The future is a lost cause, so says the growing narrative on climate change. Humanity is doomed, and all the solutions entail giving stuff up.
This narrative isn’t just doomy. It’s dangerous. It makes it easier to imagine us all moving to Mars (a whole other-ass planet!) rather than fixing the problems we have. That’s a real issue.
I’d like to offer a different way to think about the enormous task at hand. There’s a parallel here with something we’ve all experienced: You’re going about your life. And then, you meet someone. In just the tiniest amount of time, your world is transformed forever. You can’t remember what it was like before.
If we do this right, bringing about a world that prioritizes justice and ecology is going to feel a lot like falling in love. Reckless, emotional, raw. You’re going to want to cancel your plans.
We need to fall in love with the future. I’m starting to see glimmers of that feeling in how people are talking about the idea of a Green New Deal. It’s a shift in how we think about tackling climate change. It’s all about possibility and hope that might get people fighting for something rather than fighting against something. It’s the kind of future that — now that we know it could exist — should make people really upset at the forces that attempt to block it.
At Grist, our mission is to “make the story of a better world so irresistible, you want it right now.” I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like the exact feeling of having a crush.
So go on, get swooning. If it’s not the Green New Deal for you, it’ll be something. Maybe the Sustainable Development Goals are more your type? Like my mom always told me, when the moment comes, you’ll know.