Discourse on Climate Change and the Future

I don’t disagree that there’s a problem with the way we talk about climate change, but I do think the problem is practically the exact opposite of what David Roberts discusses in his Vox article about climate change and millennia. Throughout my time in the Program on the Environment, I have found that the “mainstream” doesn’t stress enough that climate change is happening now. To me, there’s such a strong emphasis on how climate change and our actions in the present are going to affect future generations. The impacts on future generations are typically cited as the reasons for why we need to act now. It’s problematic to look at climate change as a problem of the future when it already is a problem for many parts of the world and a number of communities. I agree with Roberts when he states that we don’t talk enough about how long carbon dioxide will last in the atmosphere, as this implies that no matter what, the Earth is guaranteed a certain amount of climate change. By solely discussing the future, though, we ignore the environments, people, and animals that are dealing with climate change impacts on a daily basis, whether that be catastrophic storms, decreases in agriculture, or drought.

3 thoughts on “Discourse on Climate Change and the Future

  1. Cassie Grace Lynch

    This is a very interesting and important. But- are people in affluent states more likely to change their actions or care about climate change when their future kin are at risk rather than people they don’t know across the world?

  2. Damir Zukanovic


    I like your notion that we as people need to emphasize what is happening now more. It makes complete sense to attack the issues now rather than thinking about how we are going to attack them later. If we collectively take action now, maybe the future will be less of a worry. This article is very informative, and your commentary on it is definitely something I would personally agree with. Great job.

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