The impending climate crisis is no longer impending – it’s arrived – and we’re already seeing its devastating effects. Rising sea levels, extreme weather, increased global conflict, mass migration – nobody can escape and there’s no going back. All we can do now is try to slow the rising temperatures and deal with the new environmental, economic, and social problems we face. But how do you tackle a global catastrophe that possesses the speed, scope and severity of a disaster straight out of Greek mythology or the Old Testament? What can the generation who inherited this damaged planet do to keep it alive, as it faces the prospect of a deteriorating environment and greater civil unrest? Navigating the future will be a challenge but it is possible we can conquer it… if the world can agree to face it together.
This event is part of the UNSW Grand Challenges program on Thriving in the Anthropocene.
David Wallace-Wells is a national fellow at the New America foundation and a columnist and deputy editor at New York magazine. He was previously the deputy editor of The Paris Review.
Since 2017, Wallace-Wells has written extensively about climate change. His best known work is The Uninhabitable Earth. He lives in New York City.