If you're feeling utterly deflated by the outcomes of COP26507129, we are here to bolster you. Some see 'hope' as ungrounded optimism, and the opposition of action. But there's another kind of hope. One that sees hardships ahead, but has the determination to carry on and make the best of things. We asked some great greenies what's making them feel hopeful right now.
JESSIE BRINTON / MOTHERSHIP
"The main thing that's making me hopeful is that there's never been a higher public awareness of the climate crisis and that COP is helping to normalise conversations about it too. Ten years ago, my friends thought that me working on climate was some kind of strange hobby I had but now it's the country's biggest concern, even higher than the economy.
As people wake up to how important it is, there will be more dynamism in the system. New ideas that visionary people have been quietly developing for years around things like new economics, or leadership, or regenerative growing, will see more and more traction. And nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come (by Victor Hugo, not me)"
ED GILLESPIE / GREENPEACE
I think the hope actually comes from the grimness - the confrontation with truth & reality, no matter how uncomfortable. It is perhaps only then that the oft touted ‘sunlit uplands’ become visible beyond the dark mountain that we all have to climb together. As Gloria Steinem said ‘the truth will save you…but first it will piss you off’ 🤣
DAZE AGHAJI / EARTHRISE
"The thing that is keeping me hopeful is community; the pure love and rage of the inspiring people and change-makers I met on the streets of Glasgow through COP. There is hope and we are fearlessly brave for holding onto it.
I’m feeling so full of gratitude for the experiences I’ve had and the genuine connections which have been made. I have been steeped in joy and laughter but I’ve also witnessed grief and sorrow from people who have experienced trauma under the injustice systems that govern our world.
Although activists are fuelled by love, we are also fuelled by rage. Over the next week as we return back to our ‘normal’ lives these feelings of love and rage will transform to sadness for many. As we watch our world leaders not take into account the true severity of the crisis, listen but not truly empathetically hear the harm cause by fake promises and weak policies, but most of all the loss of the great sense of community which has been cultivated by the activists in Glasgow. However, as I watched Brother Spirit of @plumvillagefrance say yesterday, ‘Be with the feelings, hold it tenderly’, even the sadness.
This idea about how to respond to sadness has been something that has been on my mind all through COP as I knew the ‘post-COP blues’ were looming before I had even arrived. Let’s take this next week to feel, and process any emotions we have, to be embodied in our response to sadness and understand as humans we need to feel the full spectrum of our feelings and that’s okay.
But after the sadness, I know hope will follow; Inspired by the people I’ve met in Glasgow."
ROB HOPKINS / TRANSITION MOVEMENT
What gives me hope? The rapidly tumbling costs of renewable energy. The speed with which companies and organisations are divesting from fossil fuels and oil and gas companies are losing their social licence to operate. The power, grace and passion of young climate and intersectionality activists, and the ways in which these movements are coming together. The degree to which people are recognising the importance of storytelling, imagination and play in making the changes we need. The speed at which trees grow. The activists working so hard to transform things. The fact that life loves life and wants to make more of it. Shambala Festival! Novels. Ambient electronica. Van Gogh's drawings. Good bread. Our ability to laugh about all this. The brewery I started.