Beyond Hope or Despair

October 12, 2018

Beyond Hope or Despair

There is something beyond both hope or despair in response to the dilemma of climate change or climate breakdown, a term that the British journalist, George Monbiot recently coined.  When I hear people saying, yes, there is still hope, we must have hope, when what is being described seems so devoid of hope, then recently I find it grating to my ears. It just does not ring true to reality. The fear by many is that without hope, we will fall into despair and not do anything – fall into a state of helplessness or depression.

Neither rings true in my experience.

Recently I read the summary of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which issued its report stating the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5°C (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) as early as 2030 causing catastrophic impacts across the globe and added that “it is not impossible to limit global warming to 1.5°C. but it will require unprecedented and collective climate action in all areas. There is no time to waste.”

I was naturally upset and probably had all sorts of other responses that didn’t totally register in my being, but mainly I felt such an urgency to respond, to do more, even though realistically it is so unlikely that in the next few years, we will collectively take action in all areas. Nothing in reality points to this kind of huge response. That sadly is the truth of where we are at as a race.

So what did I do? I wrote to some of the Republican senators urging them ever so politely to respond. I even wrote to President Trump when I heard he was going to read the IPCC report and again urged him to take action. I continue to do work in Citizens Climate Lobby, (CCL), a national organization, which lobbies in Washington for a carbon fee and dividend bill on fossil fuels. This bill would appeal to both parties as it is a market-based  solution diverting us away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy.

I also started to post more articles from other writers on climate breakdown on my facebook page, Spotlight Planet Earth, and I’m now re-igniting my blog site with articles by me.

On one level, it always feels like a drop in the bucket and I’m sure that is the way even people with so much more leverage than myself feel in response to this existential threat to our whole life on earth.

And yet, although the prognosis does not look good at all, as a good friend said to me recently, life wants life. I can’t stop responding.  It’s beyond reason, beyond emotion, beyond hope or despair. It’s on some kind of deep soul level. I just have to keep going because there is no choice. Life wants life to keep going. What other choice do we have?


    1. My biggest fear is the collapse of marine ecosystems. The red tide plague in Florida shows us what that’s like. I think that fossil fuel will be phased out as wind and solar become cheaper. I’m more worried about plastics. A forward direction is found in the City of Cologne, which has been redesigned to Foster all kinds of wildlife.

      1. Thank you for your response. Yes, the collapse of marine ecosystems is very disturbing. So much really has to change…It is huge. I don’t know about the forward direction in the city of Cologne. I will look it up. Thank you. very warmly, Judy Fox

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