Looking out my office window, I see the pollinator-friendly perennials that I planted with love and care struggling to make it through the long days of oppressive heat. My sweet flock of chickens is miserable, trying anything to find some relief. I find it nearly impossible to push myself out the door to complete only the most basic of gardening tasks. Then, on the news, I hear that roads are buckling under the extreme heat in Michigan, Oklahoma, and Illinois, and we’re still only in the month of June. And I worry. My guess is that you worry, too.

Then I look for hope… and find it. Although they may be difficult to find sometimes, there are reasons for hope. I have gathered some resources that I find helpful. My wish is that you will as well.

The United Nations News has curated eight positive takeaways from the most recent IPCC report, which includes the increase in electric vehicles, reduced costs for low-emission technologies, and more. Most importantly, I believe, is reason number seven: People care and are engaged. That means me and you. This inspires me to keep caring, keep hoping, and keep on doing the work. Read more about their findings at “8 reasons not to give up hope – and take climate action.”

In a post earlier this year, the World Wildlife Fund posits that even though the current IPCC report looks dire, there is still reason for hope, but we need to move quickly. In their April 4th article “The newest climate report looks grim. Here’s why we still have hope,” the basis for hope is that climate action does work, and low carbon energy sources are more cost effective than their non-renewable fossil based counterparts. The challenge is to produce this clean energy at scale.

The David Suzuki Foundation One Earth affirms that fighting for climate action can be daunting, but there are concrete reasons to point us toward hope. First is the rapidly dropping cost of renewables. This fact is a thread throughout the arguments that call us toward hope. Next is that public opinion is on the side of climate action. Because the deniers can be so loud, we forget that most of us in the world understand that the change is real and that we are, in fact, the primary cause. This fact inspires me to be courageous and have conversations about the challenge that faces us. More specifically, there is momentum building for change among the world’s youth. They truly are at the forefront of change, and they need us to maintain hope and to provide support for their efforts. To find more evidence to bolster your resolve, check out the rest of the article at “Ten reasons to be hopeful about climate action.”

Lastly, a voice that I turn to when I need inspiration is that of Jane Goodall. Launched at the end of 2020, The Jane Goodall Hopecast features the stories and reflections of Jane’s life experience and heartening interviews with changemakers across a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Guests have included Dave Matthews, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Margaret Atwood, and, my personal favorite (that I have gone back to again and again), Cory Booker. Check out her podcast page here. I listen on Spotify, but you can hear her message of hope wherever you like to listen to your podcasts. 

Being present in the knowledge of the challenges that are facing us can feel daunting. Let us acknowledge that all of us engaged in the work feel overwhelmed and discouraged at times. But let us also be an inspiration and support to each other. We always have a choice before us. We can let the challenges push us into denial, despair, or even apathy. Let us, Instead, muster our courage, open ourselves to the wonder of this world, and choose hope.

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The Climate Action Team invites you to join our engaged group to share your love of Earth and commitment to environmental stewardship. Our next virtual meeting is Monday, July 18, at 7:30 PM. Want to join us? Email Jon Reese at reeseindecatur@gmail.com.