Hope is something that can feel in short supply much of the time when thinking or talking about the climate crisis, or for that matter, any of the other major issues in the news–war, racism, reproductive rights–take your pick; None of it gives you any sort of warm or fuzzy feeling.
As climate change and its impacts have become more constant features in the media and our lives, the mental and emotional challenges of facing the climate crisis have also been gaining wider recognition. Google the phrases “climate grief” or “eco-anxiety” and you’ll get thousands of hits (and there’s been a proliferation of wonkier terms as well, like “solastalgia”). As these feelings become more common, however, it is a dark irony that often the more we learn about the devastating nature of climate change, the less inspired we are to act because it can all seem so hopeless.
In response, though, I’ve also noticed a distinct uptick in resources on how to deal with these tough emotions surrounding the climate crisis, which is so encouraging. Although it is so understandable and relatable to feel hopeless and uninspired about the climate crisis, the truth is that there is still time to act and our actions matter (I know I’m a bit of a broken record on this point, but I stand by the sentiment). We need to hold on to whatever bits and pieces we find hopeful and inspiring and motivating. It’s not easy work, but luckily we’ve got some smart people with some smart ideas to help us out on that journey.
First off, there is the latest project from renowned author Rebecca Solnit and digital storyteller Thelma Young Lutunatabua: an online climate resource hub called Not Too Late. Their website has links to articles about how to take climate action and why to help folks get started on the path to action, and more generally, the site is a stronghold of hope and aims to “provide climate facts and encouragement for people who are already engaged but weary;” “fortify people to face [the worst news] and to try to change it;” and “offer good news, perspectives, voices, connections to people, as well as good paths forward for the climate and those who care about it.”
If you need some more encouragement (and we all do), check out a guest essay by the director of the Climate Emergency Fund published in the New York Times this month: “If You’re Anxious About the Climate, Try This.” It turns out that taking action on climate, especially in a community setting, is one of the best methods we have of fighting off total despair (not to mention planetary collapse).
(Need help finding an action??? Check out our Climate Action Explorer.)
One more project I want to highlight is aimed specifically at youth: Action for Climate Emergency (often styled as ACE) has started a Let’s Talk About It campaign which has mental health resources and a space for young people to share their “climate truths.”
These are just a few resources that I’ve come across recently, but there’s lots of good stuff out there and we all have our own ideas/people/communities/things that keep us motivated. If you come across something that you find super helpful and/or inspiring, please share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to learn new things and get fresh ideas over here!
Thanks for reading!!