The Coffee Shop
In February 2022 the IPCC published its Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability report. The report makes for scary reading — it tells us that, if we do not take immediate and urgent action, we face catastrophic consequences.
Just a few days after the report’s publication I visited friends at a local coffee shop. Given that the report’s warnings were so dire it could reasonably have been expected that it would be the main topic of conversation. Nothing could have been further from the truth. My friends are well-educated and well-informed on world affairs. They are not “deniers” — they understand that the climate is changing, that we care causing those changes, and that we face serious problems. Yet none of them knew that the report had been published, and I suspect that none of them even knew what the IPCC was (I was afraid to ask). The conversation was mostly about local affairs, and the likelihood of an invasion of Ukraine.
When the history books of our time are written, the over-arching theme will be our indifference to looming catastrophe.