We can’t engineer our way out of the climate crisis

There is no doubt that capital-S Sustainability has lost some of its polish in the last few years. Greenwashing, a term coined in 1986, is now so identifiable as a “thing” that it has its own Wikipedia page. Advocates of Sustainability now have to be more cautious in their claims: A dull realism has set in. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs notes that because “so many of the components of existing economic systems are ‘locked into’ the use of non-green and non-sustainable technologies,” the bar is not going to move anytime soon.

And yet, Sustainability remains a worthy goal. After

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