2021-08-07 Preparing for the report

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): Time to get ready for the release of the IPCC report. Repeat after me: Every fraction of a degree averted is suffering (human and non-human) averted. Just because you can't stop all suffering is not a reason to not prevent what suffering you can. There's no giving up my friends.

Also: There are tipping points in the human heart and the collective consciousness that could be just as sudden and big as any in the earth system. Just because the IPCC isn't charged with documenting them does not mean they don't exist, latent, stirring to life.

And there's nothing worse than giving up just shy of a tipping point, and no way to know how close you might be.

Also: the IPCC report will be most discouraging if you assume that the 'soft stuff" -- people's willingness to connect, to give, to serve, to be brave, to stand up -- will be constant at today's levels, or at best trend slowly and gradually.

I don't believe that's a good assumption on a planet that is only getting started burning and flooding. We don't know (we can worry) what that level of threat will awaken, but it will be novel, and it can be nudged even if it can't be controlled, and it could be nudged towards something beautiful and powerful and useful and needed.

So we have the weekend to prepare. We can get ready to respond to what might be bad news with all the heart and empathy and grit and creativity that we wish somebody else would have provided 1 or 2 or 5 IPCC reports ago.

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