There was a barely stifled schadenfreudian glee echoing across the liberal press through this burning hot summer. Environmentalists could scarcely disguise their we-told-you-so smirks as one suffocating heatwave after another rolled over the globe, wildfires savaged landscapes from Siberia to California and broken temperature records kept piling up. But yearning for catastrophe is an ugly desire, and it is exactly the wrong way to think about global warming. Disasters always hit marginalised people first and worst, and as tempting as it might be to hope the calamities of 2018 bring new kinds of change, that desire only betrays how badly environmentalism needs to be overhauled. More than ever, we need creative resistance and radically affirmative social visions of the future if we are to take the calamity of global warming seriously. The burning catastrophes of 2018 can and should open up new lines of urgency. But we have to resist the urge to smirk about suffering and refute the smug catastrophism of environmentalists.
Guardian 2nd Oct 2018 read more »