We all need an occasional dose of hope, especially when it comes to climate change. Choosing the right kind makes a huge difference, so give McKibben’s newsletter a thorough reading this week:
Left or right, physics doesn’t much care about your wishful thinking
I spent the weekend in Reno, Nevada with, among other people, my old friend Rebecca Solnit. We were there to rally voters and knock on doors in one of the nastiest elections in the country—and at such times Solnit’s powerful reflections on hope are a balm and a spur. Ever since her landmark 2004 book Hope in the Dark, she’s been a kind of spokeswoman for the proposition that we can make progress on our struggles—especially the climate fight—if we mobilize together, build our strength, and break the power of the fossil fuel industry. Climate change, she once wrote, is very real, indeed coming
faster, harder and more devastating than scientists anticipated. Hope doesn’t mean denying these realities. It means facing them and addressing them by remembering what else the 21st century has brought, including the movements, heroes and shifts in consciousness that address these things now. This has been a truly remarkable decade for movement-building, social change and deep shifts in ideas, perspective and frameworks for large parts of the population
I thought of this when reading two important recent accounts from pundits about how we should be thinking about climate change. One comes from the progressive Ruy Teixeira, longtime pundit and analyst at liberal bulwarks like the Center for Amnerican Progress and the Brookings Institution. He’s long argued that demographics favor the emergence of a progressive majority, and that leftists should be more “optimistic” about the future. In this case, staring down the barrel of a mid-term election that could go badly for Democrats, he assigns much of the responsibility to a climate policy and rhteoric that he thinks has strayed too far in the direction of renewable energy, influenced by an “unhinged” Greta Thunberg and an overenthusiastic Sunrise Movement with its call for a Green New Deal…
Read the whole newsletter here.