Climate activism is more powerful than people realize
Global warming has increased the number of extreme weather events around the world by 400% since the 1980s. Countries know how to stop the damage from worsening: stop burning fossil fuels and shift to renewable energy, electrify transportation and industry, and reduce the carbon intensity of agriculture.
But none of this is happening fast enough to avoid warming on a catastrophic scale.
In my new book, “The Climate Crisis,” I lay out the mechanisms and impacts of the climate crisis and the reasons behind the lack of serious effort to combat it. One powerful reason is the influence that the fossil fuel industry, electric utilities and others with a vested interest in fossil fuels have over policymakers.
But there’s another reason for this inaction that everyone has the ability to change: response skepticism – the public doesn’t believe in its own political power enough or use it.
When people speak up and work together, they can spur powerful changes. You can see this in university students demanding that their chancellor retire the campus fossil fuel power plant and switch to renewable electricity. You can also see it in ranchers in Colorado pushing their governor to enact a clean electricity standard so that they can benefit from having wind turbines on their lands.