Facts, and Opinions, this week

“The Paris Agreement is adopted,” said French foreign minister Laurent Fabius late Saturday at the Paris climate summit. Weary delegates cheered and applauded the global agreement on tackling climate change, reached by 195 countries after years of preparation and two weeks of grinding negotiations.

“The most difficult part is over,” said Fabius, banging a green gavel to signal the deal. The negotiations are done, the deal is made. And  now the hard work begins.

F&O will provide context and commentary in the coming week. The massive agreement on climate change measures includes financial pledges to help developing nations; hold the temperature increase to “well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” and seek to limit it to 1.5 degrees; reach peak greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible;” and take stock in 2023 of success in curbing greenhouse gases.   Read the agreement here on the site of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Inside F&O’s pages, our stories this week include:

Depiction of mass bomber raid on Cologne, by The National Archives, UK. via Wikimedia Commons

Warfare remains outside climate talks

Climate watch: the world cannot afford a war. By Penney Kome, Over Easy columnist

War, the most costly and damaging human activity, is outside the scope of Paris climate talks. “If the war was ranked as a country in terms of emissions, it would emit more CO2 each year than 139 of the world’s nations do annually, more than 60 percent of all countries, said one report.

Losing my religion. By Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda columnist

Why Christian religious extremists are just as dangerous as Islamic ones

Beijing in smog on Nov. 29. Photo by LWYang/Flickr/Creative Commons

Beijing smog

Vancouver’s housing bubble inflated by China’s air pollution. By Jonathan Manthorpe, International Affairs columnist

Vancouver’s grossly inflated housing market, the United Nations’ climate conference in Paris and China’s catastrophic environmental degradation are all linked in a circle of cause and effect.

Alaa Murabit: Libyan Women, identity, country and faith, by Christopher Majka, Looseleaf column

Alaa Murabita, a Canadian born-woman of Libyan heritage, and a physician and activist, founded the Voice of Libyan Women following the overthrow of the Gaddafi dictatorship.

Assemble portrait, © Assemble

© Assemble

Turner Prize must not restrict Assemble to ‘art’. By Emma Curtin

The collective Assemble, winner of the Turner Prize 2015, had a major role in a successful urban regeneration project. It’s a significant project worthy of recognition by a major national award –although an art prize may surprise.

Photos of the Year: Reuters

From the migration crisis in Europe to hippos on the loose in Tbilisi and rioters attacking a policewoman in Burundi, Reuters photographers tell the story behind some of the most iconic pictures of the year.

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