Stories of Hope: Working in conservation science and climate communications
Working in conservation science and climate communications can be challenging at times to find glimmers of hope and stories with optimism about the future. The latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is downright alarming and paints a bleak picture of our planet’s future if significant action isn’t taken immediately to eliminate fossil fuel emissions.
Battling Climate Anxiety
Climate anxiety is real. It is affecting the scientists in the field, who face feelings of depression and hopelessness, and a global study of more than 10,000 young people found that 84% were significantly worried about the future of our planet. More than half described being sad, afraid, anxious or angry about it.
It is for these reasons that communicating stories of hope and climate solutions is a lifeline. Anxiety can be paralyzing, leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair, while feeling of hope and optimism can spark resolve to influence action.
We must not lose hope. We all have a part to play in reducing fossil fuel emissions. Small changes at scale can make a significant impact. There are opportunities to lead, and there are heroes leading in every community making positive change.
Communicating Hope Through Stories
We believe it is our job to find conservation successes and amplify their stories. Through hopeful storytelling we can drive action toward a better future. On this Earth Day, we’re spotlighting a few things that make us feel more hopeful, and some core areas of concentration for our team in the year ahead to contribute to climate solutions.
- We’re pitching more positive stories about conservation successes and climate solutions, and we believe media is hungry to publish them. We are energized by the recent creation of the world’s largest media collaborative, Covering Climate Now – this group, organized by journalists for journalists, is helping share the climate story in newsrooms across the world. They are actively seeking stories, and our clients have them.
A couple examples of media storytelling we love:
- Washington Post series Climate Solutions
- The newsletter Reasons to be Cheerful https://reasonstobecheerful.world/
- Women of color are leading advocates in the climate movement, but they are underrepresented in media (and underfunded by groups who support climate work). Their voices must be amplified. We will strive harder in the year ahead to share their stories, amplify their voices and advance environmental justice and climate resilience.
- We see more women leading animal welfare and conservation organizations than ever before. We partner with many zoos and aquariums nationally, and we are seeing a dramatic shift in leadership with more women taking the lead, and more concentrated emphasis on conservation leadership. These changes instill hope for future progress of species conservation.
- We are making personal and business choices daily to reduce our ecological footprint. From investments in solar and wind energy for our homes, to embracing remote work, to native gardening, reducing meat consumption, and composting to reduction or elimination of the use of single-use plastics, our team is always striving to contribute to a more climate-resilient world. Earth Day is a great time for goal-setting and holding ourselves accountable for creating a brighter future.