This article appeared in the August 10, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Hope in hard times. More than a ‘thing with feathers.’

Armando Franca/AP/File
A demonstrator holds a terrestrial globe in Lisbon during a worldwide protest demanding action on climate change on Nov. 29, 2019. The European Union's top court definitively rejected an effort by a Scandinavian youth group and eight families around the world to force the EU to set more ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Yvonne Zipp
Features Editor

There’s no place like home.

And home is always worth fighting for, as Mary Annaïse Heglar, cohost of the “Hot Take” podcast, writes

That’s one counter to a sense of “doomerism” that can rise from reports like this week’s from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. While it’s too late to stop the Earth from heating up, it is not too late to prevent the most dire scenarios from becoming reality, as Stephanie Hanes writes in our top story. And there is, she says, still plenty of reason to reject fear and despair.

Some people draw hope from human innovation and the ability to problem solve their way out of past crises. Others take heart from the sense that “individual action actually does matter,” she says. And that doing “the next right thing,” as Jane Goodall famously puts it, is the way to solve big problems.

As Ms. Goodall recently told The New York Times, “You just plod on and do what you can to make the world a better place.” 

Still others, including Stephanie, her sources, and Ms. Goodall, point to young people and their willingness to help the Earth as a great source of hope.

It’s not hope as soft or fluffy – Emily Dickinson’s “thing with feathers.” It’s more a sense of resolve. Humanity has done hard things in the past, and can again.

One of her sources describes climate change as a “kitchen table issue,” one she sees people talking with their children about.

“The more people start thinking like that, the more big system changes happen,” Stephanie says.

The world is at a turning point, the scientist told her, “and she sees green sprouts everywhere. I do too.”

This article appeared in the August 10, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 08/10 edition
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