The time you were living in

Re: the last post, this sermon excerpt ably expresses what I was getting at: facing up to the enormity of the climate crisis without repackaging it into something more familiar and mentally tractable:

“Half of all the living species on this planet will disappear on our watch when we’re assigned responsibility,” the man said, voice starting to thunder. “How do we take on board the meaning of that?”

The church was hot. The choir members fanned themselves with their programs, which read “A Moral Call to Action on the Climate Crisis.” The man in the pulpit was listed as “Former Vice President,” but the title felt wrong. There in Ebenezer Baptist Church, in his eighth decade of life, Al Gore was something other, something more, especially as he summoned the voice of a future generation to chastise his own.

“You could describe with your scientific instruments — all the digital devices and computers and artificial intelligence and consumer goods — but you couldn’t understand the time you were living in?” Gore growled, face flushed with rage, fist pounding the pulpit. “You could not discern the CENTRAL FACT OF YOUR LIFE? Which is that it was YOUR responsibility during YOUR lifetime to prevent the worst TRAGEDY in all of human history?”

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