A number of friends have asked me what I think about the new IPCC report. They are quite depressed, and this is a polite way to ask me if I share their reaction. The report is stark, but also, there’s not much that is new. We’ve known this information for years. Yet our reaction is that the climate crisis seems hopeless.
I hear this a lot in climate organizations. We need to know that the product of our efforts will turn out for the best. It keeps us going. That’s what hope is. But there’s another approach to shaping our attitudes and mental health. I’ve talked about the concept of progress in other posts. So try this; I’ve created this acknowledgement to read before starting the climate meetings I lead.
As we begin our meeting, let us acknowledge the scope of the climate challenges we face. The climate crisis is large, scary, urgent, and can seem overwhelming.
We do this work because it is the right thing to do. We do it for others. Our families, our loved ones and those who are most vulnerable. It is the moral thing to do. We have no other choice.
Our success will be measured over lifetimes, the product of tens of thousands of projects by hundreds of millions of people. Progress is the way we sustain the work, no matter the size of our project or our effort.
Let us also acknowledge that together we are stronger than any one individual. Together, regardless of the color of our skin, where we come from or where we live, we are powerful. Together we are relentless. Together we can support, respect and thank each other for the work we are undertaking. Together we will be successful.
Now let’s see what progress we can make today. Thank you. Please join us in this work.
Climate doomism is a new form of climate denial. Action, not hope, is the antidote for feeling overwhelmed and depressed. Scope and progress are the measures that move us forward. Imagine a world where we can breathe clean air, drink clean water and our future is secure. What you do is incredibly important and significant. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
‘We are all connected. Savor the Earth!’™
L. Hobart Stocking