This is the part that many people seem to deliberately misunderstand "If we were slowly raising Earth’s temperature over a few million years rather than spiking it over a few centuries, then biodiversity would be reshaped rather than decimated as life adapted to new conditions. There’s nothing inherently inhospitable about the planet being several degrees warmer – crocodiles and lemurs can live in the high Arctic if conditions are right". What makes me pessimistic is not just the misunderstanding or ignorance of what is occurring (as if simply providing good information would have an impact) but the deliberate misunderstanding which actively resists information. While there is plenty of attention and study devoted to what is happening and how we might best react, I have yet to see a credible move towards building the national and international will to respond. I'm not sure we're any closer now than we were in 2000 even with all of the supporting data gathered over the last 20 years.

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Right. For all the great science being done, and despite all the increasing talk and action on the edges of our lives, the Anthropocene (or whatever you want to call it) is not nearly the central narrative of civilization. And it needs to be. As in, fix-the-house-before-it-falls-down kind of important. And I worry a lot about the cultural forces (disinformation, nationalism, the fantasy of constant growth, etc) arrayed against arriving at that narrative. As I noted a few weeks ago, some of these forces will grow more intense as the impacts of climate change in particular increase.

There's a line from an Israeli diplomat, Abba Eban, that's relevant here - "Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources” - but I have to wonder if that will be too late to salvage enough of the familiar Earth.

(That Eban quote, Tom, is apparently the source of the oft-cited Churchill line about Americans doing the right thing after they've tried everything else. Apparently he never said anything like it.)

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