Today, The New York Times magazine released a full issue devoted entirely to examining climate science and policy in the U.S., 1979 – 1989 called Losing Earth.
It misses the mark — in some very consequential ways.
It lets Big Polluters off the hook for driving the climate crisis and blocking progress, blaming government. It presents the heroes of climate action as only a handful of men in the U.S. trying and failing. And it accepts global temp increase of 2 degrees of more as a given.
First and foremost, a major reason for government inaction is well-documented: Big Polluters invested in a multi-faceted campaign of deception and manipulation to paralyze the political climate by sowing doubt about science, interfering in public policy, and investing in politicians that would prioritize their profits.
By focusing on the stories of a few individuals, the piece ignores the stories of the women, indigenous leaders, communities of color, and even children in the U.S. and worldwide who have also been leading the climate justice movement for decades — and winning victory after victory over Big Polluters.
And it risks overlooking millions of people’s lives and the planet’s ecosystems, by forfeiting the #ParisAgreement ‘s internationally accepted requirement to keep temp rise to as close to 1.5 degrees as possible.
It’s crystal clear that every tenth of a degree of warming translates directly to the destruction of millions of lives and livelihoods.
And we know that truly just climate solutions already exist. Their development has been blocked by Big Polluters’ interference for decades.
We must fight to keep warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius — by acting urgently to secure truly just climate policies and kick Big #PollutersOut now.
2018 is a make-or-break year for climate policy. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize. Let’s harness the broad and deep power of the millions-strong climate justice movement to demand the world we know is possible and necessary.