By now, most of you have heard the news about the Special IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report that came out August 9; it’s been dubbed a “code red for humanity.” Tempting as it is to delve into the report’s takeaways, I’d like to discuss how we might wrap our heads around its daunting prognosis for the planet, instead.

Paul Hawkins, author of Drawdown and the forthcoming book Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, pointed out in a recent interview with The Tyee, “We are being home-schooled by planet Earth. The changes in climate are feedback.” …

photo by Alex Radelich, Unsplash

The other day I listened to author and environmentalist Bill McKibben talk about the hard lessons he’s learned trying to bring about action on climate change over the past several decades. The biggest mistake, he explained, was thinking that he and other activists were involved in an argument with government and industry. They believed that if they just presented enough evidence and facts, people in power would listen and take steps to avert a global catastrophe. But they were wrong, McKibben admits now. …

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Last fall while driving my son to school, I took a shortcut I’d never tried before and was immediately pulled over by a police officer for making an illegal left hand turn between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m. What struck me as I was pulled over was not what I felt but what I didn’t feel: fear. As a white middle-class woman, it never occurred to me to rehearse how to handle a situation with a cop. I didn’t worry about keeping my hands visible at all times, nor did I worry…

photo by Noah Silliman, Unsplash

We have a saying where I’m from: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it’ll change. Perhaps you say it where you live too. Somehow it’s not difficult to see the impermanence of weather, but when it’s a difficult state of affairs, or an unwelcome emotion, it can feel like it’s here to stay.

As the pandemic rages on and people’s lives are turned upside down, it’s harder to see that this too will change. We talk about “the new normal,” as though our world were predictable, reliable, and permanent.

Buddhism, of course, reminds us that everything…

As I write this, I’m in week seven of “self-isolation” with my husband and teenage son, doing my part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Just over two weeks ago, a gunman was shot down thirty minutes from my home, after a killing spree that left twenty-two people dead, the worst mass shooting in Canadian history. Yesterday, it snowed, covering the green grass and spring flowers.

Nothing is as it should be. The world has been turned upside down.

Like you, perhaps, I’m trying to make sense of this moment. In my search for answers, I’ve turned to the…

As the climate crisis worsens, and the window to solve it is quickly closing, we have a choice to make: we can shut down in fear or lean in and open our hearts even more.

Volunteer firefighter rescues a koala in an Australian bushfire, December 2019

The die is cast, so I’m told. There isn’t enough political momentum to turn the tide on climate change anytime soon. And even if there were, there is no guarantee that it isn’t already too late to avert a complete climate and ecological breakdown.

This outlook — pessimistic or realistic, depending on your point of view — is cropping up more and more. At times I find it numbing, but mostly it’s oddly reassuring — not because I want to hasten the end, but because the unspeakable is being spoken.

How do you live a life knowing that the future…

The other day my son asked me if we could go to Japan some day. We live in Nova Scotia, more than 10,000 kilometres (or 6000 miles) away. I replied that I was having some moral dilemmas about traveling. I’m still figuring out how to plot my carbon footprint for trips, but several articles about the impact of air travel on global warming have made that reality all too clear.

When I was a youth I took part in an exchange program in Mali. It was a profound experience that helped shape my view of the world and my commitment…

The young climate change activist says someday children may ask, “Why didn’t you do anything while there was still time to act?” The question haunts me.

Greta Thunberg, photo by Anders Hellberg

In a TED talk last November, the sixteen-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg wondered whether the children and grandchildren of the future will ask, “Why didn’t you do anything while there was still time to act?”

It’s a question that’s haunted me, even before I knew Greta had posed it to the world.

I woke up late to the climate crisis. I first remember feeling it in my bones during the summer of 2016 as temperatures in my city became unbearably hot. Back then there wasn’t much talk in the media about how heat waves and other extreme weather…

Tynette Deveaux

Editor, writer, and mother who wants action on climate change.

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