If there’s one thing that I hope folks can take away from this newsletter, it’s that talking about climate change is the most important thing any of us can do. Discussing the biggest problem facing humanity with everyone you know is urgently needed. It’s the only thing that can build the political movement required to build a better world.
And it takes courage.
Take Mozambique. Cyclone Idai is about as bad as it gets. A month after it tore through the region, 1.85 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, according to the U.N. That’s more people than live in San Francisco and Seattle combined — yet talk of the disaster has almost disappeared from public discourse.
It’s easy to understand why: It’s uncomfortable to engage with the fact that one of the poorest countries in the world was hit with a storm of unprecedented strength that was worsened by climate change. The more we avoid facing the facts of climate change — the less we talk about the core causes of the problem — the worse they get. Avoidance leads to delay, and we’re running out of time.
We are at the most important moment of our lives — and the most important moment in human history. It doesn’t matter if we don’t feel courageous — we are ready to face climate change, because we must be.
Here’s an easy rule to keep in mind: If the thing you’re considering will help bring about a world that is justice-centered and livable for all species, you have to do that thing. So just do the thing. I really don’t care if it seems hard or unrealistic or if it doesn’t poll well. Make it easier. Make it more realistic. Make it poll better.
It really is now or never, folks. So don’t hold back.
Eric Holthaus is buckling down on an upcoming personal project. He will return in May.