Climate of Optimism

The swiftness of action to halt and reverse the climate crisis will be stunning. And it gives me hope.

Last summer, I posted a simple comment on Twitter that (as the kids say) blew up, garnering more than 200,000 impressions. Someone asked his followers about a personal belief that people inside one’s own political circle would find ridiculous. I replied, “I believe with great clarity that we will, 1) solve the climate crisis, 2) faster than people anticipate and 3) remove CO2 from the atmosphere to get us to pre-industrial levels.”

My climate optimism—and the opinion that this best-case outcome is already baked in—provoked disbelief and a request for an explanation. Maybe that is understandable: The headlines are full of gloom, from nations failing to meet even their most watered-down emissions goals to the fires and floods that hint at what a future with an altered climate could mean. To me, though, the case is straightforward. We will solve the climate challenge because customers demand it, employees demand it, and investors demand it. Many (but obviously not all) policymakers at municipal, state, regional, and national levels are pushing for it, and those recalcitrant ones in opposition are slowly but surely losing hold.

t’s an argument that many people have a hard time accepting. Climate change seems like a challenge perfectly designed for humanity to fail. To fight it requires coordinated action of hundreds of nations and billions of people, all working toward a seemingly abstract goal that will only be reached decades from now. In a nation where some people don’t have the patience for instant ramen, that sort of delayed gratification seems alien.

Read More at The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Read the rest at The American Society of Mechanical Engineers