The Uninhabitable Earth

It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

Read the full article by David Wallace-Wells, published by New York Magazine on 09/7/17, at http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html?utm_campaign=nym&utm_medium=s1&utm_source=tw

This article sparked a huge response, with numerous articles appearing over the next week either condemning or supporting him for saying it like it is (more or less). For example:

by David Roberts: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/7/11/15950966/climate-change-doom-journalism?mc_cid=0f0999589c&mc_eid=0b9f078224

by Victoria Herrmann: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/12/doomsday-narratives-climate-change-dangerous-wrong

by Margaret Klein Salamon: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/07/17/planet-warming-and-its-okay-be-afraid


Our Aversion to Doom and Gloom Is Dooming Us

I worked for over 35 years in the environmental field, and one of the central debates I encountered was whether to “tell it like it is,” and risk spreading doom and gloom, or to focus on a more optimistic message, even when optimism wasn’t necessarily warranted.

The optimists nearly always won this debate. For the record, I was—and am—a doom and gloomer. Actually, I like to think I’m a realist. I believe that understating the problems we face leads to understated—and inadequate responses. I also believe that people, when dealt with honestly, have responded magnificently, and will do so again, if and when called. ….

Read the full article by John Atcheson, published by Common Dreams on 19/07/2017, at https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/07/19/our-aversion-doom-and-gloom-dooming-us