Pollution doesn’t respect borders, but climate change has to be made local

You will probably get depressed reading this article, but it’s worth it to stick with it to the end. It ends on a hopeful note, and a lesson for talking about climate change.

The plight of the polar bears may hurt me in my soul, but lots of people have more immediate concerns. If you want to be effective with the hold-outs, make it personal. Stop talking about the arctic or low-lying island nations; people who are inclined to hear those arguments have already accepted the reality. Find something in your local community that has been affected by climate change and pollution, and focus on that when talking to people who have doubts.

Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students (NYT)

In woods behind the school, where Mr. Sutter had his students scout out a nature trail, he showed them the preponderance of emerald ash borers, an invasive insect that, because of the warm weather, had not experienced the usual die-off that winter. There was flooding, too: Once, more than 5.5 inches of rain fell in 48 hours.

The field trip to a local stream where the water runs neon orange also made an impression. Mr. Sutter had the class collect water samples: The pH levels were as acidic as “the white vinegar you buy at a grocery store,” he told them. And the drainage, they could see, was from the mine.

It was the realization that she had failed to grasp the damage done to her immediate environment, Jacynda said, that made her begin to pay more attention. She did some reading. She also began thinking that she might enjoy a job working for the Environmental Protection Agency — until she learned that, under Mr. Trump, the agency would undergo huge layoffs.

“O.K., I’m not going to lie. I did a 180,” she said that afternoon in the library with Gwen, casting a guilty look at her friend. “This is happening, and we have to fix it.”