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Coping with Climate Change Requires a New Vision

While it’s not perfect, the New Yorker piece titled, What If We Stopped Pretending?, was the most profound and forceful article I’ve read on climate change in 10 years. Pretty sure no one felt the tension around this topic needed to be ratcheted up any further, but it’s worth everyone’s time, from climate change skeptics to ardent conservationists alike.

It really made me think about the future. I am happy to do my part, from personal conservation to raising awareness, but after reading the article, I feel all the commonly advised actions are woefully insufficient. It leaves me with an instinctive thirst for a grander vision of what society needs to transform itself into, institutionally, culturally, economically. It seems we need to go far *far* beyond planting trees, and curtailing air travel and single-use plastics. It seems we need to promote Nature from finicky parts supplier to majority shareholder, with whom harmony must never be questioned. Can the sprawling outline of our communities be at all maintained? Can workplaces (at least the information-centric ones) be allowed to continue requiring employees to be physically colocated? Can we even keep living above-ground, in our old-construction homes, with inefficient heating, cooling, and refrigeration? Is it even possible to hold fast to the concept of geopolitical borders when the habitable land of other humans literally sinks into the ocean?

What radical society must we become, not just to stop temperatures from rising, but to drive them back down? I’m sort of hoping a brash futurist rises out of the tech industry - a Sierra Club version of Musk or Jobs - to hold our hands through it all. It’s a thought borne of exasperation with international failure of governments and with personal helplessness, but it’s a foolish and selfish one nonetheless.

All I can think to do at the moment, is to listen and to talk and to continue altering my carbon-generating habits.

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