Subin Devar, the Law Center's Director of Community Renewable Energy, penned this essay, Are You Thinking About Climate Change Wrong?, as part of our membership campaign in January 2020. It was recently republished in Nonprofit Quarterly.
Everyday people, at least in the US, are more concerned and more pessimistic about climate change. Perhaps this is because of diminishing trust in government or the sheer scale of the problem. From my experience, people who work on climate, energy, or social justice issues are a bit more hopeful than others, even if they are weighed down at times by worry. It appears that people around the globe are a little more optimistic that we can avoid the worst effects of climate change. But is that enough? Avoiding the worst effects?
In this context, a pass/fail framing of climate change has two key problems.