I was brought up short by this very ordinary passage from Wilson's introduction:
Welcome to what I think we need to recognize as "the new normal." Wilson goes on to describe past and contemporary cooking quite cheerfully -- but she has prefaced the story with this. It is becoming impossible to write thoughtfully about much of anything and project into the future without recognizing that the future will be shaped by global warming.
This recognition isn't a political statement -- it is simply realistic. Narratives like this that nod casually to "the new normal" will do a lot to help break the current political impasse over responding to climate change. If everything takes place in a world where humans are conscious that we are reshaping the climate, we will grope our way to changing how we organize our societies. Our adaptation probably won't be comfortable, efficient or elegant -- and it is certainly not timely -- but we'll move.
This is not pie-in-the-sky thinking. I know. I'm a proud lesbian leading a good life in the United States. In my lifetime this society has adopted a another sort of "new normal" which is on the way to treating me as a full, responsible member of the human family. From unthinkable and perverse, we queers are on the way to normal. Adapting to reality can happen -- but first the "new normal" gradually becomes integrated into all our thinking. And that is imperceptibly happening with awareness of climate crisis.
I've used that language about our destroying "the planet," but Cooper is right: the new normal is that our society and our species are behaving suicidally. The planet will be fine; we humans, or our offspring, will not unless we change.
Despite every other legitimate concern, we cannot ignore that our economic and social system is rapidly making the planet less habitable. So I will be posting "Warming Wednesdays" -- reminders of an inconvenient truth.