An Arctic Expedition – The New York Times
Adapting to climate change can be a difficult subject to discuss. Thinking about how society will adapt to the consequences of climate change seems like defeatism.
The most pressing question, according to many scientists, is what the United States and the world will do to minimize the damage. Without aggressive action to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade, the damage could be horrendous.
Yet adaptation will be a big part of the future, no matter how severe climate change is. Right now, at least 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming seems guaranteed, and that’s enough to cause disruptive and dangerous changes in local weather conditions, flood levels, agriculture, and more. Communities will make changes in response.
“We no longer have the luxury of debating whether to adapt, but neither should we have rose-colored glasses about the extent to which adaptation can make a difference,” Christopher Flavelle, a Times reporter who covers climate.
Some places are already taking action to control the damage caused by climate change. Miami Beach uses dirt and rocks to lift the soil under homes and roads. Washington, DC, dug a five mile long tunnel to prevent the flooding of lower quarters. Phoenix is street paving with materials that reflect rather than absorb the heat of the sun.
Other communities are looking for how redirect their savings for a warmer future. Our colleague Andrew Kramer recently traveled to Pevek, Russia – a small port town on the Arctic Ocean, 3,500 miles from Moscow, where Andrew is based – to report on an extreme version of the economic change induced by the climate.
Pevek, the site of a Stalinist-era gulag camp, seemed like another dying city in the Russian hinterland until melting ice caps began to open the Arctic to shipping. A trip from South Korea to the Netherlands, for example, can be almost two weeks shorter across the Arctic than through the Suez Canal. “We are in a new era,” said Valentina Khristoforova, curator of a local history museum.
The city is currently renovating its port, repairing its library and building an esplanade along the Arctic Ocean, as you can read in Andrew’s story. The population grew by about 50 percent, reaching about 4,500 people.
This is consistent with President Vladimir Putin’s strategy to use climate change for both economic and geopolitical benefit. Because Russia is a major producer of oil and natural gas – just behind the United States – it also has short-term economic reasons to oppose aggressive actions to slow climate change.
In the longer term, however, Russia will almost certainly be unable to avoid the costly climate-related destruction caused by wildfires, floods and more. “The evidence suggests that the risks far outweigh the benefits,” said Marisol Maddox, Arctic analyst at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, “however optimistic the language of the Russian government is.”
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Life in the Fantasy Universe of Wes Anderson
When you watch a Wes Anderson movie, you can expect certain things. There will be vibrant color palettes, quirky characters and symmetrical planes. And you’ll notice at least a few familiar faces: The director has a coterie of actors he returns to time and time again, including Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, and Anjelica Huston. (He first picked Swinton in one of his films, “Moonrise Kingdom,” after she sent him a fan letter.)
Anderson’s New Film “The French Dispatch” Follows Events of Fictional Magazine inspired by the New Yorker. Several of the film’s cast, including Swinton and Frances McDormand, have spoken to The Times about life on set – demanding during the work day, full of family feasts at night – and what keeps them coming back.
“Sometimes you can feel isolated when you’re making a film, American films especially – the stars are in their trailers,” actress Léa Seydoux said. “With Wes, he needs a deep connection with his actors, which is why I think he works with the same people all the time.”
Anderson added, “What I like to do is go to a place and have us all live there and become a real kind of local production, like a little theater company.”
As for the film itself? “It takes some effort to keep up, and you often feel like you’re not getting everything, but it’s part of the fun,” AO Scott wrote in a review. – Sanam Yar, a morning writer
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
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Yesterday’s Spelling Bee pangram was validity. Here is today’s puzzle – or you can play it online.