Nurturing and Sustaining Hope As We Face the Challenges of Climate

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C-SOLUTIONS AFFILIATE HOWARD FRUMKIN PUBLISHED an article in The Journal of Climate Change and Health that discusses the significance of hope in the context of our fight against climate change, with a special focus on the work of health professionals. “Hope is very much a health concern,” he writes, and we couldn’t agree more.

Excerpt:

Contemporary news is grim. The planet is warming, species are going extinct, chemicals contaminate ecosystems and our bodies, weather disasters are regular occurrences, and key resources such as fresh water and soil are becoming scarce in many places. We are transgressing planetary boundaries and approaching tipping points that could trigger irreversible, catastrophic global changes. Governments, private firms, and individual consumers, as if unaware of the urgency of the challenge, are not responding fast enough. These planetary changes threaten human health in far-reaching ways. Beyond the direct and indirect health impacts there is a less obvious casualty: hope. With the planet’s future in doubt, hope is precarious. Despair beckons.

Hope is very much a health concern. This article describes medical aspects of hope and hopelessness, including clinical definitions, measurement methods, and treatments. It then touches on literary and philosophical perspectives on hope, from both ancient and modern sources, emphasizing the centrality of hope to human thriving. Finally, it applies these clinical and cultural perspectives to the climate crisis, arguing that health professionals should propel hope in themselves, their patients, and the broader society, and drawing on clinical insights to propose concrete ways of doing so.

Click here to read the full article, currently available for open access.

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