This article discusses another kind of climate denialism. As uncertainty and denial about climate change have diminished, they have been replaced by similarly paralyzing feelings of panic, anxiety, and resignation.
Yet Wallace-Wells has also stressed that there is no place for fatalism. In an interview with NPR, he said that “every inch of warming makes a difference”—we cannot stop the process of warming altogether, but we can control whether climate change yields a future that is apocalyptic or instead “merely grim.” Several years ago, I asked the climate activist and writer Bill McKibben how he was able to keep from falling into depression, given how much time he devotes to thinking about climate change. He answered that fighting is the key—it’s only despairing if you think that you can’t take on the problem. “It’s the greatest fight in human history, one whose outcome will reverberate for geologic time, and it has to happen right now,” he said.