On Thursday, the Pantone Color Institute announced its new color of the year. 2018, the year of ultra violet, will give way to 2019’s year of living coral. And because the internet, people got angry. Ambivalence about living coral popped up on Twitter as activists and scientists questioned if Pantone was being tone deaf choosing a color that is rapidly disappearing from our planet. There were jokes about how bleached coral should be the color of the year, that it’s millennial pink for climate deniers, that choosing the color itself was climate denial, and so on. Slate said Pantone might as well have called the new color “The Rare Coral That Has Not Yet Been Bleached, as It Inevitably Someday Will in This Increasingly Toxic Toilet Bowl We Call Earth.” To which I say, what is wrong with you people? This is an opportunity to change the narrative about the world we live in vs. the world we want. As a climate journalist, cynicism is a feeling I’m all too familiar with. I spend all day thinking and writing about how the world is blowing its chances at a stable climate. I know intimately that if the planet warms by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, coral reefs will see widespread devastation, and that we are on a path that will shoot us well past that right now. And yes, I know Pantone’s color of the year is going to be used to sell stuff. The company itself helpfully identifies a… [Read full story]
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