Daniel Oberhaus published an article on Motherboard (a branch of Vice magazine) last week. He looked at the emotional toll Climate Change is having on us as we worry more and more about the impact it is having. Oberhaus reports on a thread of tweets by climate scientist turned journalist Eric Holthaus and a condition psychologists are terming pre-traumatic stress disorder. Holthaus was interviewed for the piece and concluded with this quote:
"... climate change is in some ways inevitable at this point, so we have to accept that and realize that there's still positive things we can do in our lifetimes that will make the world better for people who will come after us."
As hard as it is to find something positive to say in the face of the looming climate crisis, or any grave problem, we feel compelled to try. Martin Luther King Jr. is famous for saying ‘I have a dream’ not ‘I have a nightmare’. When we talk about the gravity of the climate crisis, we firstly want audiences to empathise with and perhaps share our feelings of despair, but we don’t want to leave them in that pit of despair. We want to offer them some sense of hope. It was maybe what Oberhaus was doing by ending with the Holthaus quote above.
As Climate Change tightens it’s grip, it will hit the most vulnerable first. Those who are least able to use money to emigrate themselves out of harms way and those least able to build large flood defences, air conditioning systems, roads that do not collapse in the rainy season, water supply systems and so on. There are millions (maybe billions) of people, all over the world, in countries rich and poor, who are vulnerable in this way. As they learn about Climate Change and the fate that awaits them, are they hopeful? What can we do to offer them hope?
In wealthier countries like the UK, many of us will live out our lives comparatively well insulated from the worst impacts of climate change (thanks to our relative personal and national wealth). Observing the ways we live, those most vulnerable to Climate Change might easily conclude that we are content to ignore them. This of course isn't true, we care deeply. When we learn about flood victims, farmers who have had their crops destroyed and abandoned mountain villages, we are moved and feel something of the despair Eric Holthaus was describing.
In Nepal, vulnerable communities live in hope that TGT and other NGOs will increase their support for climate change adaptation projects. Management of that hope is a delicate process for NGOs, we must provide hope, but we can not over promise. In the UK too we have a role. We can show that positive things are being done to enable climate change adaptation and that they are working - this can help ease the despair (the pre-traumatic stress) we are feeling about climate change. We can also give people an opportunity to take positive action by helping them fundraise or donate money to fund our project work in Nepal.
Take a look at our project news section to learn more about what we do and how we are enabling people in remote mountain communities to adapt to climate change.
TAKE POSITIVE ACTION
Fundraise for The Glacier Trust, or any other NGO that does great work in the field of Climate Change Adaptation. If you are sporty, or like a physical challenge, how about doing a bespoke fundraising challenge.
Make a donation to The Glacier Trust. 100% of the money you donate will be spent in Nepal on projects that enable climate change adaptation. You can send a cheque, donate securely via Virgin Money Giving, or set up a standing order to make a regular gift. Please don't forget to Gift Aid your donation if you are eligible.