There's No Such Thing As A New Normal With Climate Change
Melanie Guttmann, co-founder of Letzte Generation, a German climate group, once spent six days in jail after being arrested during a protest. "I just wanted to get out of there and have a peaceful life, spend some time with the people I love, start a family." But ultimately, she says, it was worth it, and she'd be willing to be in jail even longer if it might make a difference: "I started to realize that no matter if I'm in prison or not, I will never have those things because the climate crisis destroyed everything I dreamed of for my future."
An unremitting stream of climate disasters have kept her words rattling around in my head since I spoke with her last Thursday. Outside my window in New York, the air is again smudged with dangerous haze from massive wildfires continuing to burn a few hundred miles north. "It sure is hot up here at the new normal," we say.
Each new season is a baseline from which things will get weirder still. In less than ten years, tropical Dengue-carrying mosquitoes could be breeding in London and New York. We try not to be doomers on this newsletter: We can affect our climate trajectory, and eventually turn things around if we make major societal changes.
There is no "New normal" where we can stop to catch our breath-only the worst it's been so far. There'll be new levels of strangeness from here on out.