2015 Year-End Roundup: On the Cusp of a Tipping Point

Day in and day out, The WorldPost chronicles two competing futures: a world coming together and a world falling apart. The year gone by has turned out to be decidedly mixed. The times ahead could unfold in either direction. Here are just a few of the many posts we published in 2015 that, taken together, illustrate how we remain poised on the cusp of an epochal tipping point.

Aware that no accomplishment ever completely meets its aims, let’s start with a review of the good news. The leaders of the most conscious species on planet Earth — Homo sapiens — embraced what Norwegian philosopher Jostein Gaarder calls “the ethics of the future” by agreeing in Paris to cut carbon emissions that in the coming decades would ruin the fragile ecology that has enabled all life forms to flourish. Climate scientist Johan Rockström lauded this leap as tipping the scale from impending calamity toward sustainability. Above all, the two largest economies most responsible for carbon emissions, the United States and China, agreed to act together. And, as California Governor Jerry Brown points out, mayors and provincial leaders from around the world have pledged joint efforts to meet climate goals below the nation-state level. The moral authority of our time, Pope Francis, weighed in with his encyclical, “Laudato Si,'” as our Vatican correspondent Sébastien Maillard reported from Rome. There is a long way to go, but as of 2015, there is consensus on the path forward and a new momentum behind collective action.

For the time being, the most worrisome prospect of nuclear conflict since the Cold War has been defused through bold diplomacy led by U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Significantly, the accord that —> Read More