Humanity can’t equivocate any longer. This is a climate emergency | Rebecca Solnit and Terry Tempest Williams

The climate emergency has been declared over and over. The future the scientists warned us about is here, nowWe are declaring a climate emergency. Everyone can, in whatever place on Earth they call home. No one needs to wait for politicians any more – we have been waiting for them for decades. What history shows us is that when people lead, governments follow. Our power resides in what we are witnessing. We cannot deny that Great Salt Lake is vanishing before our eyes into a sun-cracked playa of salt and toxic chemicals. Nor can we deny that Lake Mead is reduced to a puddle. In New Mexico a wildfire that began in early April is still burning in late July. Last August, the eye of Hurricane Ida split in two – there was no calm – only 190mph winds ripping towns in the bayous of Louisiana to shreds; and 7m acres in the American west burned in 2021. The future the scientists warned us about is where we live now.The climate emergency has been declared over and over by Nature and by human suffering and upheaval in response to its catastrophes. The 2,000 individuals who recently died of heat in Portugal and Spain are not here to bear witness, but many of the residents of Jacobabad in Pakistan, where Amnesty International declared the temperatures “unlivable for humans”, are. The heat-warped rails of the British train system, the buckled roads, cry out that this is unprecedented. The estimated billion sea creatures who died on the Pacific north-west’s coast from last summer’s heatwave announced a climate emergency. The heat-devastated populations of southern Asia, the current grain crop failures in China, India, across Europe and the American midwest, the starving in the Horn of Africa because of climate-caused drought, the bleached and dying coral reefs of Australia, the rivers of meltwater gushing from the Greenland ice sheet, the melting permafrost of Siberia and Alaska: all bear witness that this is a climate emergency. So do we. Yet the anxiety we feel, the grief that is ours, pales in comparison to the ferocity of our resolve.Rebecca Solnit is a Guardian US columnistTerry Tempest Williams is a writer, naturalist, and activist Continue reading...

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