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Big oil has sold lies about the climate crisis for decades. Now we must sell the truth |

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You may think we have all the proof we need. More of it is in front of us right now, with heatwaves scorching through Europe, breaking records, wreaking havoc. In Athens, they closed the Acropolis on Friday as temperatures at the site headed towards 48C. In Lisbon, visitors expecting perfect blue skies have been disappointed to find them streaked with grey – not clouds, but smoke from forest fires. In Italy, there was no spring this year: floods gave way to unbearable heat with barely a pause.

It’s happening all over – biblical downpours in New York state, unquenchable fires in Canada – and yet humanity is not acting as if it is confronting a planetary emergency. Extreme weather is fast becoming the norm in the US, and yet Americans tell pollsters it is a low priority, ranking it 17th out of 21 national issues in a recent Pew survey. Even when the impact is personal, as it was for many Australians when bushfires raged through the country in 2019, opinions prove stubbornly hard to shift: one study found that among those “directly impacted” by the fires, around a third…

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