Superheroes indeed! I found them all over South Africa, from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg to the botanical gardens of Cape Town. This is a country, obviously, that knows a little bit about political movements, so it’s not entirely surprising that people are coming up with dramatic and creative actions: a mass climb of the iconic Table Mountain that juts out above the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans in Capetown, or simultaneous bike rides in the three main cities, or — the list is long.

I ate breakfast with bishops and other clerics; lunch with biologists; dinner with journalists. South Africa is incredibly diverse and beautiful, which means it will suffer from all the various forms of trouble that climate change brings — drought on the desert edges that now support agriculture, for instance. And because it’s a developing country with an enormous first-world population, it has a real mix of causes and consequences. But more to the point, there seems to be a surplus of people ready to go to work, on Oct. 24 and in the months thereafter. This place has worked miracles before — and everyone we talked to pointed out that it the international movement against apartheid helped pressure the country to change. That’s the kind of pressure we need now!

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