Judging by my social media and the news articles, humans finally figured out that the climate crisis is 1) real, 2) going to kill us all. Obviously “all” is an incorrect word to use, because the rich – who are causing all this – will do just fine. (The American president, for instance, didn’t attend the climate summit – he, personally, doesn’t have to – yet.) A lot of post-apocalyptic cli-fi writers probably already described the new, crispy world that neither they nor I will be a part of, because we’ll be dead. When the climate anxiety becomes overwhelming, what can we really do apart from breaking down?

I’ve been doing my best to avoid politics, but the G7 summit, Mr Trump’s latest policies, and Mr Bolsonaro’s little ego trip – “I’ll only take your money if you apologise to me” – made me realise that it’s not going to be possible anymore. Because it’s not you or me who can really make a difference. It’s the rich and the politicians they bought.

 

Individual action doesn’t solve the problem, but…

Elizabeth Rush in Business Telegraph (this article was widely reprinted around the world):

Last fall, as I landed in New Orleans, a seed of existential anxiety lodged itself deep in my gut. It was my fifth flight in just over a week. I was in the middle of a tour to promote a book on how coastal communities around the US were already responding to the climate crisis […] I could see the landscape that my air travel would play a role in diminishing – the additional CO2 in the atmosphere melting Arctic sea ice and Antarctic glaciers, causing sea levels to rise. What am I doing here? I wondered.

[…] At the end of my presentation last year in in New Orleans, an audience member asked me whether I still have hope? […] The hope I do have resides in the fact that as the climate crisis comes home to us in deeply unsettling ways – in the form of heatwaves and freak storms, wildfires, and permafrost melt, twisting the world we know into new and disturbing shapes – it is also building unlikely coalitions amongst people who might not appear to share affinities at first glance.

(I recommend reading the entire piece.)

I’ve spent a good chunk of last week in my favourite hideaway – the Magical Garden, courtesy of my two wonderful friends, G and B. But I didn’t get as relaxed as I usually would. First, G showed me a picture of the garden a few weeks ago, during a drought. (See the main photo.) The grass turned yellow. Once the weather returned to normal, whatever “normal” even is these days, most of the grass returned to life. Most. G is resigned to the fact that the next year might be the last one when the garden will actually have any grass in it.

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Floating ice floes along one edge of Fram Strait. Photograph: Denis Sinyakov/Greenpeace

I don’t write about politics on this blog. There is exactly one topic that is considered political I will not shut up about, though – the climate crisis, or rather the climate catastrophe. We are way beyond “climate change” – it had already changed. It is not done changing. Why “considered”? Because no matter what the politicians tell you, extinction is not going to be limited to the voters of this or that party, although yes, some voters will stay around longer and in much nicer conditions. Specifically, the ones with money, the ones living in richer countries and trying to keep everyone else from coming in.

I’m lower middle class. We can afford to buy a nice starter house in the suburbs, which isn’t a lot considering that we’re not exactly in the “starter” age range, but still – we can get a mortgage. We live in Amsterdam, which sounds glamorous and is everything but. Our income is comfortable, neither hand-to-mouth nor Scrooge McDuck takes a bath in coins. We will survive a while longer than a lot of other people, at least until all of the Netherlands goes under water.

 

Money makes the world go HOT

“‘Climate apartheid’: UN expert says human rights may not survive”, Damian Carrington, The Guardian:

The world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a UN human rights expert has said.

Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law. […]

“Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction,” Alston said.

This is why I mentioned our middle class-ness. I have some ways out. I can go to the local supermarket and spend a surprisingly long time in the dairy section before someone asks me what I am doing – I look weird, but not the homeless sort of weird. I can spend an hour in the shower and water the flowers as much as I want without worrying about water. There are no wildfires here – yet – but they’re coming. Arctic Circle experienced wildfires last year. We don’t have a car (not unusual in Amsterdam), a garden, or stocks in BP, Shell, and so on. We don’t have AC.

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