As I sit by the fire, a gale rackets at the door and horizontal sleet sheets across my windows. With monster snowfalls in the Alps, the weather is breaking records again. Each winter, the winds are stronger, rains heavier, and temperatures lower than ever before. I put more wood on the fire and consider my investment in double-glazing well-spent.
In our protected and privileged suburban lives, this is as close as we come to considering the consequences of climate change. Weather variation and minor coastal erosion mark the limits of our lived experience. No matter the forecasts of scientists, our psychological response to climate change is the same as it is to all distant predictions of doom (heart disease, car accident). Whatever the odds, it probably won’t happen to us and it probably won’t be all that bad. What harm in a few degrees of temperature or centimetres of sea level?