Imagine the best disco concert of all time, except it never ends, you can’t see it, and it happens miles above your head.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Is anyone else in the mood for some cold hard science?

In a world besieged by misinformation and sensationalism, science feels warm and fuzzy these days.

If you’re reading this, you likely know a thing or two about global warming. A 12-word summary: it’s real, it’s serious, we’ve caused it, and we can fix it.

This is a brief introduction to the fascinating science behind the greenhouse effect, whose strengthening has spawned a global climate emergency.

You might remember learning about air’s composition in an earth science or environmental science class. …

“I feel no option other than keeping the faith. The mere thought of the alternative is too grim and scary.”

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Author

I’m not the only climate conscious voter who feels let down by these election results, right?

I held a lot of hope before Election Day. I envisioned a Blue Wave that would put cooperation at the center of American — and therefore global — politics.

My hopes were quickly dashed; quite frankly, the moment I saw Trump gain massive support in Dade County (where I grew up) relative to 2016, I knew Election Day would not fare as well as I expected.

Biden won. But it was an incomplete victory.

Perhaps it was pollyannaish for me to expect a definitive repudiation of the forces that stand in the way of a robust climate response — toxic masculinity, toxic nationalism, toxic partisanship. The air we breathe is toxic; the discourse we create and consume is toxic; and the forces that have conspired to pin us in this dreadful position are toxic. …

You have more power in your sphere of influence than you might think.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Gravity has been established science for a few centuries. Everybody “believes” in gravity without hesitation.

Climate change has also been established science for a long time — well over a century.

And yet not everyone “believes” in this irksome scientific fact.

You’d think in a world as literate and well-educated as the modern world, any well-established scientific fact would earn widespread acceptance.

But alas, this is sadly not the case.

The lack of belief in climate science represents a serious threat to our future. …

People like him have derailed climate progress and might destroy civilization if left to their own devices.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

“My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” — James Inhofe

February 26, 2015 was quite a day for the Internet. For one, two llamas escaped an Arizona retirement community. For another, it was the day we all began to obsess over the blue dress. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this.

But something more ominous happened that day too. …

You should care more about consuming consciously than not having kids or scorning others who do.

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Christopher DOMBRES

Does the name ‘Malthus’ ring a bell?

In 1798, Thomas Malthus warned of an impending ecological trap driven by overpopulation. As he saw it, exponential population growth would override arithmetic growth in agricultural yields. He foresaw too many mouths to feed and not enough food to feed them. This became known as the Malthusian trap, and the Malthus philosophy has been the subject of vigorous debate ever since.

Six years after Malthus introduced his theory, the world population reached one billion. And 216 years after that milestone, we’re now hurtling toward a population of eight billion.

The overpopulation Malthus expected has indeed come to bear. …

“A house divided against itself cannot stand, especially in the face of two existential threats.”

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

The United States of America has been a life-saver for me and my family.

My grandparents’ families all escaped persecution in Central and Eastern Europe. Jews have had it rough for thousands of years, no matter where we’ve been.

My maternal grandparents’ families ended up in Mexico. My paternal grandparents’ families ended up in Bolivia. They didn’t exactly have the pick of the litter as they escaped some of the most violent anti-Semitic forces modern civilization has ever seen.

They all did okay for themselves in Latin America, but life wasn’t easy. …

Fake crowd noise and virtual fans will feel normal compared to what’s coming.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash

Have you watched a sports event during the pandemic?

Have you seen empty stands at iconic stadiums or virtual fans watching basketball games played in hotels?

Sometimes, I can’t help but feel weirded out by watching sports events during the pandemic. It’s downright strange to watch baseball games with no fans or basketball games played in a mini-Silicon Valley with virtual fans hovering over the action.

In due time, this strangeness shall pass. Money is too alluring in sports; don’t be surprised if teams let fans pack arenas and stadiums long before a vaccine arrives. …

”For the first time — literally — substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. And society is totally unprepared for it.”

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Acy Varlan on Unsplash

Have you ever opened a thick menu (hello Cheesecake Factory) and spent an inordinate amount of time deciding what to order? Have you ever gone mad rummaging through a department store picking clothes to buy? Have you ever felt distracted during the workday and noticed a deterioration in your decision making?

As Greg McKeown wrote in his book Essentialism:

“We are unprepared in part because, for the first time, the preponderance of choice has overwhelmed our ability to manage it. We have lost our ability to filter what is important and what isn’t. …

But we can still save humanity.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Katie Rodriguez on Unsplash

Assuming Donald Trump doesn’t mount an authoritarian coup and illegitimately retain the Presidency, Joe Biden will assume office in January. Biden earned more votes than any presidential candidate in American history.

When he began his campaign, Biden’s climate platform was lackluster, to put it mildly. But as he solidified the Democratic nomination and campaigned in the general election, his climate plan became the most ambitious of any presidential candidate ever.

Did that help or hurt him in the election? It’s hard to say.

Here’s what I do know: A lot of voters are worried about climate change. Finally.

In April 2020, the Yale Center for Climate Change Communications released a report titled “Politics & Global Warming.” 1,029 people from across the political spectrum, including 911 registered voters, were surveyed on how they view “global warming, climate and energy policies, and personal and collective action.” …

You can control your carbon footprint…and therefore you should.

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Author

Do you feel guilty about your carbon footprint?

I recently argued you shouldn’t. The crux of my argument: our global ecological crisis requires systemic, structural solutions no one individual can execute.

You are one of eight billion slices of the pie we call humanity. If you could somehow cut a pie into eight billion slices, you wouldn’t be able to see yourself. Heck, you probably wouldn’t even see the ten million nearest slices. They would all blend into the bigger pie.

Likewise, our collective carbon footprint (or ecological footprint, to be more precise and comprehensive) consists of eight billion different slices. …


Danny Schleien

Author, writer, editor, environmentalist. Think green. “The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store