Climate Chaos Can Be Prevented. Here’s How.


You may have read some dismal headlines this week: On Tuesday, enough ice melted in Greenland to cover Florida with two inches of water, fires engulf northern California and parts of the Mediterranean, and Europe still under water.

In today’s newsletter, we give you the chance to learn more about your role in the climate crisis. We’re also wrapping up the final season of Modern Love and sharing your favorite hits of the summer.

When you think of ways to tackle the climate crisis, you might. the choices you control: Taking shorter showers. Bringing your own thermos to Starbucks. Being a vegetarian.

This ethic of individual responsibility that our world will stop warming if we can stop using plastic straws and plow the Suburbs has dominated climate discourse for decades. But the idea has complex origins and is not so simple in effect.

Take an example: A study published this summer revealed how ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has spent years creating and promoting a message of individual responsibility in tackling the climate crisis. After decades of denying the reality of climate change, Exxon one of 20 companies Responsible for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions, the company has strategically sought to shift responsibility for this pollution to the consumer in recent years. The company says Exxon is meeting the “demand”, with a claim that individualizes responsibility for the problem, deflects guilt, and ignores the opportunity to move to cleaner energy alternatives.

In a recent episode, we spoke with our international climate reporter, Somini Sengupta, about the extreme, devastating weather patterns we see around the world. Instead, we decided to focus specifically on pathways for structural change. Europe’s broad recommendations Reducing reliance on fossil fuels, including eliminating the sale of new gasoline and diesel powered vehicles over the next 14 years.

“Somini reminded me that the window to implement climate solutions quickly closes before things really get out of control. So from a solutions perspective, you need to engage a lot of people with large-scale changes very quickly,” said Michael Simon Johnson, executive producer of the episode.

The show sought relief that meaningfully reducing carbon emissions would require sweeping policy changes at the government level and an overhaul of the world’s energy grids. And changing the clean energy supply will ultimately have a downward impact on consumer demand.

Therefore, while individual choices still contribute to overall emissions, understanding the nature and extent of emissions requires more structural thinking. We asked Somini for reading suggestions to develop a more holistic understanding of the problem and possible solutions.

  • Project Drawdown is a comprehensive “solution table” to help alleviate climate chaos (you can View the full report here). The chart makes it clear that diets are a crucial step in the right direction as individuals demand more plant-rich and less meat-based diets. food manufacturers limit waste equally important.

  • In “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case of Hope and Healing in a Divided World,” Katherine Hayhoe, optimistic view on why collective action is still possible and how it can be accomplished.

  • All We Can Save” is an anthology of the writings of 60 women, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katherine K. Wilkinson, who share pioneering, gender-sensitive perspectives and solutions to the impending crisis.

The Modern Love podcast wrapped up last week after a season exploring everything. open marriages and a mysterious case catfishing, with horoscope and mutual relations closed borders.

They chose podcast co-hosts Daniel Jones and Miya Lee to get you in the spirit of summer love. five favorite episodes from recent seasons:

  • “Why Do People Get Married?” Jake Maynard’s grandmother married a third time when she was in her 80s. Watching the ceremony unfold on a sticky June day, Jake wondered if marriage was care, tradition or tradition. something else entirely.

  • Meet Smurf at Year Zero“Forty years ago, something almost magical happened at a maternity ward in the mountain town of Spalding, Jamaica. The two stories in this episode are like fantasy, but far from that. you can only finally breathe.

  • “When Her Shorts Are Too Tight”: In August 2017, millions of people gathered around America to watch the moon obscure the sun during the total solar eclipse. But one woman was struck by another sight: her husband in “tight, bright orange nylon shorts that fit like hot pants.” Is he embarrassed or jealous?

  • “Dusty Dangerous Dog”: In the dog days of summer, a shelter dog in Austin, Texas has become a local legend. This story about a man and his four-legged friend, always a balm.

  • Left Me There”: Kacey Vu Shap has spent 25 years trying to forget the Vietnam orphanage of her youth. But her three best friends encouraged her to visit as an adult. “You saw the ugliest part of my life and yet you didn’t care,” Kacey told them. the chapter on gratitude and friendship.

Many of you wrote to us in response. annual summer playlist, sharing their own songs of the summer. We loved listening to them and added them to the playlist.

Tarrah of San Francisco, Forrest Nolan’s “summer weather” and Olivia Coffey of Austin, Texas, Lorde’s “solar energy” gave him ‘happiness’. Alan Clement of Kansas City listens: “Rawnald Gregory Erickson Second” by STRFKR and “SugarOne Way Out reminded Suz of Washington DC to “lose those toxic connections and focus on the people who bring you joy.”


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