Yes, the climate crisis is terrifying. But I refuse to abandon hope | Arwa Mahdawi

Yes, the climate crisis is terrifying. But I refuse to abandon hope | Arwa Mahdawi

The world seems to be on the verge of collapse – yet I have just brought a baby into it

“Babe, look!” my wife said excitedly, as we sprawled on the grass reading on one baking hot afternoon. She passed me her book: “Read this – this person is just like you!” I read the paragraph she was pointing to. A clearly distraught character was fulminating about poorly designed roundabouts; she kept going on and on and on about them. To be clear, I don’t have any opinions about roundabouts. Not a single one. I curtly informed my wife of this. “Yeah,” she said. “But you do have, you know, certain rants you keep coming back to. Like, incessantly.”

I couldn’t argue. While I have always been a committed pessimist, recently I’ve gone into full-blown Chicken Little mode with existential obsessions. I’ll wake up, look at the latest terrifying news on my phone and immediately launch a diatribe about how we are almost certainly going to experience climate emergency-induced societal collapse in our lifetimes. “Have you seen what’s happening in Greece/northern California/Turkey?” I’ll screech. “Have you seen how many billionaires are fleeing to New Zealand to avoid the imminent apocalypse? The weather is out of control! Joe Biden and his woefully inadequate infrastructure bill aren’t going to fix anything! We are all doomed! DOOMED!”

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