This article compares two dominating conceptual frameworks of the current global environmental crisis, the Anthropocene and climate change, with respect to how they can be deployed to think about the dynamics of political action. Whereas the Anthropocene has attracted the attention of audiences beyond specialists and has radically expanded the temporal horizon for politics, its temporal characteristics risk rendering it unhelpful for thinking critically about how the current environmental crisis can be addressed. Most importantly, by establishing a reference point in a distant future from which the present is evaluated, the Anthropocene framework gives the impression that the future is already determined and that the course of future environmental degradation is set. The Anthropocene thus fails to specify what is at stake for politics in the current crisis. As a contrast, the climate-change framework is structured as a range of scenarios. It establishes a temporal structure that opens the present to different potential futures and manifests the fact that the level of emissions in the coming decades is decisive for future climate change but not yet determined. Further, the presence of tipping points in the climate system can be understood in temporal terms as a risk in some scenarios of falling into a temporality of unfolding, a mode in which game-changing events that lead to even more emissions proceed beyond human influence. The risk of entering such a temporality that closes down the possibility to meaningfully deliberate on fundamental aspects of the future increases with the rate of emissions. The climate-change framework in this way helps us understand the environmental crisis in a new way, namely by conceptualizing the open future as a finite resource that has to be distributed globally and across generations. In sum, as a framework for engaging with environmental derangement, the climate-change framework offers a more specific and politically useful temporality than the Anthropocene.