The Wider World

Stop “War on Nature”: UN chief

CALIFORNIA has been hit by huge summer wildfires for several years. Above, a blaze outside of Redwood City in 2017 (Flickr/Bob Dass).

The secretary-general of the United Nations has called for an end of what he called “a war on nature,” demanding an urgent shift away energy uses which create carbon pollution.

Antonio Guterres pleaded on Wednesday for stronger efforts to combat climate change, which many scientists say is a factor in more frequent and powerful hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves.

According to the Associated Press, he said, “The state of the planet is broken,” during an address at Columbia University in New York City. “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal.”

A virtual climate summit is set for Dec. 12 in France, marking the fifth anniversary of the 2015 agreement in which nations pledge to reduce “greenhouse gases” that are warming the atmosphere. President Donald Trump removed the United States from the agreement; president-elect Joe Biden has vowed to reverse that.

The goal of the Paris pact is to keep world climate temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees higher than it was in pre-industrial times.

The News: Quarantine for fewer days?

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday is now recommending that people exposed to another person with the coronavirus need self-isolate for seven to 10 days, instead of the previously recommended 14 days. A person with a negative COVID-19 test would be required to have just a seven-day quarantine period. An untested person with no symptoms would need to quarantine for just 10 days, according to United Press International.
  • After a booming performance on Tuesday, Wall Street settled down to a more typical trading day. The Dow Jones Average rose by 59.87 points while the S&P 500 was up by 6.56 points. Nasdaq declined by 5.74 points.

The Weather: Chilly but a fire danger

The weather may be darn cold at night, but Santa Ana winds gusting up to 30 miles an hour have placed Orange County in “red flag warning” status for fires by the National Weather Service, a status which may persist through Saturday. In the West Orange County area, Wednesday’s overnight high will be around 47, but winds could be strong. Thursday will be sunny and 74, but with strong winds, again up to 30 mph. Daytime highs will be in the mid- to low-70s with calmer skies through Saturday. Along the coast, highs will drop into the mid 60s during the day by Friday and into the weekend.

Sports: Men of Steelers still unbeaten

In an unusual Wednesday night game, the Pittsburgh Steelers came unusually close to losing a game, but nevertheless prevailed for a 19-14 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Ben Roethisberger passed for 266 yards and one TD for the winners, but his receivers dropped five passes in the red zone.  Robert Griffin III of the Ravens passed for just 33 yards, but was the game’s top rusher with 68 yards, including one 39-yard romp. Pittsburgh is now 11-0, while the Ravens are 6-5.


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