In case you were looking for another piping-hot climate change take, the New Yorker’s got you covered. Yesterday, they posted a tedious piece by regular contributor and novelist Jonathan Franzen suggesting that it’s time we stop acting like we can prevent the looming climate change apocalypse and just do the best we can for the time being.
Jonathan Franzen on the inevitability of the climate crisis and rethinking what it means to have hope. https://t.co/c65QSWlqMq
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) September 8, 2019
Franzen’s piece is special because it managed to offend liberal climate change activists:
WTF is Jonathan Franzen doing writing about climate change? Especially when there are more than enough qualified writers with real insight ready, willing, and able. Very fu¢king dissapointing @NewYorker
— Chris Aguirre (@theChrisAguirre) September 8, 2019
Instead of running pieces by a privileged man truly ignorant of the science of climate change, you *could* choose to, oh I don’t know, ask a woman like @MaryHeglar to cover the most pressing issue of our time for you.
— Chris Landry (@celandry) September 8, 2019
This is garbage.
— Laura Krabappel (@laurakrabappel) September 8, 2019
Oh, Jonathan really can't be bothered. Much too busy and important. And white. Sucky writer also.
— Antonigrafica #Warren2020 (@antonigrafica) September 9, 2019
Jonathan doesn’t seem to have a Twitter so I’m hoping you guys can get in touch and let him know his article sucks.
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) September 8, 2019
Conservatives should be pretty irritated, too. See, according to Franzen, if we do want to avert climate catastrophe, there are certain “conditions” that must be met:
The first condition is that every one of the world’s major polluting countries institute draconian conservation measures, shut down much of its energy and transportation infrastructure, and completely retool its economy. According to a recent paper in Nature, the carbon emissions from existing global infrastructure, if operated through its normal lifetime, will exceed our entire emissions “allowance”—the further gigatons of carbon that can be released without crossing the threshold of catastrophe. (This estimate does not include the thousands of new energy and transportation projects already planned or under construction.) To stay within that allowance, a top-down intervention needs to happen not only in every country but throughout every country. Making New York City a green utopia will not avail if Texans keep pumping oil and driving pickup trucks.
The actions taken by these countries must also be the right ones. Vast sums of government money must be spent without wasting it and without lining the wrong pockets. Here it’s useful to recall the Kafkaesque joke of the European Union’s biofuel mandate, which served to accelerate the deforestation of Indonesia for palm-oil plantations, and the American subsidy of ethanol fuel, which turned out to benefit no one but corn farmers.
Finally, overwhelming numbers of human beings, including millions of government-hating Americans, need to accept high taxes and severe curtailment of their familiar life styles without revolting. They must accept the reality of climate change and have faith in the extreme measures taken to combat it. They can’t dismiss news they dislike as fake. They have to set aside nationalism and class and racial resentments. They have to make sacrifices for distant threatened nations and distant future generations. They have to be permanently terrified by hotter summers and more frequent natural disasters, rather than just getting used to them. Every day, instead of thinking about breakfast, they have to think about death.
Eff that noise.
Yeah… suck a dick pic.twitter.com/xEnbIVqouP
— Bob Malak (@bob_malak) September 9, 2019
"Do as we say or everyone will die"
These ppl do not care about climate change, they do not care about real solutions… they want control.
Control on how you spend your money
Control on how you raise your kids
Control on what you can eat
Control on what you can say
— Bob Malak (@bob_malak) September 9, 2019
Good luck, Jonathan.
"My political ideology will work if every single person on the planet agrees with me."
— jon gabriel (@exjon) September 9, 2019
How can we be free if people are allowed to dissent?
— Something about a Sharpie? I forget (@jtLOL) September 9, 2019
Franzen also writes:
All-out war on climate change made sense only as long as it was winnable. Once you accept that we’ve lost it, other kinds of action take on greater meaning. Preparing for fires and floods and refugees is a directly pertinent example. But the impending catastrophe heightens the urgency of almost any world-improving action. In times of increasing chaos, people seek protection in tribalism and armed force, rather than in the rule of law, and our best defense against this kind of dystopia is to maintain functioning democracies, functioning legal systems, functioning communities. In this respect, any movement toward a more just and civil society can now be considered a meaningful climate action. Securing fair elections is a climate action. Combatting extreme wealth inequality is a climate action. Shutting down the hate machines on social media is a climate action. Instituting humane immigration policy, advocating for racial and gender equality, promoting respect for laws and their enforcement, supporting a free and independent press, ridding the country of assault weapons—these are all meaningful climate actions. To survive rising temperatures, every system, whether of the natural world or of the human world, will need to be as strong and healthy as we can make it.
Welp. In that case, set a course for climate catastrophe, we guess.