Past the point of no return: not just a Phantom of the Opera song

tidal pool and sandbar on beach

Dammit. I’m going to miss you, Crane Beach.

The other day, I read that the West Antartic ice sheet is now in irreversible collapse, which means there will likely be a 10 to 15-foot rise in global sea level over the next few centuries. Or, as the Mother Jones headline puts it, “This is what a holy shit moment for global warming looks like.”

On one hand, this doesn’t come as a big surprise; people have been warning for years that this was likely to happen. On the other hand, there’s an enormous difference between “probably” and “definitely.” Especially when that “definitely” involves the certainty that  places you love will be swallowed up by the sea (if on a timetable that no one knows yet, and probably not within your own lifetime).

Sometimes I wonder how I’m supposed to read news like this and then go about my day like everything’s fine. How am I supposed to do anything other than run around screaming?

I know that running around screaming isn’t exactly an effective form of activism. But sometimes it feels like the only sane response to news like this.