Dan Philibin

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Your Kids Are Not Doomed

Added on Nov 21, 2022  ·  Filed under climate optimism

We face a political problem, not a physics problem. The green future has to be a welcoming one, even a thrilling one. If people cannot see themselves in it, they will fight to stop it. If the cost of caring about climate is to forgo having a family, that cost will be too high. A climate movement that embraces sacrifice as its answer or even as its temperament might do more harm than good. It may accidentally sacrifice the political appeal needed to make the net-zero emissions world real.

Rebecca Solnit: Why climate despair is a luxury

Added on Oct 30, 2022  ·  Filed under climate optimism

Note: this is currently soft-paywalled, which wasn't the case when I originally posted it - sorry! Keeping the link, as it's a very good article and registration is free.

Prophecies are always partly self-fulfilling; by promoting whatever outcome they describe, they make it more likely. In this we can distinguish them from warnings, which assume the outcome is as yet undecided, and urge us away from the worst version. “You could be annihilated” is a very different statement from “You will be annihilated”. One includes room to act; the other puts nails in the coffin.

What motivates us to act is a sense of possibility within uncertainty – that the outcome is not yet fully determined and our actions may matter in shaping it. This is all that hope is, and we are all teeming with it, all the time, in small ways. […]

If we can recognise that we don’t know what will happen, that the future does not yet exist but is being made in the present, then we can be moved to participate in making that future.

In the meantime, 30 US states have clean energy standards or renewable portfolio standards on the books. Purple states like North Carolina have passed pro-clean-energy laws. Blue states like California and New York (and Colorado, Main, Nevada, Oregon, Washington) have laws that require getting 100% of electricity from clean sources by 2050 or before. Those laws are getting more aggressive, with shorter timelines, every few years. [...]

So however you look at it, clean energy is going to win in the US. That’s no longer in doubt. It’s inevitable. The only question is how far, how fast.