To prevent disaster, let's cancel the apocalypse.
Greta and I agree on a lot. She's wrong, though.
The apocalyptic narrative of climate discourse won't win new blood. It's just an us-and-them fight to the death.
Don't get me wrong, I'm convinced it's the only fight that matters: if our planet dies, we're fucked.
And I'm convinced it's a fight worth fighting: to riff off Taleb, we have just one world, so even if the vast majority of climate science were to be wrong, the risk - at that scale - just isn't worth taking.
The only thing is, I'm not convinced it's a fight.
The internet loves polemics: weaponised hate is the surest clickbait. But as we know, hate isn't persuasive... you can't bludgeon someone into your way of thinking.
Calling your brand 'Extinction Rebellion' certainly won't convince anyone swayed more by ideology than observable fact. Nor are we likely to be moved by same-same rational arguments about emissions, carbon-offsetting or the like, many of which are just scams by big energy, anyway.
Climate change is a topic that's just too big and too vague - it's happening all around us, yet feels distant. Mostly we think small, parochial. On our current path there's no impetus to change.
This is a time for us to realise our hopelessness, and yet still have hope.
Because the truth is, the situation is likely more dire than we realise, and our impact as individuals tinier than we think.
What's needed is continuous global policy shift and significant innovation. But it takes individuals to create the necessary pressure for change.
So to my mind, the solution requires inspiration, not pain.
Why do we care? Why do I care?
Because I fell in love:
And that's what I want for everyone.
In Climate: A New Story, Charles Eisenstein points out how every environmentalist first had a relationship with nature, not numbers. They just wanted the beauty they enjoyed to endure.
It was people like Eisenstein who gave me the confidence to follow this thinking. We can't clobber each other with facts, nor is simply ignoring the situation a choice. Our focus needs to be on nurturing our relationship with the world. Because we can't save what we don't love.
Trying to salvage Earth from the suburbs is a purely intellectual act. Bullying other people to change hasn't worked. Instead, our best first step is to inspire ourselves by experiencing nature. Getting out there and enjoying it. Savouring and celebrating it. And encouraging others to do the same.
Only then will we be open to the tangible, rational steps we must undertake to protect it. And only then will we have a chance of better uniting to protect, restore and transform our planet.
Otherwise we're just living on autopilot, with no emotional stake in the world and no care for its destruction.
Project fear has failed. It's time to get climate positive.
Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@vladshap