Katie —

I can understand your frustration. Your daughter is a victim of the false theory that scaring people into a panic is the best way to get them to engage in constructive action to solve problems. (See, e.g., https://onezero.medium.com/did-setting-a-timeline-doom-the-fight-against-global-warming-35f9f18c7a2d )

Yes, climate change is a big problem. We need to start working on it now. No, the world is not going to end in 12 years. If it would, I, too, would just spend my remaining time touring around (and emitting carbon) to look at our beautiful planet while it is there, instead of working hard to persuade people to do what they need to do to gradually mitigate the problem over a period that will stretch much farther into the future than 12 years.

Written by

Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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