This article appeared in the September 23, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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The role of hope in fighting climate change

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Children enrolled in the Adventures Camp at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont, looked for insects under a log during a 2009 session. For many nature educators, showing children the wonders of exploring nature is the first step in raising adults who care for the planet.
Clayton Collins
Director, editorial innovation

Today we look at how shifting political norms test the Constitution, where multinationalism is spurned and sought, completeness (despite discomfort) in a historical record, and promises around social equity in higher ed.

First, the weekend was bookended by a climate strike and today’s action summit

Urgency can bring out fighters. “We need to get angry and understand what is at stake,” teen climate activist Greta Thunberg told Democracy Now recently. For Emily Atkin, anger was the motivator for her blog, Heated. “I strongly believe that anger, carefully directed, is essential to ... effective action,” she told the Columbia Journalism Review

But hope is a motivator, too, even among longtime warriors you’d expect to be tired. 

“We have the technology we need,” Al Gore wrote yesterday in The New York Times, calling for the will to deploy it. “We’re dancing as nimbly as we can,” wrote Bill McKibben in Time, writing from an imagined 2050, a time of global trust, “and so far we haven’t crashed.” 

Hope is not a strategy, but it can be a constructive orientation. One essayist worries that nurturing her son’s love for nature – not just teaching him to combat its perceived enemies – might set him up for a hard future if losses mount. 

“[K]ids who play in the woods become adults who [take] care of the planet,” writes Rebecca Hesiman in High Country News. “But ultimately, it wasn’t the statistics that made up my mind. It was a feeling – hope. Taking our son camping has become my stubborn way of hanging onto hope that a beautiful future is still possible.”

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This article appeared in the September 23, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 09/23 edition