The Guardian

Don't despair: the climate fight is only over if you think it is | Rebecca Solnit

After the panicky IPCC report on climate change, it’s easy for pessimism to set in – but that would be conceding defeat
‘Climate change is an inescapable present and future reality, but the point of the IPCC report is that there is still a chance to seize the best-case scenario rather than surrender to the worst.’

In response to Monday’s release of the IPCC report on the climate crisis – which warned that “unprecedented” changes were needed if global warming increases 1.5C beyond the pre-industrial period – a standup comic I know posted this plaintive request on her Facebook: “Damn this latest report about climate change is just terrifying. People that know a lot about this stuff, is there anything to be potentially optimistic about? I think this week I feel even worse than Nov 2016 and I’m really trying to find some hope here.”

A bunch of her friends posted variations on “we’re doomed” and “it’s hopeless”, which perhaps made them feel that they were in charge of one thing in this overwhelming situation, the facts. They weren’t, of course. They were letting understandable grief at the news morph into an assumption that they know just how the future is going to turn out. They don’t.

The future hasn’t already been decided. That is, climate change is an inescapable present and future reality, but the point of the IPCC report is

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian23 min readPolitics
Inside The Bizarre, Bungled Raid On North Korea's Madrid Embassy
In February, a gang of armed men took a North Korean official hostage and demanded that he defect. When he refused, their plan fell apart, and they fled. Who were they, and why did they risk everything on this wild plot? By Giles Tremlett
The Guardian4 min readSociety
Russia Investigated Disappearance Of Suspected US Spy As Possible Murder
Oleg Smolenkov hadn’t been seen after he went on holiday in 2017, but Russian authorities concluded he had fled abroad
The Guardian2 min readSociety
Do We Need LGBTQ Banks?
The first credit union specifically tailored to LGBTQ customers has opened in the US. Would more of them help end financial discrimination?