Is there a climate change silver bullet? A No Dumb Questions Video

Introducing Grid Health, our new weekly health and policy newsletter

‘No Dumb Questions’: Is there a climate change silver bullet?

Climate change is of course a vast problem — global in scope, involving every aspect of society and concerning nothing less than the future of the planet. Given that, it’s not surprising that policymakers and millions of ordinary people crave easy or quick solutions.

In January, Grid’s Climate Reporter Dave Levitan joined forces with Grid’s data visualization team for a look at roughly a dozen measures, from grand-scale change (meeting all the Paris Agreement pledges, weaning all Americans off fossil fuels, among others) to smaller-scale policy prescriptions (cuts in cement and steel production, and limits on deforestation), to assess the relative difference such measures would make, if any or all were implemented. It was at once a hopeful and sobering look — all under the heading of what Levitan called “paths to a cleaner, cooler world.”

This week, in our video series “No Dumb Questions,” Levitan takes up a fundamental question about the climate crisis and possible ways to mitigate against its effects: “Is there a climate change silver bullet?”

The short answer, as you might guess, is no. But as Levitan notes, it’s a “no, but …” — meaning, there are actions to be taken that might collectively amount to something approaching a “silver bullet.”


And it’s not a dumb question at all. Watch Dave Levitan’s answer here:

We’d love to hear from you with other ideas for the series. We like to think there are no “dumb questions”; or, put differently, that there’s almost nothing out there in the world of news and information that couldn’t use a little more clarity and context in terms of the answers. We also know that we have really smart readers, and that even the smartest among them can’t be expected to have every shred of important context or background on all the events that are roiling the world at any given moment. Send your ideas and questions to

Thanks to Lillian Barkley for copy editing this article.

  • Dave Levitan
    Dave Levitan

    Climate Reporter

    Dave Levitan is a climate reporter for Grid where he focuses on interconnected stories about climate and science, and politics shaping action around both.

  • Jake Garcia
    Jake Garcia

    Associate Producer, Multimedia

    Jake Garcia is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer for Grid.

  • Tom Nagorski
    Tom Nagorski

    Global Editor

    Tom Nagorski is the global editor at Grid, where he oversees our coverage of global security, U.S.-China relations, migration trends, global economics and U.S. foreign policy.