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In times of anxiety and uncertainty, it is easy to get depressed. Cynicism, despair and fear characterize many minds today, not least among the young. Everything is already run, right?
Absolutely not, say Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. She was previously UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change between 2010-2016, and was most responsible for rowing ashore the epoch-making Paris Agreement in December 2015. He is a former Buddhist monk and worked at the UN as a senior political strategist for Figueres.
Together, they today run the media company / think tank Global Optimism , where they gather their different thoughts and channels in one and the same context. They give lectures, run the podcast Outrage + Optimism and have recently released the book The Future We Choose - Surviving the Climate Crisis .
They call their philosophy stubborn optimism. It is not about wishful thinking, but about concrete action in combination with purpose and meaning.
The authors believe that we are facing a clear path choice when it comes to our common future. Either we continue as usual and take the consequences of climate change, which are expected to affect us more or less drastically in the coming decades. Or we choose the other way and do something about the problem.
The book's message is very clear: it is we who choose our future. Every little action contributes to a larger whole. Therefore, their concluding 10-point list of climate measures contains a blissful mix between large and small. I take the liberty of summarizing it in Swedish:
- Let go of the old world
Ignore nostalgia, burst your own bubble and focus on where you are going instead of where you have been. A first step is to abandon fossil fuels.
- Accept your sadness but hold on to a vision of the future
just because it feels hopeless does not mean that it is useless to struggle. Only the imagination sets the limits of what is possible.
- Fight for the truth
Open your mind to other opinions. Learn to distinguish between real science and pseudoscience. Listen to the climate deniers and treat them calmly.
- See yourself as a citizen - not just a consumer
Reassess what a good life is. Become a better and more educated consumer. Free yourself from unnecessary stuff.
- Release the Fossil
Fight for a Renewable Energy Revolution. Make a timed plan for your household and business.
- Reforest the soil
Plant trees. Protect the spread of nature. Eat more herbal. Boycott products that contribute to deforestation.
- Invest sustainably
Review pension savings and fund choices so that they reflect your values. New capital flows are important to make a real difference.
- Use technology responsibly
Artificial intelligence can make a major contribution to climate work and can create resource efficiency in many parts of the world. Let us make the best use of that power.
- Fighting for gender equality
Including more women in education, entrepreneurship and decision-making will in the long run lead to a more peaceful and climate-adapted world.
- Get involved in politics
Vote, email, question - or throw yourself into politics. Everything makes a difference. Your contribution is not meaningless.
Feel free to check out their work to regain a sense of hope and determination. We have a choice to make.
PS. Many of their insights can be found in one way or another in my own book: "What happens now with the future? 20 visions of Sweden after the corona". Read more here!