The Gathering Storm: Responding to accelerating climate change

“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”
Wendell Berry


I am posting here the slides from the most recent version of my public talk on climate change. Our situation has become increasingly dire in the almost 15 years since I began my role as a policy advocate and public interpreter of climate change science. I no longer believe that we will succeed in keeping global average warming below 2˚C during this century. Through aggressive mitigation efforts we must fight like hell to slow down the rate of warming so that our planet stays as far below 3˚C as possible. As I will discuss in a subsequent post, we must begin widespread efforts to manage emissions and carbon uptake by the biosphere. Proactive adaptation of our use of energy and materials must now be our top priority. All investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure must stop now.

I believe that this talk offers a realistic assessment of what is possible over the coming decades. To the extent it identifies the work to be done, it is hopeful. The human journey is entering a time when the survival of any meaningful civilization will require our species to collaborate on an unprecedented scale. These are exciting times when amazing things are possible.

I believe that the basis of this transformation must be our communities. If I were to offer a single piece of wisdom for how we must face these challenges, it is this: build strong communities.

The Gathering Storm