The pseudo-“debate” over the reality of the climate crisis is effectively over. It seems that only President Trump, his Republican minions and sycophants, and a motley collection of wingnuts are willing to carry on with outright crisis denialism. (In fact, I suspect that one of the President’s biggest lies is that he doesn’t accept the climate science; if not the brightest of bulbs, he really is too smart for that.) Nor is there much question about what needs to be done, and done with the urgency of trying to save a house on fire. The only real question is whether governments can do what needs doing to control the flames.
The dismal failure of the recent COP25 (25th United Nations Climate Change Conference) offers little basis for optimism. Quite the contrary; there is every reason to be gloomy about the prospects for meaningful action. Nearly 200 nations met for two weeks trying to put teeth into some of the commitments of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, and left empty handed. So, even as global climate disasters pile up; even as each new scientific reports suggests that the window of opportunity for averting truly catastrophic impacts is closing very, very fast; even as the Sixth Great Extinction gallops ahead; and even as millions of angry, frightened citizens are protesting the world over, demanding that governments implement measures to mitigate the crisis – even is the face of all this, governments seem incapable of acting to prioritize the biosphere, the very basis for life itself.
At the moment, then, the answer to this entry’s title question certainly appears to be, sadly, “Yes, climate breakdown is inevitable.”