Pull Quotes

A selection of standalones.

“The climate crisis is a lot to wrap our hearts, heads, and strategic policy around.” Yet, a decade ago, "Climate urgency turned into climate emergency. And without us noticing," said University of Washington professor William H. Calvin.

"In relying exclus­ively on an emissions reduction strat­egy, we have been “betting the farm” on some­thing that will not do the job in time " --WHC

Here, climate emergency” is not the usual rhetorical exaggeration of needed and urgent. To speak of an emergency, one means an unexpected dangerous situation—one that requires immediate action, as there is a closing window of opportunity for taking effect­ive action. " --WHC

"Absent effective treatment of climate disease, the students of today will face an unpleasant, chaotic future—not merely hotter summers. Unless we get our act together very quickly and on a global scale, our legacy could be genocidal downsizing." --WHC

"Our climate problem has turned into a climate emergency, largely because of surges in extreme weather about ten years ago." --WHC

"Existing CO2 cleanup proposals will need an order-of-magnitude improvement if we are to accomplish a cooling before the consequences of extreme weather destroy civilization’s institutions. “Not only might the end-of-the-century be chaotic following a population crash, but much of civilization might be forgotten, should two generations miss out on education in a new dark age.” --WHC

"What we are currently discussing for climate action looks more like a “buying time” therapy for late-stage cancer than like a physiological fix—say, the dialysis for kidney failure which makes possible a near-normal patient. We have been failing to ask what a “climate fix” would look like, one that relieves many of the problems and makes possible a near-normal planet.

Our focus on the long term, and on getting rid of the underlying causes of climate deterioration, has become an insufficiently ambitious approach to climate intervention." --WHC

"When we assume that emissions reduction is still the appropriate target for responding to the Climate Problem, as our leaders do, we not only fail to acknowledge the urgency of cooling things off but we set the stage for misguided responses--say, quickly reducing the world's population in order to reduce emissions. It seems only a matter of time before someone offers emissions reduction as an excuse for genocide. or for not intervening in a pandemic.

That would not do a thing for the overhead accumulation of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the near term, and thus little towards cooling us before extreme weather destroys the global economy and our ability to save civilization via a Big Project.

Our climate problem needs a big rethink before we miss even more exits on the Freeway to Hell. --WHC

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