While the Republican Party in the United States remains among the last—but certainly the most powerful—political forces on the planet that will not acknowledge the climate threat and refuses to do anything on par with what the scientific warnings are demanding, climate campaigners have said that ultimately it will be the collective action of people who will turn the tide and overpower the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry.

“The alarm bells for climate have been ringing for decades, but as we come face-to-face with the horrific impacts scientists warned of, the excuses for inaction really are up,” wrote Hannah McKinnon, a climate activist and writer for Oil Change International, this week. “Now more than ever, the movements that have been built will need to work together to demand a just and equitable transformation to the safe and clean energy future we need.”

And Avi Lewis, filmmaker and strategic director of The Leap organization, noted in his reaction to the IPCC report, “This is the most hopeful note: more and more people are coming to the conclusion that this escalating crisis, ever-harder to deny, can galvanize change on the scale that is really needed. Nothing less will do. The idea of a ‘Green New Deal’ is gaining momentum around the world.”

The conclusions of the report, Lewis acknowledged, is “white-knuckle terrifying stuff,” but argued that the key finding is that the “worst effects of global warming can still be prevented” if humanity can rise to meet the urgency of the transformative change necessary. 

“This is a time to use our fear as fuel, and ratchet up our determination,” Lewis wrote. “Let’s take a good, hard, clear-eyed look at the fucked-up future we are headed for, and decide — collectively — to leap to a safer, better place.”

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