“We read the hullabaloo about an ‘energy crisis’ as one in a series of ongoing struggles to define the political and intellectual terrain on which we make sense of climate change and our unrelenting march into a future defined by it.” newstatesman.com/ideas/2021/11/…
“Paradoxically, it is because climate change is a permanent state that the politics of it have tended to focus outsized attention on events, whether disasters or summits, which offer discrete moments of action and attention in the face of an otherwise amorphous problem.”
“But as Gramsci knew well, it is the interim stretches that are crucial in determining how moments of acute struggle shake out.”
“The fact that deadlines are always somewhat artificial does not make them any less important as political tools. What is more challenging is emphasising the urgency of decarbonisation while also recognising the extended nature of the climate emergency.”
“Efforts to motivate the public with appeals to the dystopian future may spur action that will ward off the worst-case scenario, but may also, paradoxically, lead many to resign themselves to its inevitability.” The great @alybatt @ @GeoffPMann.

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More from @dwallacewells

26 Nov
On Wednesday, @LRB published a long essay of mine on the brutal effects of air pollution, which kills ten million a year. But beyond the moral horror, air pollution offers strategic and conceptual lessons for climate, as well. A long thread (1/x). lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/…
@LRB First, that brutality, which cannot be overlooked. Ten million deaths a year is one hundred million a decade, four hundred million in my lifetime. And the costs to human health and human flourishing extend well beyond the lives lost.
These are numbers so large they demand that we utterly reorder our moral picture of the world we live in today, recalculating our accounting of the brutality of the present and the intuitive discounting of status-quo suffering in the developing world that likely undergirds it.
Read 38 tweets
25 Nov
"As carbon dioxide emissions have surged by 50 percent in 60 years, to nearly 40 billion tonnes worldwide, the Amazon has absorbed a large amount of that pollution—nearly two billion tonnes a year, until recently."
"But humans have also spent the past half-century tearing down and burning whole swathes of the Amazon to make way for cattle ranches and farmland."
"As a result, the Amazon as a whole is now a net carbon source, mainly because of humans setting it on fire. And even subtracting emissions caused by fires, the southeastern Amazon is now a net carbon emitter."
Read 4 tweets
25 Nov
“In November, the authorities in Delhi closed schools and colleges indefinitely, suspended construction work, and shuttered half of the local coal plants after an episode of ‘toxic smog.” Life under the cloud of air pollution in India, a thread. (1/x) lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/…
“Throughout the city, particulate matter hangs around in offices, lobbies and private homes, even those with air purifiers. It often gets so thick it interferes with air travel. More remarkably, it has interrupted train travel, the smog making it impossible to see the tracks.”
“Taxi drivers have filtration systems sit shotgun to process the particulates that sneak in. Pedestrians can’t escape it, which is one reason that, on especially smoggy days, living in Delhi is the equivalent of smoking several packets of cigarettes.”
Read 12 tweets
24 Nov
Air pollution kills an estimated ten million people each year. But it does much more than that, too. A long thread on what it means that more than 90 percent of the world's population is breathing dangerously polluted air. (1/x) lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/…
"Here is just a partial list of the things, short of death rates, we know are affected by air pollution. GDP, with a 10 per cent increase in pollution reducing output by almost a full percentage point, according to an OECD report last year."
"Cognitive performance, with a study showing that cutting Chinese pollution to the standards required in the US would improve the average student’s ranking in verbal tests by 26 per cent and in maths by 13 per cent."
Read 22 tweets
19 Nov
“First they baked, then they burned, and now they’re inundated.
The Pacific Northwest and British Columbia have endured a punishing siege of climate disasters since the summer, supercharged by human-caused climate change.” washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/1…
“After an unprecedented heat wave to close June and a rash of wildfires that followed, the region is now recovering from devastating floods and landslides, blamed for at least two deaths.”
“In both western Washington and British Columbia, entire communities were engulfed by floodwaters, which entered homes and businesses early this week, displacing thousands of people. Streets turned into rivers, stranding hundreds of vehicles and leaving some areas inaccessible.”
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
“In Glasgow over the past few weeks, we were treated to one vision of the climate future: halting, inadequate policy progress coupled with ever-rising hyperbole and rhetorical alarm. In British Columbia, right now, a different vision is unfolding.” (1/x) nymag.com/intelligencer/…
“That is: one climate emergency following in the wake of another, indeed made possible by the previous disaster, and in a prosperous, modern, well-governed part of the globe, absolutely overwhelming local infrastructure and the capacity of public officials to manage the crisis.”
“In June, the Pacific ‘heat dome’ shattered temperature records in BC, forcing climate scientists to reconsider their models and killing hundreds of humans and more than a billion marine animals, along with harvests of whole regions of farmland—‘the cherries roasting on trees.’”
Read 10 tweets

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