“Do you think we’ll need to buy guns?” The student’s question seemed to drop the temperature in the room by several degrees. I was at a dinner with fellow academics, a few college students and a guest speaker who had just delivered an inspiring talk about climate justice.

Sensing confusion, the student clarified: Planetary catastrophe was inevitable in the near term, which means people would soon be living behind walled communities. Since Republicans would be armed, she said, she just wanted to know how to keep the people she cared about safe. The guest speaker took a moment to process this information, then suggested that the student worry more about growing vegetables than about buying guns.

That conversation has stuck with me over the years not because the student’s views were unusual but because they’ve become commonplace. The literary scholar Paul Saint-Amour has described the expectation of apocalypse — the sense that all history’s catastrophes and geopolitical traumas are leading us to “the prospect of an even more devastating futurity” — as the quintessential modern attitude. It’s visible everywhere in what has come to be known as the polycrisis.

Tyler Austin Harper

Read full article by Tyler Austin Harper in The New York Times

More articles

May 22 2024

Indicators of Global Climate Change 2023: annual update of key indicators of the state of the climate system and human influence

by Piers M. Forster, et al. in Earth System Science Data….This paper tracks some key indicators of global warming through time, from 1850 through to the end of...
May 22 2024

3ºC Neighbourhood

by Civic Square in Neighbourhood Public Square…..We can ultimately control how much warming the world experiences, based on our choices as a society, and as a...
May 22 2024

Southern Africa drought flags dilemma for loss and damage fund

by Joe Lo in Climate Change News….Scientists blame the current drought on El Niño – which could exclude those affected from receiving aid for climate-change...
May 22 2024

North America’s biggest city is running out of water

by Caroline Houck in Vox…..Mexico City is staring down a water crisis. It won’t be the last city to do so.

May 21 2024

Scorching heatwave ravages Southeast Asia’s food supplies, imperiling the poor

from Dimsum Daily-Hong Kong….And in a vicious spiral, the compounding nutritional deprivation and socio-economic dislocation unleashed by heatwave-driven price...
May 21 2024

Here’s what record-breaking temperatures looked like around the globe

by Sueellen Campbell in Yale Climate Connections…..Climate change is affecting every continent and the oceans.

May 21 2024

Critical minerals, food crops at risk of climate disruption by 2050, report shows

by Darren Parker in Mining Weekly…More than 70% of critical minerals needed for the transition to net zero emissions will be at risk from climate disruption by...
May 21 2024

European summers will be hotter than predicted because of cleaner air

by Michael Le Page in the New Scientist…By ignoring declining air pollution, regional climate models have greatly underestimated how hot Europe’s summers...
May 21 2024

‘Inside an oven’: sweltering heat ravages crops and takes lives in south-east Asia

by Rebecca Ratcliffe in The Guardian….Governments issue health warnings as schools shut and crops fail, with fears that worse is to come as heatwave tightens...
May 21 2024

The flooding will come “No Matter What”

by Abrahm Lustgarten in Propublica…The complex, contradictory and heartbreaking process of American climate migration is underway.