It’s been five years since this article came out. I asked a geologist friend to evaluate its conclusions, because they were so striking as to seem almost unbelievable. The geologist agreed: climate change isn’t just about the world getting a little bit hotter, or a bad drought or hurricane here and there. It could actually render the planet uninhabitable by humans.
In the jungles of Costa Rica, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.
How can we make things better? Hint, hint: politicians aren’t that interested in radical systemic change. They are trained to think in the short term (poll to poll, election cycle to election cycle) just like corporations. While ESG investing provides a lifeline for investors and even consumers to align their ideals with their pocketbooks, it’s not enough. Extinction Rebellion has some good ideas, but street theater is not enough. Constitutional challenges on behalf of future generations in the United States have gone exactly nowhere.
Let’s not leave Greta Thunberg on her own here.
What is needed? A radically new mindset. Solutions that allow individuals to pool their collective knowledge and resources and effect change quickly. We need to stay positive and respect human rights as well as economic justice. This is a fight that will be won or lost in the Global South.