Finding meaning in the climate fight

Greg Jackson in Harper’s Magazine:

To those who still harbor doubts about the justness of this war, who continue to question the scientific consensus on global warming and the ravages it promises, I ask only that you entertain, if there is a chance you are right, that there is also a chance you are wrong. Let us even say, for argument’s sake, that the virtual certainty of scientists were reduced to 50 percent confidence and the forecasted effects of climate violence were reduced in severity by 50 percent as well. That would still justify the most massive mobilization of human energy and resources the world has ever seen, because the likely outcome would still be far worse than any threat we have faced in the past.

Of course, there are some who accept the seriousness of the threat but console themselves with the possibility that we might overcome it without serious disruption to our lives. The cost of solar power has fallen by more than 80 percent in the past decade and shows no sign of stopping. Wind power has followed suit. According to reports by the International Renewable Energy Agency and others, wind and solar are now the cheapest forms of energy in most cases, and there are already many places where building new wind and solar capacity is cheaper than continuing to run existing coal plants. Synergistic technologies, such as batteries and electric cars, have improved dramatically over the same period, and there has been progress on more intractable problems such as the decarbonization of air travel and the production of cement, glass, and steel.

But for all the good news, we would be foolish to think technology alone will save us.

More here.