Voices of the Future: Hope for Climate, Science, and Climate Science
Recap written by: Katherine Peinhardt (Medium: @katherine.a.peinhardt)
Is there reason to be hopeful in today’s doom-and-gloom media climate, around, well… climate?
On our latest podcast, hosts Ramesh Laungani and Jacquelyn Gill explored the recent narrative around an article from the Washington Post, which shook up the climate conversation by posing the question: Have we lost the climate fight?
After reading the piece, many aired their deep concerns on social media, thinking it was “game over” for climate change. However, a vocal contingent of climate scientists responded that the article was an irresponsible framing of today’s climate reality, noting that we have not lost our opportunity for positive change. While we do need to be adjusting to a world impacted by climate change, scientists maintain that we can still double down on its causes, and target greenhouse gas emissions.
Overwhelmingly, climate scientists remain hopeful, even in the general landscape of doubt surrounding the article. This sense of hope was on display at the recent Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting in New Orleans, which convened scientists from all stages of their careers, all talking about the state of ecology, and increasingly, how to “burst the ivory tower” and communicate ecological research to the general public.
At the ESA poster session, Ramesh and Jacquelyn asked participants two questions: “Why does climate change matter to you, personally;” and “how does climate change impact what you study?”
Studying everything from forests to shallow lakes, the overwhelming response was one of urgent dedication (personally and professionally) to understanding the impacts of climate change. Everyone from mid-career professionals studying forests, to undergraduate students studying fisheries impacts maintain their passion for understanding climate change.
It’s not too late for us to “choose our own adventure,” when it comes to climate change. We know our options, and there is still high energy around climate solutions. Perhaps the incoming generation is even more motivated by climate change and social justice than any that has come before — and that, more than anything, has all the makings of an exciting next chapter in the climate fight.