The world is fortunate for the wise and heartfelt voice of 94-year-old naturalist, broadcaster and humanist Sir David Attenborough — clarifying our climate crises yet also delineating clear solutions, as in this recent film, A Life on the Planet. Here’s the trailer.
Sir David’s insights are well complimented by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg’s no-holds-barred speech at the TED conference in Stockholm in 2018.
The title says it all: “Drawdown. The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warning.” Edited by Paul Hawken, produced by hundreds of outstanding writers and researchers from across the continents, this is indeed a visionary and comprehensive resource for understanding both the challenges and solutions of the climate change era. Truly an exciting and hopeful read.
For further investigation into the complexities of our climate crisis, we also recommend these two brilliant books:
The first — Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Survival, by E. O. Wilson — examines how humanity has become both the architect and ruler of our anthropocene era, showing how this severely affects all sentient beings. Edward Osborne Wilson, who died this past December at age 91, was a world reknowned biologist, humanist, and distinguished professor at Harvard University. Author of many books, the world’s leading expert on ants (myrmecology), founder of the Biophilia hypothesis (with Dr. Stephen Kellert), Professor Wilson twice won the Pultizer Prize for General Non-fiction.
The next, Beyond Words, examinines how animals think and feel. The author is Carl Safina, a professor and ecologist at Columbia University. Based on the lives of elephants, wolves, and killer whales, it is a humbling investigation into the ways in which humans have dramatically misunderstood — at our intense peril — how our fellow riders on Earth make their way in life.
Solving the climate crisis also means addressing the psychiatry that envelopes it, as in this piece in December 2021 from The Lancet covering the first large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in children and in young people globally.
It surveyed 10,000 children and young people (aged 16–25 years) in ten countries (Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, the UK, and the USA; 1000 participants per country) between May 18 and June 7, 2021. Data were collected on participants’ thoughts and feelings about climate change, and about government responses to climate change.
Respondents across all countries were worried about climate change (59% were very or extremely worried and 84% were at least moderately worried). More than 50% reported each of the following emotions: sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty. More than 45% of respondents said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning, and many reported a high number of negative thoughts about climate change (e.g. 75% said that they think the future is frightening and 83% said that they think people have failed to take care of the planet).
So where do we find the most sophisticated insight — something with a strong scientific grounding — on possible scenarios for Earth’s future? The Climate Lab at The Washington Post answers the call, presenting 1,200 scenarios, published 12/1/22.
Every country of course has its own version of climate crisis. What is yours? Find out here in this New York Times piece that shows exactly what areas across the globe are at most risk.
Here are five excellent BBC articles, reminding us of the basics:
- What is climate change?
- Climate-related words and phrases explained
- How much warmer is your city?
- What is your diet’s carbon footprint?
- Where we are in seven charts
Check this out for wise, visionary and selfless corporate leadership that prioritizes people and planet, not profit: Yvonne Chouinard gives Patagonia away in the name of saving our only home.
This is but one of the latest warnings from scientists (8/29/22): The Greenland ice sheet is soon to add a foot to ocean sea levels.
And what is happening in the fastest warming place on Earth, Svalbard?
To keep up to date, here is news on one of the latest climate conferences: The Africa Adaptation Summit, September 5, 2022.
The New York Times’s Tim McDonnell, reporting from Cairo, takes a thorough look at the remarkable ways humans are transforming our approach to species preservation.
In comprehensive and intimidating (and temporary!) conclusion to this section of our web site, here’s a sophisticated and objective climate overview for our entire home planet: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021, The Physical Science Basis. It was finalized on 6 August 2021.