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Welcomed Doubt – The Highs And Lows Of Environmentalism

Seriously Hopeful?

img_1983Hi! I’m Elke, and if you care about the environment and are seeking to hear stories, laugh, and become a bit more knowledgeable of climate, you’ve come to the right place.

As a fairly open-about-my-passions environmentalist, I often get the question: How on earth do you stay hopeful?

Well… sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think about how utterly impossible this task at hand is. Addressing global climate change to preserve a livable future despite political divisiveness and government subsidies? We must be crazy, taking that on. But the fact that it’s so hard indicates that it’s so worthwhile.

No great achievement was accomplished with ease. And yes, that’s your cheese of the day.

There are people who have doubted me, told me that my work is futile, laughed at me when I tell them my dreams. Well luckily for me, I’m eminently stubborn, and those actions – though they hurt – remind me of how important and altering this work is. Plus, there are daily encouraging reminders everywhere.

Climate Parents

Hiking with my dad

Hiking with my dad

Right before I sat down to start typing this post, my mom emailed me an article from the Sierra Club. The article focuses of the “most powerful force in the world to our movement: unconditional love.” Attached was a video from the new addition to the already thriving club, Climate Parents. The name says it all; it’s a group of parents devoted towards improving our environment for the sake of future generations, a rather classic rationale. The video reaffirmed that a group can make a difference, especially a group “inspired to take action on behalf of our kids.”

Movement is Happening!

And we’re seeing change elsewhere, too. Citizens’ Climate Lobby has tens of thousands of members worldwide. 197 parties agreed to the Paris Agreement. Nationally, now 20 members of Congress have joined the bipartisan climate solutions caucus and Republicans have introduced the Gibson Resolution.

Things are happening. Sometimes that doesn’t seem so. Sometimes people get you down. Sometimes we take a step back. But things are happening. Don’t let the occasional setback keep you from trekking on.

Have a great week and don’t be trashy.


Author: Elke Arnesen

Elke Arnesen is an 18-year-old gap year student interning with Peterson Toscano. She's planning on studying environmental policy in college next year but for now is gaining support for carbon pricing in her free time.

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