18

“First of all, let’s have something to eat,” says Matt Lie-Paehlke. “We need solidarity, self-care and shared meals to get through this thing.”

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“Now let me tell you how I learned to stop freaking out and start taking action.  The first thing, and this may sound counter-intuitive, was realizing that we have already failed to stop global warming.  Larger storms are already killing people.  Certain species will go extinct.  But what that means is that there is no bright line between ‘stopping’ global warming and ‘failing’ to stop it.  It is happening and we can slow it down.  Every little carbon reduction makes a meaningful difference in how bad and how fast climate breakdown hits us.

“People studying this issue have known this for a long time.  In fact, many of them see the recent IPCC report as good news.  A geography professor I spoke to suggested he was pleasantly surprised to see that it might still be possible to save some of our coral reefs.  The IPCC report also suggests it’s still possible to keep warming at 1.5 degrees — if we achieve an ‘unprecedented social transformation.’  The thing about an unprecedented social transformation is that we have to make changes in all areas of our daily life and economy — that will require government policies and programs — but it also means there are all kinds of things that ordinary citizens can do TODAY!”

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If you say, “Okay, let’s take action,” turn to page 32.

If you say, “I could use a few more reasons to be optimistic,” turn to page 7.