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A national discomfort policy

‘It was getting hotter’. These are the opening words of ‘The Ministry for the Future’, a science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson. The opening chapter is set in Lucknow, India. As the sun rises in the sky, ‘people were dying faster than ever’. This is an author who knows how to make us feel the true impact of climate change. As extreme weather events unfolded last week, I began to hear more examples of people linking the abstract science of climate change to their actual lived experience of the consequences. 150 people had died in Germany as a result of monstrous flooding of a kind that had not happened for 80 years. Parts of Scandinavia were enduring a lasting heatwave, and smoke plumes from Siberia had affected air quality across the international dateline in Alaska. My niece in Calgary had to move the entire family to the basement of her Calgary house. The unprecedented heat in Western North America had also triggered devastating wildfires. Could these be examples that finally push us into urgent action? Read the rest here.

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