climate change greenland ice thaw permafrost
(Image: Getty)

The Western mood on the climate-biosphere crisis took a decidedly dark turn over the past couple of weeks.

You could feel it spreading across the world. Hell, you could feel it uncurling in yourself; a black pillar of smoke. After a brief flurry of hope in the wake of the global school students strike, perhaps a last flourish of the idea that we -- the West, the lucky ones, or some of us anyway -- might be able to get out of this without it transforming us, without it ramming into us, we got the bad news.