I use the idea of peak indifference to describe the moment when activists no longer have to try to convince people that a problem is real (the problem does that itself, by ruining ever-more-people's lives), and then the job switched to convincing people that it's not too late to do something about it (if the day you finally decide to take rhino population declines seriously is the day they announce there's only one rhino left, there's a powerful temptation to shoot that rhino and find out what it tastes like).
Ove Wired, Boing Boing contributor Clive Thompson (previously) asks whether we're at that point, and, if so, what can be done to avert the nihilism that so often follows from denialism.
That means the current political moment is incredibly interesting. Anyone who wants to deal with climate change may have only a brief window to sell the public on a plan. In his new book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, the writer David Wallace-Wells talks about the value of panic to pushing collective action; Doctorow says it’s the point “where you divert your energy from convincing people there’s a problem to convincing them there’s a solution.”
This is why the stakes are so high in the debate over the Green New Deal that Democrats recently introduced in Congress. The young environmental activists of the Sunrise Movement flooded DC this winter to push for a resolution. Six Democratic presidential candidates now support it in principle. And the Yale–George Mason survey found 81 percent of all Americans support the general concept, including—remarkably—57 percent of conservative Republicans. Clean energy policy “has a huge social consensus,” Leiserowitz notes.
We Might Be Reaching 'Peak Indifference' on Climate Change [Clive Thompson/Wired]
(Image: Alvaro Dominguez for Wired)
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena today reports new evidence of accelerating glacier melt in Antarctica. “Observations from 11 satellite missions monitoring the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have revealed that the regions are losing ice six times faster than they were in the 1990s,” reads the NASA JPL announcement. “If the current melting trend […]
Twenty-five experts have issued a warning about the potentially cataclysmic consequences of the rapidly shrinking insect population, reports The Guardian. In a two-part article for Biological Conservation, the scientists wrote: “The current [insect] extinction crisis is deeply worrisome. Yet, what we know is only the tip of the iceberg.We know enough to act immediately. Solutions […]
Scientists say 20.75º C logged at Seymour Island is ‘incredible and abnormal’
In case you’re one of those computer shoppers who instinctively turns up their nose at the very mention of the word refurbished, here are a couple myths worth dispelling. Refurbished equals junk somebody didn’t want. While desktops, laptops, notebooks, Chromebooks and tablets marked as refurbished may have been unboxed at some point, meaning they can […]
Electric bikes aren’t toys. And they aren’t a fad. In fact, more and more communities are starting to catch on that e-bikes are a lot more than an amusing gadget for the tech geek. Following a six-month study, Johnson County, Kansas, home to many Kansas City suburbs, became just the latest U.S. community to allow […]
Whether you’re living in a city that has already taken measures to reduce plastic bag use, the small silver lining of the pandemic has inspired you to make changes, or you’ve already started living a greener lifestyle, reusable produce bags are a great addition to your shopping routine. And if you’re going to invest in […]