In an informative, frightening, and moving interview, I spoke with Lara Hansen, chief climate change scientist with the World Wildlife Fund. From rapidly melting ice, to dying oceans, to the tipping points of climate collapse, she makes the connections.
We are facing unprecedented challenges, none of which have ever been experienced by humans. How do we cope, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, with the recognition that civilization is destroying the planet’s ability to support life? The sheer enormity of the vanishing ice caps and the burning forests, the spreading deserts and the thousands of species that go extinct each year, are too much to wrap one’s mind and heart around.
The first step is to break through the denial and the numbing and to face the reality of the situation. The avoidance of the pain will surely kill us, whereas opening up to the full scope of the situation, grim as it is, is profoundly liberating.
What’s Going on with the Climate Nowadays?
Coral Bleaching and the Fate of Coral Reefs – 6:21. Coral bleaching is called one of the most dramatic effects of climate change, but what is this, and what does this mean for the ocean’s ecosystems?
The Acidification of the Oceans – 11:13. Industrial civilization has put out so much pollution that there are measurable changes in the ph of the oceans.
Droughts and Global Forests – 12:41. Whereas forests were once carbon sinks, as forests become drier, they release carbon into the atmosphere, creating a feedback loop.
The 2C Tipping Point – 14:54. This is the big one… please see the article linked below for the most recent scientific reports on the passing of the tipping point.
The Arctic – 24:20. The Arctic is like the canary in the coal mine – climate change is overt and extreme, with polar bears starving, hunters falling through the ice and drowning, and villages relocating because their homes are sinking into the melting permafrost (it’s not so permanent anymore).
Abrupt Climate Change – 30:21. The film The Day After Tomorrow hyped it up, but the concept remains undeniable – eventually a straw will break the camel’s back.
Abnormalities and Absurdities – 34:19. Record breaking hurricanes, droughts, rainfalls, first and last frosts, animals mating earlier than ever, etc.
What in the World to do? – 37:37. To mitigate or to adapt, to pressure the government or to work on the grassroots?
The Power of Individual Action – 45:24.
Global Warming: Passing the Tipping Point - Tom Burke, a former UK Government adviser and current visiting professor at Imperial College in London, says, “it means we have actually entered a new era – the era of dangerous climate change… we have already passed the point where our children can no longer count on a safe climate.”
Derrick Jensen’s books are the most powerful, passionate, and moving books I have ever read, and they have helped so many people truly come alive in this perilous time.
If you play this on your own radio show, or to your friends, or if you want to share any thoughts, I'd love to hear from you - firstname.lastname@example.org.
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