Note — May 05, 2019

Notes From a Remarkable Political Moment for Climate Change

For the second time over the last few weeks, Bill McKibben sounds almost hopeful (!?!). Maybe we’re finally on our way to doing something serious about this?

I think I can say that we’re in a remarkable moment, when, after years of languishing, climate concern is suddenly and explosively rising to the top of the political agenda. Maybe, though not certainly, it is rising fast enough that we’ll get real action. […]

The problem is that the ultimate negotiation is being carried out with science, which adamantly rejects compromise. It doesn’t even really negotiate. It’s not interested in who gave what contribution to whom: it just takes the carbon we produce and makes the oceans ever more acidic. To answer that, at this point, means, in policy terms, a Second World War–scale mobilization to deploy renewable energy and a commitment to stop new exploration and development of fossil fuels. It means an explicit acknowledgment that their age is over, and that the transition to clean energy is our top priority.