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None of the world’s major economies, including those in the G20 group, have a sufficient plan to meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change. The policy-analyst group Climate Action Tracker looked at the policies of 36 countries, plus the European Union, that are responsible for 80% of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Only the Gambia’s climate action is compatible with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 ℃. Seven countries’ policies were almost good enough, including the United Kingdom. Russia and Singapore are among the nations whose policies were judged to be badly insufficient.
Reference: Climate Action Tracker report
Parts of the world that have stuck to elimination strategies for COVID-19, such as China, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia, are considering how they might live with the virus in the long term. Australia announced on 6 August that it will abandon the elimination strategy once most of its population is vaccinated. New Zealand is sticking with its strict approach. These places are grappling with how vaccination will change the equation — and how to balance the desire for more openness with an expected rise in severe illness and deaths.
Features & opinion
Politics will be poorer without Angela Merkel’s scientific approach, argues a Nature editorial. The departing German chancellor’s support for science and rigour in policymaking has proved transformative — except on climate change.
As part of the Brazilian Reproducibility Initiative, neuroscientists Olavo Amaral and Kleber Neves coordinated a huge effort to replicate 60 experiments from 2 decades of Brazilian publications. They’re still working on it, but they have already reached conclusions that apply beyond Brazilian science. Part of the problem: the requirement for wide-ranging experiments in a single article. “Instead of asking every author to conduct a decade’s worth of confirmatory experiments,” they argue, “the scientific enterprise might be better served by other mechanisms to establish the validity of a claim — perhaps beyond the scope of a paper.”
“We are drowning in a sea of data and starving for knowledge,” said biologist Sydney Brenner in his Nobel prize lecture in 2002. The problem is only getting worse, argues geneticist Paul Nurse, a fellow Nobel laureate and the director of the Francis Crick Institute in London. “It is as if speculation about what the data might mean and the discussion of ideas are not quite ‘proper’,” Nurse writes. He argues that more openness to reasonable new ideas and interpretations will advance research and inspire up-and-coming scientists.