view | 2023 could be the year we save the planet

During the period from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve, Wisconsinians saw strong evidence of the instability of our shifting climate. A blizzard before Christmas, high winds, record cold, temperatures in the 50s, rain, slushy snow – it was a cacophony that can only be attributed to climate change.

And in many ways, Wisconsin’s experience was better than that of other parts of the country, which in 2022 saw devastating tornadoes, fires, record heat, and a final wave of apocalyptic blizzards that left dozens dead.

The greatest danger to planet Earth is the giving up of hope, the loss of faith that this land we call home can be saved from destruction.

The time to take climate change seriously came decades ago. Unfortunately, politicians in both parties have been careless. Republicans chose to deny the crisis. The Democrats chose to imagine that they could be countered in half steps.

Now reality is catching up with us, and there is so much bad news that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There is no time to think small. The only option is to think big. Former Vice President Al Gore isn’t the only one who has suggested “we are running out of time, and we must have a planetary solution to a planetary crisis.”

Unfortunately, world leaders missed several other deadlines to address the crisis in the past year. The frustrating negotiations associated with the United Nations Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) provided a reminder that the task at hand is more daunting than ever.

Domestically, the new Republican-controlled US House of Representatives will do everything it can to undermine the minimal progress that has been made since Joe Biden and the Democrats took control in 2021. Atlantic Ocean He warns: “If history is any indication, a Republican Congress could spell doom for climate policy. Since the early 1990s, when the GOP took a turn toward climate change denial, the party has been one of the biggest enemies of climate policy in the world.”

So should we just give up? Absolutely.

Indeed, the greatest danger to planet Earth is the giving up of hope, the loss of faith that this land we call home can be saved from destruction.

That’s the message from Rebecca Solnit – the brilliant activist and author of books like Hope in the dark And the Guys explain things to meHe’s been preaching for the past several years.

“The world as we knew it is coming to an end, and it is up to us how it ends and what comes next,” Solnit explains. “It is the end of the fossil fuel era, but if the fossil fuel companies get their way, the end will be delayed as long as possible, with as much carbon burned as possible. If the rest of us prevail, we will radically reduce the use of these fuels by 2030, and almost entirely by 2030.” The year is 2050. We will face climate change with real change, and we will beat the fossil fuel industry in the next nine years.”

This is a daunting goal. Solnit says it is not impossible.

As a co-founder of the Noto late Project, Solnit works with climate activist Thelma Young Lutunatabua and others to dismiss “grief and despair” and “invite newcomers to the climate movement, as well as provide climate facts and encouragement to people who are already engaged but exhausted.”

There is nothing silly about this project, which you can learn more about at Solnit does not broadcast optimism for the sake of optimism. Instead, she and her comrades rely on science to argue that there is still time to build a movement strong enough to compel undecided politicians to act on an agenda that breaks the hold of the fossil fuel giants.

Defeat is a luxury we cannot afford. Instead of defeatism, Solnit says, “we must remake the world, and we can remake it better.”

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