I wanted to say something similar. In my view there are 3 crucial obstacles to us achieving *any* climate targets.
1⃣ most people are still mostly ignorant of the severity, irreversibility & near-term nature of climate impacts. You have to know before you care enough to fight.
This ignorance is the fault of climate denial, sure, but lots of other factors, including scientific consensus recently narrowing on the worse side of the scale of possible impacts, poor communication and media completely dropping the ball. Huge work to be done here.
2⃣ Second, most people are not confident in what a zero emissions future looks like for them. Green electricity, maybe, but is everything else the same? And if not, is it worse? Most people perceive modified consumption as worse, when it can and indeed should be beneficial.
Here it's vital to communicate how a future based on efficiency (high tech) and sufficiency (in meeting human needs for flourishing) within a context of equity and economic democracy is our lifeboat for the next century, something to aspire to, work towards, fight for.
3⃣ Third, most people don't understand the magnitude and rapidity of the transformation that's necessary, again for *any* climate targets. That every building must be energy efficient, all transportation systems overhauled, production, consumption, diets - all changed.
It's going to be a wartime-scale (not wartime attitude) effort, or it's not going to work. It has to be the core focus of governance, economic activity, work, research, everything, not a sideshow. Btw, we rightly criticize @Shell @exxonmobil @bp_plc etc for only spending ...
a few % of their budget on green research or activities. How about criticizing our governments for the same? So we need to communicate the scale, scope, rapidity of necessary (and possible) transformation. This is impossible, in a research context where scientists ...
have to avoid being "policy prescriptive." My good god we *have* to be policy prescriptive - if not now, when? We have to propose and debate and advocate policy proposals and frameworks, not pretend some third party will do that work for us (governments are not, icymi).
And the scope-scale-rapidity of the necessary transformation means that we have to go full frontally against powerful economic actors, which means we have to be honest about the challenge of confronting fossil capitalism. You can't win a fight against an enemy you don't know.
Anyway, so those are my 3 cents regarding the "is 1.5C really really impossible? or just, like, really impossible?"
It is impossible unless we face and overcome these three challenges, which are mainly mass communication challenges.
Fun story, I am on holiday, and was hiking with my brother. He asked me how I would describe climate activists. I said 3 nice things: they (1) care deeply about science and reality; (2) feel responsible for the fate of others; (3) don't make excuses in order to disengage.
And he asked me for negative things. So I thought a bit and I found these two negatives. (1) Climate folk are terrible communicators. Yes, Greta is the exception. But think of all the celebrities, youtubers, instagramers & whatnot stars: not a single one cares about climate.
Not first and foremost. We're rubbish communicators. Some of us are better than others, but this is generally true.
The 2nd negative was that climate folk are terrible at understanding the majority of the population, how they think, what makes them tick, how they learn, etc.
So basically, in my view, we have 3 huge mass communication challenges, and the (relatively small) community which is motivated to take them on is lovely in many ways, but terrible at communication and terrible at understanding everyone else.
Which is to say, I'm not optimistic, I've never been. I try to be realistic. 1.5C is *possible* if we win fast, which requires (imo) facing the 3 obstacles outlined above. But the odds of our winning are not looking good right this second unless we step up in major new ways.

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More from @JKSteinberger

5 Apr
If the "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win" story arc of change is to be believed, we seem to find ourselves at the "then they fight you" stage for degrowth and it's not very pretty, is it.
This has been a subtweet.
Just to add that I come from a pretty aggressive & macho academic culture (physics), but I have never seen ANYTHING like these mainstream economics bros with egos (ok 95% bros) for shouting over facts that challenge their narratives. This is not how we science, my dudes.
Breaking the subtweet rule because I just can't get over Noah Smith trying to erase the very real, decades long and still happening, coercion and violence of WB/IMF structural adjustment programs by describing them as "bad advice" and "misguided demands."
Read 7 tweets
3 Apr
Terrible news - one of two activists who managed to stay in the trees protecting the Mormont hill against @LafargeHolcim 's destruction fell 10 meters today. They are alive and their life is not in danger thank god. They were effectively in police custody when it happened.
The ZAD (Zone à Défendre) was taken over by police Tuesday already. By Wednesday evening, only two people were left in the trees, the hill was cleared of everyone else. THEN THE POLICE STOLE THEIR SLEEPING BAGS AND FOOD by pretending to be medics.
So they have been up in the trees, freezing cold, little to no food and water, for DAYS, while effectively in police custody. An outrage. Why so much force against a youth movement calling for different way of interacting with our environment? Angry and sad and just horrified.
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
Glen is spot on as usual.
1.5-2°C requires huge immediate transformative changes to every sector of our economy and the economy itself. That's beyond challenging, yes, but not "impossible."
In my view, categorising something as physically impossible (when it's not) and downplaying the huge challenge and obstacles (when they are immense, especially politically and economically) BOTH contribute to keeping us on disastrous high emissions trajectories.
The challenges are HUGE and also COMPLETELY NECESSARY AND WORTH IT. Why can't we think of the climate crisis as a super bad-ass Easter egg hunt, where the eggs are all Fabergé but it's also a Ninja warrior insane obstacle course? Image
Read 4 tweets
29 Mar
I wish *you* personally understood that we are on the brink of civilizational destruction, and that *you* have to choose a side: collapse, or transformation. There are no more bystanders, just those trying to save lives, and those complicit with mass death.
*Your* actions today determine life & death tomorrow and far into the future. People keep asking me "When will it be too late to act on climate change?" and I wonder "Are you asking me when you will have permission to give up & stop caring?"
It's already too late for so many.
The dead of the storms in Puerto Rico, Barbados, Mozambique, the Philippines, Bangladesh etc etc are not coming back. The species already extinct, the ecosystems already destroyed are not coming back. But there is still so much to save. There will always be life to save.
Read 11 tweets
27 Mar
I cannot believe the scenes in Bristol. Thanks to everyone who was out there, standing for democratic rights. The police clearing the streets of peaceful demonstrators through sheer violence and brutality spells the end of British democracy and respect for human rights.
I'm not exaggerating. And if you are one of those who thinks "well the police *had* to enforce the law" - which law? Which law of the land says that its people cannot occupy public spaces for democratic expression? Which law says that its streets should be clear of citizens?
Do you really think that allowing cars to drive through some Bristol streets at 2am is worth savagely beating people & denying them their basic democratic and human rights to assemble and express themselves peacefully? This is not law and order. This is dictatorship on its way.
Read 5 tweets
25 Mar
This is essential listening. US state governments are trying to punish climate & pipeline protestors like the mafia, with anti-fossil infrastructure actions punished with DECADES in jail and million $ fines. Republican states are utterly captured by the fossil fuel industry.
So many thoughts on this. Thanks to @amywestervelt & @ClimateConnor for their coverage of this topic. One thing that came to mind is that this is centralized industry, with massive polluting sites & supply networks, using that centralisation and the vulnerability it represents...
to silence its critics *in order to maintain centralized dominance* against decentralized alternatives (i.e. renewables). The fossil industry is trying to redefine itself as vital infrastructure, where any protest or trespass is redefined as some kind of organised terrorism ...
Read 7 tweets

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