APB Speaker Mark Blyth’s Editorial on Climate Crisis Featured in "The Guardian"
30 Aug 2021
Is it possible to “get back to normal” when it comes to climate change? According to APB speaker Mark Blyth, a political economist at Brown University, absolutely not. In an opinion piece recently published in The Guardian, Blyth argues that it will take much more than replacing our fossil fuels and one-use goods with recyclables and green energy to heal the earth. We need to truly transform the way we live, he writes.
So why aren’t we making the changes? Blyth says that humans are hardwired in a number of ways not to accept problems like climate change. Although we know bad things can happen, like the pandemic or the market crashing, we believe that we’ll eventually get back to normal. Humans, he says, also hate dealing with uncertainty. We’re OK with risks but systems with random outcomes freak us out. And finally, we’re not good with scale, he says. When a problem, like global warming, is too big or can’t be explained, it’s just easier to ignore.
“As well as accepting the facts, it’s time to give up on getting back to normal and face the fact that there is no normal to return to,” Blyth writes. “As the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report makes clear, there are now only unknown and unfamiliar alternative futures that we can choose from. Embracing that uncertainty, rather than denying it, is the first step to choosing the right one.”