There are plenty of memes circulating the internet these days about how awful 2020 is. There were plenty of memes circulating the internet about how awful 2019 was. But 2021? Really looking forward to it.
Awfulness. Our new metric.
Here’s a cheerful thought. COVID-19 is just blip on the list of awful things we are going to be dealing with. Make a list of everything terrible you are worried about right now. Say, war, hunger, racism, economic and political collapse, and disease, to get you started.
Now mix this in. Everything you can think of to include on a list of what worries you in the world outside yourself will be made exponentially worse by climate change.
Now, I’m not particularly interested in telling you how to feel about this fact. You’ll have feelings about it one way or another and you will choose what attitude and approach you will take for yourself.
However, should you choose to fight, to work for a world that’s not defined by varying degrees of awfulness and suffering, you will need information.
Here are some books you can read to arm yourself with knowledge about what’s happening to our planet.
If you only have time to read one, make it this one:
The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert, 2014
If you have time for more:
The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells, 2019
Losing Earth: A Recent History, Nathaniel Rich, 2018
This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate, Naomi Klein, 2014
Hardcore dive: Carbon Ideologies, Vol. 1 & 2, William T. Bollmann, 2018
And published today, one I haven’t read but intend to:
The Future Earth, Eric Holthaus, 2020