John Gibbons: A thin line between climate fear and despair, and then doomism

If we start to believe that it’s too late to do anything about the climate crisis, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy

Secretary-general of the United Nations António Guterres was characteristically blunt in stating that ‘humanity is on thin ice, and that ice is melting fast’. Picture: Anadolu Agency via Getty

Have climate talks become the place where hope goes to die? More than three decades ago, the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro opened with “messages of hope” from world leaders. The historic UN Framework Convention was formally signed in Rio in 1992, ostensibly signalling the launch of concerted efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

Hope has, decades later, still not translated into actions, nor have lavish political promises been matched by cuts in emissions. ...