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Opinion
Clara Ferreira Marques

Why Aren’t We Heeding Mother Nature’s Warnings?

Wildfires from California to the Arctic permafrost are failing to convince enough people of the urgency for action on climate change.

From California to the Arctic, the drumbeat is getting louder.

From California to the Arctic, the drumbeat is getting louder.

Photographer: RINGO CHIU/AFP/Getty Images

Fires that have consumed swathes of Australia, the Arctic and now the western U.S. are lighting only a tiny flame under climate action for the world’s top polluters. It’s hard to imagine how the past two years could have included more environmental alarm bells, from the ancient peatlands ablaze in the thawing north to mercury hitting just over 54 degrees Celsius (130 Farenheit) in California’s Death Valley, after the hottest decade on record. Even that isn’t changing enough minds. 

So, what will it take? Focusing less on the deniers, learning to work with biases, alongside communities, and expanding the green lobby as benefits spread would be a start.