I think there’s a tendency, even among people of good faith, to abdicate responsibility to nature. We think about climate change as rising seas that swallow up cities, as horrible storms and fires—and all those things are symptomatic of climate change. But when people ask me, “What scares you the most about climate change?” I answer: “What climate change is going to make us do to each other.”

I don’t think a nightmare climate-changed world is a world where Earth kills us all. I think a nightmare climate-changed world is one where society breaks down, and we do awful, awful things to each other.

I watch climate change happen every day on a computer, on a fake planet that I can do experiments on. But climate change doesn’t happen on a fake planet; it happens on our planet, in the world that we’ve built. You can’t put Bashar al-Assad in a climate model. You can’t put the legacy of colonialism in a climate model. The drying trend we’ve seen in the Levant region interacts with the world we’ve actually built. Climate change is not an abstraction, and it’s not something you can remove from the complexities of human society.

Kate Marvel, in Jill Kubit, et al., “Parenting and Climate Change”