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“The emotional toll of the climate crisis has become an urgent crisis of its own,” writes Rebecca Solnit in The Guardian’s The long read series. Doing the hard work of confronting the climate crisis requires the right tools to mitigate against the crushing fear, anxiety and depression that threaten one’s state of mind. Those of us on the front lines of the climate movement need ways to keep climate hope alive. We will be fixing what is broken for the rest of our lives, and still, we will leave much unfinished for our children and grandchildren.

10 Ways To Keep Climate Hope Alive, Below2C

(This post is sourced from The Guardian’a Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope piece. You can read the full article by Solnit here.)

Tools for Keeping Climate Hope Alive

  1. Feed your feelings on facts – “One of the curious things about the climate crisis is that the uninformed are often more grim and fatalistic than the experts in the field – the scientists, organisers and policymakers who are deep in the data and the politics. Too many people like to spread their despair, saying: “It’s too late” and “There’s nothing we can do”. These are excuses for doing nothing, and erase those doing something. That’s not what the experts say.”
  2. Pay attention to what’s already happening – “The climate movement – which is really thousands of movements with thousands of campaigns around the world – has had enormous impact.”
  3. Look beyond the individual and find good people – “As citizens of the Earth, we have a responsibility to participate…we have the power to affect change, and it is only on that scale that enough change can happen. Individual choices can slowly scale up, or sometimes be catalysts, but we’ve run out of time for the slow. Movements, campaigns, organisations, alliances and networks are how ordinary people become powerful – so powerful that you can see they inspire terror in elites, governments and corporations alike.”
  4. The future is not yet written – “People who proclaim with authority what is or is not going to happen just bolster their own sense of self and sabotage your belief in what is possible…the historical record tells us that the unexpected happens regularly.”
  5. Indirect consequences matter – “Patience counts, and change is not linear. It radiates outward like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond. It matters in ways no one anticipates. Indirect consequences can be some of the most important ones.”
  6. Imagination is a superpower – “This is one of the remarkable things about this crisis…a lot of what we need to give up is poison, destruction, injustice and devastation. The world could be far richer by many measures if we do what this catastrophe demands of us.”
  7. Check the facts and watch out for liars – “Thinking about the future requires imagination, but also precision. Waves of climate lies have washed over the public for decades. The age of climate denial is largely over, succeeded by more subtle distortions of the facts, and by false solutions from those who seek to benefit from stasis.”
  8. History can guide us – “To remember that things were different, and how they were changed, is to be equipped to make change – and to be hopeful, because hope lies in the possibility of things being different. Despair and depression often come from the sense that nothing will change, or that we have no capacity to make that change…the scale of change in the past 50 years is evidence of the power of movements.”
  9. Remember the predecessors – “Indigenous leadership has mattered tremendously for the climate movement…a report that came out this summer demonstrated how powerful and crucial Native leadership has been for the climate movement: “Indigenous resistance has stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual US and Canadian emissions.”
  10. Don’t neglect beauty – “Only when it is over will we truly see the ugliness of this era of fossil fuels and rampant economic inequality. Part of what we are fighting for is beauty, and this means giving your attention to beauty in the present. If you forget what you’re fighting for, you can become miserable, bitter and lost.”

Rebecca Solnit is a Guardian US columnist, a prolific, writer, historian and activist.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International 

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