We need to talk to our kids about the climate crisis. But courage fails me when I look at my son | Tim Flannery

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Tim Flannery has been speaking about climate change for decades – but he’s finding it harder and harder to be the bearer of bad news

Being a bearer of bad news is never easy. I’ve been writing and talking about climate change for decades now. Constant exposure hardens one to even the most horrific reality, and I’ve coped by acting like a jolly hangman – or at least not giving in publicly to the helplessness I sometimes feel as I relate the latest findings.

But as the news darkens, I’m having difficulty talking to young people about it. I can tell an optimistic story about developing technologies and the role they can play in helping avert the worst of the crisis. But we have now left action so late that some very severe climate impacts seem unavoidable. When I try to imagine how I, as a young person, would react to such news, I find it hard to continue my work.

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