Why haven’t we solved the climate crisis yet?

Lisa Rose, Europe Digital Manager

I wish I could stop doom-scrolling through all the shocking headlines and images of our over-heating planet but I can’t look away. I’m always frozen in a state of disbelief and despair at times like this.

I’ve been staring at one photo in particular, of the thick orange haze cloaking the United Nations building in New York. It’s an eerily symbolic illustration of the situation we’re in. As Dr Lucy Tran put it: “it’s the perfect image for how world leaders have failed at stopping the climate crisis.”

So now I have this one burning question in my mind: Why haven’t we solved the climate crisis yet?

About 15 years ago, I remember being very aware of the scientific warnings about our climate, but it wasn’t something that anyone I knew was lying awake at night thinking about. This lack of anxiety and outrage was blamed as the reason why the world was too slow to react to the dangers ahead. People simply didn’t care enough – because climate impacts and warnings were not in the mainstream news much. 

But now it’s a different story and almost everyone I know is deeply worried. The demand for bolder action has never been stronger and this is largely thanks to the epic rise of the youth climate movement. Many governments have declared states of emergency along with ambitious climate goals while big companies are making (seemingly) impressive promises. So how can we still be on a path to catastrophic destruction even when the impacts of the climate crisis are literally on everyone’s doorsteps right now. 

I’ve reached out to some of my colleagues across 350 to help me find the answers. Here’s what they had to say: 

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