Among scientists speaking off the record, disgusted candor is the rule. One senior scientist told me, “You know those new cigarette packs, where governments make them put a picture of someone with a hole in their throats? Gas pumps should have something like that.”
—I was pulling quotes from Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone article on global warming to share with you, but I’d basically just copied-and-pasted the whole article, so I’m just going with the first one I picked. Which is an off-the-cuff comment that doesn’t sound that dire, and later in the piece is refuted when the author explains that it’s far too late for individuals making behavioral changes to have any effect at all on the crisis, that we’re way beyond that. There is the tiniest little sliver of hope in this piece, but only the tiniest. You can read it either way: as a final rallying call to preserve the planet, or as permission to do whatever you want, because we’re all going down anyway.