Another day, another deadline: To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, greenhouse gas emissions must peak “at the latest before 2025,” according to the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. This is how we live now—not in the Biblical end times, but in a permanent “time of the end,” in the words of 20th-century German Jewish philosopher Günther Anders. Between the possibility of nuclear war and the forward march of climate change, for at least 70 years a distinctly secular apocalypse has always seemed just around the corner. Time itself is one of the victims.
Just take a look around: The mega-droughts, wildfires, and category-busting hurricanes we see today are the result of emissions past—a hauntological [...]