Maybe We’re Not Doomed After All: We Have the brains to slow down climate change, but do we have the will?

As the effects of a warming climate intensify and a sense of impending catastrophe grows stronger, it’s becoming easier to give in to environmental despair. Having spent the past five years studying the Arctic and traveling around Greenland, I feel the pull as well. Glaciers and sea ice are melting at an alarming rate; temperatures are rising at a steady clip. To make matters worse, the Trump administration’s recent efforts to ignore a fact-based, scientific approach — rejecting, for instance, the use of computer projections to assess how a warming world might look after 2040 — leads me to worry that climate denialism is moving from the scientific fringes to the institutional center. Yet I also feel we’re in danger of losing sight of two crucial and encouraging aspects of our predicament.

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The New York Times Week in Review