Climate Fatigue

You might be tired of climate change. But climate change isn’t tired of you.

I gather that people are tired of hearing about climate change.  I’m tired of hearing about climate change, too. Sadly, Nature just doesn’t care  that much about entertaining us.  It’s going to be climate change this year, climate change next year, climate change the year after that . . .

But don’t worry, it won’t be as boring as it sounds.  To begin with, although the global trends are reasonably predictable, there’s more uncertainty about exactly how things will play out on the local level.  So there are probably going to be some surprises.  And next, did I mention extreme weather events?  Many of the major impacts of climate change will take the form of more intense or more frequent droughts, heat waves, and so on.  But you never know exactly when one of those is going to hit, so that’s something to break the monotony right there.  And next, climate change isn’t a one shot deal.  The climate will change from now to 2050, and then it will change some more from 2050 to 2075, and then even more after that.  And who knows, we might hit some kind of tipping point, leading to some highly dramatic rise in sea level or uncontrolled fires in the Amazon or something. LOTS to look forward to!

But don’t think that the talk is just going to be about the weather.  There’s also adaptation to climate change.  So you’ll get to read about businesses moving their operations or making a bundle by designing new crops that tolerate heat or making a killing on the catastrophe bond market. (That’s a real thing, not something I made up.) And there will be the real estate issues, as coastal property values crumble, heat and water become increasingly problematic in much of the Sun Belt, and many people pick up and move to Canada.  And on the political side, of course there will be the fights over rights to the Arctic, water in dry areas, and immigrants fleeing impacted areas like the Sahel in Africa.

And of course, when that gets old, folks can always talk about the fools back at the beginning of the century who let the whole thing happen.

I guess that would be us.

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Reader Comments

5 Replies to “Climate Fatigue”

  1. Do you think climate fatigue will be like election fatigue, in that real change can reverse both?
    In the meantime, don’t talk to me about elections either.
    In fact, don’t talk to me at all ::hangs up phone::.

  2. Dan said;

    “…………folks can always talk about the fools back at the beginning of the century who let the whole thing happen……..”

    Please count me in, I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute my small portion as an ordinary American citizen to “let whole thing happen.” We didn’t buy carbon vouchers, we will saved money. Glad to be of service. Take heed and do likewise. Why worry about it? Don’t worry, be happy. Sing in the sunshine, let’s all smile for those who are looking back on us. We let the whole thing happen.

  3. Dan, it appears that UC professors and scholars like you are our last hope to make the right things happen in time.

    1. Dear Anthony,
      It takes money to save the planet. Have you bought your carbon vouchers yet? Better hurry while the supply lasts.
      Have a good day and try not to worry.

  4. I am continuously surprised that there are people who think that climate change can be predicted, even those who provide a timetable for change.

    Imagine, there are going to be extreme weather events in the future – like that never happened before. And the author will blame every unpleasant weather event on human beings. It is good to have a scapegoat.

    Only the truly gullible would accept blame for climate change. Only the truly desperate would want to put the government in charge of coping with climate change.

    Oh, I forgot, there are those who would profit from putting the government in charge. . . They are neither gullible or desperate.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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