What to yearn for

Le-Petit-PrinceScientists have been raising the alarm bells for many years and the messaging is grim. There is now acknowledgement and acceptance that our behaviours have to change if we are not to bring around the demise of our planet and ourselves. The alarming messages of melting continents of ice, rising sea levels and volatile weather patterns did eventually make people sit up and take notice. Scary stories do prompt people to take action. But in the long-term focus on the negative affects of climate change can be overwhelming and the enormity of the problem even paralysing.
Humankind has the intelligence and the capability to successfully address and manage climate change. There is an incredible array of new technologies and the rate of transfer of these new technologies and knowledge is something that we should be immensely proud of. There is a real need to start telling the success stories, to build confidence in our abilities through the celebration and acknowledgement of achievements, helping to encourage action. People will always act more rapidly and are more committed to something that is desirable than to something that is threatening or frightening.
There is a quote by French novelist and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”
It is no longer enough to know what we don’t want. We need to start imagining what the ultimate sustainable world might look like. To create a picture of what that might be and what that world might look like. Once we have a clearer image, then we can forge the pathways to reach for this new vision. Perhaps we need to start yearning for this world, whose climate is stable and whose plentiful resources are efficiently and respectfully managed. Then building the pathway there wont feel like such hard work.