Better than hope : in search of a defence against despair in the face of global climate change
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Hope is often credited as an inspiration for action and, in difficult circumstances, a protection against despair. But ill-considered hope can be an unreliable helper. If people choose only to hope for a happy outcome, rather than acting in their own interest, they risk losing the opportunity to improve their situation. Putting faith in hope alone, they may also find that, after crossing a critical marker, hope’s protection evaporates, suddenly and at great emotional cost. In that context and in the face of the gathering threat of climate change, this thesis records the search for a strategy that is better than hope – more active, robust and resilient. The search, including interviews with five high-profile and highly accomplished exemplars, suggests there might be value in simply recognizing the full extent of the threat and then embracing action in pursuit of a goal that is worthy, irrespective of a hoped-for result.
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