“That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point)
Far and away the most popular Climate Chronicle post of 2010 — I’ve only been at this since May — was the one I published on July 25 about climatologist James Hansen’s recent book, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.
I’d like to think incisive analysis and scintillating prose accounted for all the page views that post garnered, but I know its popularity had a lot more to do with the fact that Hansen’s name and the phrase “tipping point” are both popular Internet search terms. Those words are to climate hawks (a neologism used to describe climate activists like me, and one which Joe Romm over at the indispensable site Climate Progress thinks deserves to be named phrase of the year) what the words “Justin Bieber” are to followers of popular culture. Using them in your posts is like chumming for sharks with severed fingers: it really draws ’em in.
Tipping point gets my vote for phrase of the year. It accurately describes where the planet is climatologically, ecologically and historically. It’s also what this movement needs to reach if we’re to keep our beautiful ark of a planet from capsizing.
To those of you who have been with me from the start, thanks very much for reading along and for sharing Climate Chronicle posts with your friends and family. If a Google or Bing! search brought you here for the first time, welcome. Please spread the word. Keep calling and writing your elected officials to tell them global warming and climate change are breaking your heart — and the heartland.
Now, without further ado, here is the most popular Climate Chronicle post of 2010.
And because an evangelical backlash against environmentalism is underway, I’m also including another popular post I wrote about Calvin DeWitt in September. His perspective and example are needed now more than ever.