News about climate problems comes barreling at us every day. Just last week, it was in the form of thick, hazy smoke from wildfires burning out of control in eastern Canada. Some friends of mine in New York City said it smelled like a campfire – indoors. What I heard from family and friends was fear, sadness and apathy. “What can one person do?” my friend Cynthia asked me. “The news is always the same on climate, and it is always bad.”

True, but there are solutions to the climate crisis. None are easy. But consider this: Last year, for the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted the power of behavioral change to force large-scale mitigation.

At The Conversation, we don’t shy away from documenting the effects of climate change, but we also look at it through the lens of solutions. Here’s a good example: Drew Shindell points out that air pollution is often not talked about in the same sentence as climate change. It should be. He sets out how we can improve air quality – steps that would also provide climate benefits.

In Senegal there have been violent protests following the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko. One of the government’s reactions was to shut down the internet and social media networks. While the government cited threats of fake news, Jeffrey Conroy-Krutz warns that the shutdown will be costly – both financially and politically – and that the short-term benefits that come from limiting protests could be outweighed by hardened and expanded opposition among young people.

Beth Daley

Executive Editor and General Manager, The Conversation U.S.

Wildfire smoke and dirty air are also climate change problems: Solutions for a world on fire

Drew Shindell, Duke University

So much pollution goes into the air today that even without wildfire smoke, 99% of the global population breathes unhealthy air.

Senegal’s internet shutdowns are another sign of a democracy in peril

Jeff Conroy-Krutz, Michigan State University

Restricting the internet in Senegal is costly. There will be financial costs and damage to livelihoods.

Shaka Zulu is back in pop culture – how the famous king has been portrayed over the decades

Dan Wylie, Rhodes University

Shaka iLembe hits TV screens on 18 June. The Zulu leader has never been portrayed as a real man - hopefully this time he will be.