2018 Was a Pretty Good Year For Climate Change

Does this look scary to you? It should. But to most people, it's just another confusing chart showing something or other that they don't really get.NASA

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Scottish science-fiction author Charlie Stross says 2018 was a truly godawful year:

I am looking for any silver linings to 2018 and coming up blank.

Oddly enough, there was a silver lining, and it comes just a few sentences earlier in his own post:

2018 was the year that the global climate change alarm sirens began to sound continuously, with wildfires and heat emergencies and melting icecaps.

Granted, this is not your typical good news, like malaria is nearly eradicated or Scott Pruitt got kicked out of the EPA. And yet, given the nature of the problem, the only way the public was ever going to take climate change seriously was to be hit in the face with it. Careful models showing temperature increases of 0.06 °C per year were never going to have any impact. Predictions of dire effects in 2100 were never going to have any impact. Famines in the Sahel were never going to have an impact. Floods in Bangladesh were never going to have an impact. Announcements of seven new extinct species of rain forest beetle were never going to have an impact.

Do I sound like I have a low opinion of the human species? Oh hell yes. The only thing that was ever likely to force people to take climate change seriously was continuous sirens—big, bright, loud continuous sirens. Frankly, I’d be pretty happy if a tsunami destroyed the White House, just like in the movies. Or maybe a heat wave killed a hundred thousand people in Paris. With apologies to Washington DC and Paris, this is what it’s going to take to get the panicked level of attention we need: something big, something clearly climate related, and something that kills a lot of white people.

So 2018 was a good year for climate change, and we need more like it: bad enough to get people’s attention before the really bad stuff starts.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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