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Prayer for a Just War

Don’t keep calm and carry on: a new way of thinking about action on climate change

What if we conceived of the fight against climate change as a “just war”—as both the biggest fight in human history and a global search for meaning? As fires rage, oceans rise, and pandemics ravage, the demands for international solidarity and world-scale deployments of resources are readily apparent. But in the face of ideological divisions wrought by centuries of capitalist and colonial destruction, it’s not always easy to envision what solidarity really is, or what it needs to be.

In “Prayer for a Just War,” published in the June issue of Harper’s Magazine, Greg Jackson urges us to see the “first comprehensive global challenge” as an opportunity to define our global character by our collective grit, humility, and trust. In addition to outlining the many counterattacks we must mount on political and technological fronts, Jackson imbues the mythic concept of the “existential threat” with historical and spiritual meaning. In this episode, Jackson delves into those ideas with web editor Violet Lucca, then gestures toward ways we might help each other step out of the deadly (and dull) alienation we all seem to share.

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