I think about global warming every day. Climate change is like the sword of Damocles, poised above the head of humanity. (Or at least above the head of human civilization as we know it.)
So I look for signs of hope.
Reading the news does not give me much hope. The book CLIMATE: A NEW STORY by Charles Eisenstein gave me some small hope, because Eisenstein points out that there are immeasurable rippling effects involved with simply preserving and restoring local ecosystems – ameliorative impacts that go far beyond just limiting carbon emissions.
I get emails from onecommune.com; they offer podcasts and videocourses and such, including a recent course by Paul Hawken called Regeneration, which promises to reveal how we can reverse global warming within a generation.
I watched the first show. It was excellent. Hawken shared some insights that excited the little hope-hungry kid in me.
As I understood it, the deal was that the first five videos were to be free, but I’d have to pay if I wanted to see all ten episodes.
Then I got busy and didn’t return to click on the second video until the other night. I figured I’d sample some more, get a bit more sense of the brand of hope Hawken was offering before deciding whether to buy into the whole series. But alas, the opportunity to sample five episodes had been a time-limited offer – I no longer had unpaid access to ANY of those Hawken videos.
Something struck me as ironic and strange about this. Existential hope for the survival of humanity was on offer – but only behind a paywall. Shouldn’t hope – like love, like air – be free?
(Then again, there is a bunch of free Paul Hawken stuff to be found on YouTube. Not as well organized as the Commune course, I guess, but still, probably most of the same stuff. I have to peruse further.)
The mythic storyteller and wisdom weaver Michael Meade puts out a lot of unfree content too, but plenty of free content as well, including this talk on Climate Change and the Mythic Imagination. In it he offers a perspective that provides, if not exactly “hope,” at least an orientation by which to live meaningfully in these times. Which is worth quite a lot actually. I recommend it. (Don’t be daunted by the length. Most of it is question and answers. He gets to the crux of it within the first 30 or 40 minutes.)
I’m a hope scavenger. As I move through my world (and surf the Net), it’s an organizing principle in my life.
Is there hope for humanity? Is it possible that, all in all, things will get better rather than worse? What do you think?
That’s this week’s latest Higher Thought question.