Yesterday, in line at our local grocery co-op, I witnessed an impassioned conversation between a customer and the clerk regarding climate change. The customer, who looked to be a man in his 60s, said that when people he knows refuse to talk about climate change, he tells them they are “insane:” that we have already passed the 1.5° C mark, that climate change is the most massive threat to human and planetary well being ever; that it “dwarfs World War II.” To me, what was most remarkable about this exchange was the fact that they were actually having it in full public display. The clerk, for his part, noted that “we have lost 50% of all species just in the last 40 years.”
In the face of inevitable impacts of climate change, either we continue to destroy each other along with the planet, or we begin to deepen our own personal response to the grief that attends possible ecocide — which in itself could lead to a sense of shared values and conscious response. Which do we choose? In an unusually clear and uncomfortable dialogue, Hedges and DeChristopher face facts without flinching, as well as discuss how they personally confront, honor, and overcome ongoing descents into periodic despair.