Sorry to bother you, but your house is on fire.
It's hard to look our future in the face. Most people can't do it for more than a moment or two.
The human psyche can't take staring sublime horror dead in the eyes without flinching for years.
I certainly can't.
I go through waves of looking it in the face, and then flinching into various forms of cognitive coping mechanisms. You know:
“There's nothing I can do about it - I'm just one person.”
“I work in sustainability - I'm doing my part.”
“Cold fusion, brah!”
“The Global Awakening will transform human consciousness and we'll all get, like, woke.”
“Wind and solar will enable us to have prosperity *and* save the planet!”
It's all a spectrum of denial. Climate denial isn't something that only some Republicans and oil-industry-sponsored think tanks indulge in. That's the easiest kind to spot, but the kind of subtle denial rampant within progressive circles is perhaps even more dangerous, more potentially destructive.
The kind of denial that I indulge in, that my friends and colleagues who are in the business of addressing climate change indulge in, is more destructive because we can't safely admit it to ourselves, and so we've cut off an important feedback loop.
The idea that we're in denial is deeply shameful to us, and the idea that all our work is just pissing into the wind of inevitable catastrophe threatens the very cores of our personal identities.
The idea that we're wrong, that what we've sacrificed so much of our personal and professional lives for is a dead fucking end, is horrific. It fills us with a deep, sublime, yawning chasm of horror that we can't face for more than an instant.
It feels like to fall into that chasm would be the end.
It is not the end.
You can't go around it.
But you can go through it.
There is life on the other side.
But you have to face it, and feel it, all of it, first.