Making Sense of the Climate Crisis

A collection of some of the best links from around the web, manually curated.

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You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local

This is a very personal struggle with climate change I have: How much restraint do I impose on myself when I know that most emissions are caused by a few megacompanies, and when I see friends fly all over the globe? For one, there’s a moral imperative to do something. Also, changes in behaviour are contagious, and small changes add up. Then again, you want to be smart about your actions: Restrain yourself where it has the biggest effect. That might not always be where you think it is. This article gives a good overview of how food choices impact the climate – buying local doesn’t matter all that much, sometimes it’s even more harmful to the climate than buying imported food.

From Weekly Filet #287, in March 2020.

Is it OK to have a child?

You’ve probably encountered the argument: In order to save the planet, the most impactful thing you as an individual can do is have no children. For many people – and I include myself – this option of climate action is off limits. In a long piece for The London Review of Books, Meehan Crist takes the question seriously and carefully deliberates it, putting it in the context it needs.

From Weekly Filet #292, in March 2020.

How we know global warming is real

A new piece from the Washington Post’s great «2°C: Beyond the limit» series. A history of weather stations and a visual explanation of their role in understanding climate change. The piece it centered around one station in Austria, and almost personifies it, as a devoted perfectionist who now faces an ironic fate.

From Weekly Filet #282, in January 2020.

The great paradox of our time: everything is both better and worse than ever before

To me, one of the best pieces on climate change in recent months, written by The Correspondent’s founding editor. I like how Wijnberg is both realistic («In the past two centuries, fossil capitalism has made us wealthier, healthier, safer and more informed than ever.»), optimistic («we can take heart from this fundamental truth about human nature: together we can.») and radical («The engine that drives our civilisation must be completely disassembled and replaced with a new model.»).

From Weekly Filet #279, in January 2020.

The Uninhabitable Earth, Annotated Edition

The original version of this text has been read more than 2 million times and has sparked a major controversy. Which boils down to the question: Is it careless to write about climate change by assuming worst-case scenarios rather than ones that are more likely? Or is it careless not to? The autor has doubled down and delivered a heavily annotated version of the text. Excellent read.

From Weekly Filet #240, in July 2017.

We have locked in centuries of climate change

You’ve probably heard the news: 2016 has been the hottest year on record. For some context, I highly recommend this hour-long interview with Elizabeth Kolbert, one of the best-known writers on climate change, who won a Pulizer Prize for her book «The Sixth Extinction». Enlightening and trenchant. The quote that stuck in my mind: «We live in yesterday’s climate.»

From Weekly Filet #224, in January 2017.
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