trafficking of nuclear materials

Nuclear forensics is an essential activity in support of counter-nuclear smuggling operations. Dive into the case study of a nuclear materials interdiction in Australia to see how nuclear forensics can help law enforcement in the prosecution of nuclear smugglers and traffickers.

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ANDREW FUTTER, SAMUEL I. WATSON, PETER J. CHILTON, RICHARD J. LILFORD

Nuclear war, public health, the COVID-19 epidemic: Lessons for prevention, preparation, mitigation, and education

The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call to the impact that would befall the world if nuclear weapons were ever to be used again. Overwhelming pressure on health-services, disruption to normal life, suspension of civil liberties–these would all be magnified many times over in the event of a nuclear explosion.

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