The World Is On Fire. There’s No Right Way to Feel About It.
By Mary Annaïse Heglar
Earlier this week, I had a call with a reporter about the seeming rise in climate nihilism. You know, that thing where people survey the severity of the climate crisis and decide it’s too much, it’s too late, let’s give up. In my time as a climate-conscious person, I’ve noticed that this feeling of nihilism in the public climate discourse tends to come and go, and it seems to be almost always when there’s a new batch of unprecedented disasters all at once, which means that a new batch of people are confronting just how much trouble we’re in.
That often looks like a lot of people giving up. But if you look closer, I think, it looks more like a lot of people just getting started.
I know if I’m being honest about my early days waking up to the climate crisis, I had a hardcore nihilism spiral. Once I realized that there was no “stopping” global warming, I felt like all was lost and there was no point. I think it’s actually a pretty rational and relatable reaction.
The difference now is that there’s a lot more people going through that process in public–and a lot more people actually listening. When I went through my process, I was not yet a public person. I didn’t even have Twitter yet. But even when I tried to talk about it offline, people shut their ears. So, in that way, I actually think what we’re seeing in terms of “nihilism” is progress. And we should let people grieve without chiding their emotions, and welcome them into the fold once they’re ready to get to work.
Leave Hawai’i Alone
By Amy Westervelt
Maui County, Hawaii, where residents are being asked to ration water while tourists do whatever the fuck they want, is being so overburdened by visitors that its mayor is pleading with the airlines to reduce the number of flights or passengers. His island’s infrastructure, shaken by a global pandemic and the climate crisis, can’t handle the onslaught right now. Hawaiians are literally begging people not to go there. To let them get on top of spiking Covid-19 cases without having to worry if they have enough water.