The 2020s

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Beauty can be a great motivator of action

The 2020s must be the most transformative decade in human history (in a good way), or we’ll confront the near-inevitability that the decades of the 2030s, ’40s and beyond will each, in turn, outstrip the previous as the most transformative in a bad. When even BlackRock and McKinsey are signaling that the climate crisis will be the defining issue of coming decade, there can be little doubt about the extent to which our world has changed. Great recent reporting from The Intercept on plastics / the petrochemical industry, the current US Administration’s deregulatory agenda (The War on the War on Cancer), pesticides, and how US companies are undermining progress in “healing” the ozone layer point to the complexity of the interlocking nexus of interests / challenges we face as we work to move rapidly towards climate / ecological sanity and justice.

 

I’ve previously outlined (in The Time for Climate Action is Now) a “spectrum of actions – ranging from the strictly personal to the more broadly institutional and political” which people committed to climate action might take. Foundational to almost any climate action though is simply being informed, so as you consider what your role will be in this defining struggle of our age, I urge you to make getting, being, and staying informed about climate issues a priority: The Intercept, Democracy Now!, The Guardian, and InsideClimate News are all great starting points.

For my part, I’ve resolved to make climate work my central focus in the coming years, and will be devoting the next nine months to figuring out exactly what that means. To that end, I imagine / hope that the way in which I’m using this blog / newsletter will evolve.

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Destruction, another

After all, we’ve been given a small gift. Generally, when asked to count to 10, a person starts with one, but although the online debates about whether a new decade has or hasn’t started have now mostly died down, the fact remains that there are roughly 11 years from now until the end of 2030. In the end, the atmosphere, the ocean, and the soil obey their own laws, and thresholds breached and tipping points passed can’t be argued back into equilibrium by appealing to IPCC reports, but to the extent that we’ve set an arbitrary goal of “by 2030” (and I’m giving us until the end of 2030), we have one year to gather ourselves and ten to act.

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Destruction of beauty, perhaps the greatest of all, so in honoring the legacy and immense courage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., here’s to flowers in winter (when they’re meant to be; prunus mume, I think), hope in the dark, and a new world growing to replace the old

 

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