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If there is one true thing about humans, it's that we're hyper-adaptable, problem-solving machines. I think, long term, we've got this. But there's going to be a lot of bad along the way, and it hurts a lot to see the bad getting worse in real time.

Sometimes sacrifices are forced, and sometimes they are given. Let's try to make a world where the former alleviates the latter.

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Good morning, John.  Last year, I made a video about how Game of Thrones can be seen as an allegory for climate change and it included this line: "Climate change is literally the first global scale collective problem our species has ever faced," and oh god.  So that made me think a couple of things.

One was, is it really?  Is it really?  Like, cancer is a global scale collective problem, kind of.  So is nuclear proliferation, poverty, but I guess it depends on what I meant by collective, and since I'm me, I guess I get to decide that.  Maybe I mean by collective that we all contribute to it and we all can, in however small a way, have an impact either positive or negative, on the problem through our actions, and through that lens, maybe, maybe global warming is the first large scale collective problem the world's ever faced, but if that is true, then John, we've got a second and I could have done without a second.

There was some talk early on about how COVID would be a positive for the environment, which I hated from the very beginning.  A thing that is often overlooked or not talked about enough is that like, overcoming climate change is going to require prosperity. It requires a world in which there is enough, both for people to be safe and happy, and also for us to have the resources necessary to like, free ourselves from the carbon economy, and that's a tall order because a lot of our current happiness and safety and health and prosperity relies on the carbon economy.  I'm sorry to say it, that's the situation.

Right now, we are incapable of guaranteeing peoples' health and happiness without spending extra resources on combating climate change.  We're sitting here with a global GDP for 2020 at -5%.  That's four trillion dollars, and here's a wild thing: the UN's upper estimate for how much it would cost to fix climate change: 4 trillion dollars per year.  Yes, we are incurring the costs of about 1/2 to 1 COVID epidemic every year we do not tackle climate change.

We have a very big, global collective problem right now and we're  spending a tremendous amount of resources either directly or through decreased economic activity, on that problem, as we should be.  And none of us know what the end result is gonna be, but it's not hard to imagine that there will be a fairly significant period of slow or even declining economic growth, and while that's happening, we won't be focused  on climate change, which I understand, but we also just won't have the same level of resources we otherwise would have had to help free ourselves from the carbon economy, but also, I am seeing a clearer, brighter light being shined on the dangers of all-out individualism.

Just as your freedom of expression doesn't always include the ability to not wear a mask in certain places, our freedom to live however we want in this world is going to be impinged upon by the reality that living that way is going to long-term decrease our ability to live in the world, and so yes, there will be costs, just as there are costs to combating this epidemic.  They're just much less bad than the cost of not doing anything.

We've watched over the last six months collective action unlike anything I've ever seen in my lifetime, maybe anything ever.  Are there some standout crapfaces?  Yes.  Do we know the ultimate impact of their terrible behavior?  No.  We don't, and we may never, but at least I have now seen a large scale collective action of the kind, if not the magnitude, necessary to take on climate change, and so if I am more fearful because we're headed into a less prosperous world, at least for now, I am also more hopeful because I have seen that people can and do make sacrifices when we see what's really on the line.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.