The long term prognosis is bad, but the short term is worse. The two headlines dominating the news are the ever-increasing risk of nuclear war with North Korea and the evidence of climate change’s devastating effects in Hurricane Harvey. Sure, there are steps we can take to mitigate each—such as remembering the consequences next time we vote and doing everything we can to curtail our carbon emissions—but, as individuals, there isn’t a lot we can do to meaningfully reduce the threat of extinction.
Other than hiding under the covers, how are we to cope with the existential threat of the end of the world? We probably can’t—our intellect isn’t sophisticated enough. But we can use our anxiety to remind us to do all the things we should be doing anyway. (Read)