My nine-year-old son, Laurie, looked up at me from the sofa the other day. ‘I know!’ he said, apropos of nothing. ‘What if we found something to put into cars that didn’t make the world too hot?’ I’d been talking to him about climate change while working on this magazine; he tends to absorb things quietly and it’s only later you realize that he’s been working them through.
I felt slightly embarrassed or ashamed – it’s hard to place the emotion exactly – as I answered, crushing his light-bulb moment: ‘Well, the thing is, we already know how to make cars run on clean energy. In fact there’s a way to do almost everything we do now using clean energy. We are, um, just not doing it.’
It’s like the good news and the bad news, all rolled into one. So many of the solutions that can limit climate breakdown are staring us right in the face, but we will need to mobilize like never before to put them into action. In this issue we don’t linger on apocalyptic predictions but instead look closely at how to wean the industrialized world off dirty energy and meet the people and movements fighting to make that happen – farmers, scientists, striking schoolchildren and others.
Elsewhere in this edition we feature a photo-essay that explores the expectations and challenges for young South African people, 25 years after Mandela’s ‘rainbow nation’ came into being. And we speak to Kurdish-Iranian author Behrouz Boochani, who wrote an award-winning book using WhatsApp while detained in Manus Island detention centre.
Hazel Healy for the New Internationalist co-operative.
In order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, over 80 per cent of known fossil-fuel reserves simply cannot be burned. As political systems fail, Danny Chivers writes about the social movements are targeting mines, rigs, infrastructure and investment to keep carbon in the ground. Illustrations: Jason Ngai.
Lifestyle changes are no substitute for collective action. But personal carbon-cutting still matters – it’s a powerful way to signal the climate emergency to those around us, move the needle on policy and set bigger cultural changes in motion. Mike Berners-Lee lays out an nine-step carbon detox.
This year, South Africa marks 25 years since its first democratic elections, which ended white minority rule, made Nelson Mandela president and gave all South Africans equal political rights. Ilvy Njiokiktjien photographs the young South Africans who have known only life in the post-apartheid ‘rainbow nation’.
It’s the place where you can find everything – from an academic painstakingly listing forgotten medieval words, to the rambling stream-of-consciousness of the US president. But with research showing links between its use and depression and loneliness, is it time we gave up on social media altogether?
The Kurdish-Iranian writer has been imprisoned on Manus Island – part of Australia’s notorious asylum detention network – since 2013. But that hasn’t stopped him from writing an award-winning book. Using WhatsApp, Husna Rizvi interviews Behrouz Boochani.