McKibben: The Climate Changed Fast This Year, And Institutions Responded

2022 saw record heat and floods around the globe, but also, at last, major legislation in this country. As 2022 began, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen to more than fifty-per-cent higher than when the Industrial Revolution began. It should come as no real surprise, then, that there was havoc across much of the planet in the months that followed. 2022 was a year of outsized pressure: pressure on physical systems (and human bodies) to cope with more heat and more rain; pressure on political systems to cope with the fallout from floods and war. The pressures cut both ways, but, on balance, 2022 may have measurably speeded the energy transition—which would be good, because really the most ominous thing that’s happened in the past twelve months is just the passage of those months, where emissions did not fall this year. 

Bill McKibben. The New Yorker. December 20, 2022.

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