No way to trade the Earth

Creative director and artist Matt Jukes makes these lovely prints of “misremembered landscapes and nearly forgotten memories”.

I picked up David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth — which is an extension out of his essay with the same title — this week, despite being terribly terrified of the prospect of the Earth burning us alive and sinking us under rising seas and deluge of biblical floods, among other possibilities. We all know about how bad the warming is already right now, and it is going to worsen over the years — but if you want to know the scale of how bad it is going to get, read this book. The first line is already anxiety-inducing, “It is worse, much worse, than you think.” Reading this book as I underlined numerous phrases and annotated in the margins with notes equivalent of terror and despair, you might think Wallace-Wells is an alarmist. He is not — he is a realist and the situation is as really as alarming, and that we (also extending a louder “take action!” to politicians and corporations) should shake off the complacency and do something. Move over, Stephen King, this is the scariest book I have read ever — and even better (or worse?) this is absolutely REAL.

I am not sure how I came about this post on writing today by poet Rishi Dastidar. “Don’t write what you know,” Dastidar wrote. “Because you know it. Where’s the fun in regurgitating that?” I feel like there are some truths to this. A lot of things I have written are driven by my curiosity to get to know things outside of my own expertise (e.g. my PhD thesis), and while the blank screen/paper can be particularly scary the first time around, it feels so liberated to be able to fill them anyway. “Write to know,” Dastidar said, similar to Aciman’s notion in his own collection of essays, Alibis, “you write not after you have thought things through, you write to think things through.”

Something to think about over the weekend:

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