Parents, Hope, and the Environment

I’ve been reading Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything, which is about the need to address the unworkability of our economic system in order to address global warming. As I’ve read it, I’ve thought about our role as parents.

Parents of every class love their children. Every parent or grandparent, or anyone with a close connection to a child, understands on some level the consequences of climate change for the coming generations. This is true of parents of every political perspective and every class. All parents have a motivation to take action.

Most of us parents (like everyone) are so frightened by global warming and its future implications that we have a difficult time facing it, thinking about it, and taking action to address it. Many of the headlines we read are dire and scare us into a frozen, hopeless state. They suggest that it is already too late to make any difference. Yet from what I have read, this is not true.

I think we need to offer hope in order to reach parents (and everyone). To be able to do that, we need to discharge our own hopelessness and face both the tough realities before us as well as the opportunities this problem presents us with.

I would like to hear from other parents about this. Below are some suggested questions. Answering one is enough. You can also answer your own questions.

How have you counseled about the environment? What contradictions∗ have allowed you to face your fears? How does being a parent help? What have you learned about talking with other parents about the environment? How do you talk about changing our economic system and the relationship of that to addressing climate change? How have you reached parents from different political perspectives than your own? What strengths and challenges do you have as a mother or a father in reaching out to other parents about the environment?

I’d like to invite global majority parents to write first. (Others can write now and save it for a few days. I will say when it is time for others to post.)

Writing a few sentences or a few paragraphs is fine. Remember, each one of you has something to say.

Marya Axner
International Liberation
Reference Person for Parents
Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail 
discussion list for leaders of parents

* Contradiction to distress


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00