The politics of hope

The politics of hope

Wednesday January 08, 2020

2020 is the year we all need to start dreaming big — for our climate and our future

By Mary Zeiser, Climate Campaigner at Stand.earth

For the past several years (and for many people, several centuries), greedy industries and corrupt governments have sought to take our free will, our individuality, and our spirit – everything that makes us uniquely who we are. When facing these types of attacks on our personal and collective health and the climate, it’s easy to feel hopeless. We retreat, we lose our strength, we lose ourselves.

But in each and everyone of us, there is a light, a spirit that won’t be snuffed out, that won’t give up. Now more than ever, we all need to let that light shine bright. 

Given the reality of the climate emergency, and the long legacy of white supremacy and colonialism in the U.S. and Canada, 2020 is the year we all need to start dreaming big and instilling hope around us. 

Hope that when faced with greedy industries and corrupt governments determined to destroy our spirits, we will fight back and thrive. Hope that those who may have shunned us, will, in a moment of crisis, come to our aid. Hope that we will again see the faces we love and remember the faces of those we’ve lost, when we’re on the frontlines fighting for a better future.

Photos by Norm Sands via Facebook

Somewhere in the world, there is a child whose eyes are opening to the reality that the world they live in is under attack, that their future is at stake. Somewhere there is a kid with hope, who realizes that our collective power is far greater than that of the 1% — even as the leaders of the world blatantly sell our hope to big oil, the logging industry, and coal mining companies.

Somewhere in the world, there is a child who is making tough decisions about whether they want to ignore the facts, or face them head on. That child sees climate activists being taunted by climate change deniers, and is forced to make a choice. Either they will help fuel the clean energy revolution, or they will bury their heads in the sand and try to ignore the uncomfortable reality that is capitalism’s climate chaos.

But one day, that child will read a headline that says “People power rises to reverse climate change.” Because there is hope for major systemic change. There is hope for a better tomorrow. We know we can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. 

So let’s give the people hope. Let’s share a faith in the possibilities the future holds. Let’s imagine the world we want to be part of and envision it. Let’s realize the gravity of the potential in turning the tides. And then let’s start building a future to be proud of.

If there is a child without clean drinking water, it matters to us – even if it's not our child. If there’s a caribou running from logging destruction, it matters to us, even if we’re miles apart. If there is a Tribe or First Nation whose treaties have been broken, it matters to us. All of these are realities, and we are morally obliged to take action.

In the end, this is what this climate change fight is about. Do we participate in the destruction of our planet, in the politics of cynicism — or do we participate in the politics of hope? Hope for our collective liberation from oppression and destruction, since freedom is interdependent after all.

There is hope in the Indigenous youth speaking truth to power at the United Nations, because their lives depend on it. There is hope in a mother wishing for her children to thrive. There is hope of climate refugees setting out to distant shores. There is hope in the oil field workers who see the decline of their industry and seek support as they change their career trajectories.

In 2020, let’s use hope in the face of our biggest nightmares. Let’s be relentlessly hopeful against all odds. Let’s do the impossible – with a hope that the impossible is contagious and everlasting.

This world will be redefined by people with great hope. Hope for humanity to come out of this long period of darkness. Hope for humanity to find peace, harmony and happiness. Hope that a bright and beautiful era is just around the corner. 

I hope that you Stand with us, because together, there is nothing that can stop us.

Join Stand.earth's online community today by taking action at https://www.stand.earth/take-action