Bill McKibben, one of my personal idols and environmentalist extraordinaire, wrote a piece for the new issue of Rolling Stone. The article, called “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” is a reality check on where the climate movement is today. Day after day of record-setting heat, failing international climate conferences, and an ever-stregthening fossil fuel industry: this is the reality.
The article does not present much optimism. To me though, optimism is also a big part of our reality. I believe that people can and will change their habits. I believe that the climate movement is growing faster than ever, and more and more people are realizing the dangers that loom in our present and future. The record weather is frightening, but it is also prompting the public to investigate climate change and think about the consequences.
As I wrote in an article entitled “Beware the Climate Gap,” the American public is now realizing that climate change is having an effect on our lives. People want to act and protect their homes. They know that the problem is serious, and now more and more individuals are ready to take (and already taking) action.
As McKibben says, we need to be cognizant of the dangers. We need to understand what is happening and how the climate system will react to such drastic changes. Yet we also must also be looking for opportunities to change, educate, and mobilize. Each individual has the power to act. Let’s keep up our hope and optimism.
In summary: read the article, and see what you think!