Stop asking climate activists what gives us hope and start asking “how can I help?”

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My wish for 2020 is for people to stop asking climate activists what gives us hope and start asking “how can I help?”

I refuse to answer this question in 2020. If you try to force me, I’m going to tell you “nothing.” And then we’ll just be sitting there like…

via GIPHY

Here’s part of why this “hope” shit doesn’t resonate with me as a black person…

Look, I know y’all think it’s an important question, and it’s important to end things on a high note. But neither of those things are true. The question is stale AF and ending shit on a high note has fueled a lot of inertia. Let’s end on an urgent note.

Every climate person who has ever sat on a panel or done an interview always knows what’s coming after “okay, last question…” We’ve answered this a million times. We know that most of the time you’re not asking for hope, you’re asking for reassurance. It’s exasperating.

If you want to end on a “high note,” try asking what gives us motivation or inspiration or momentum—which are not synonyms for hope. Or ask us what we want to see more of in the climate movement (spoiler alert: the answer will be “you”) .

Or better yet, take a cue from Dr. Kate Marvel and ask us what gives us courage. You’ll get more engaged, more genuine answers, I promise you.

Quit worrying about hope and start worrying about not being complicit.

Originally posted on Twitter. Re-posted with permission.


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Climate justice writer, ranter, and raver. BX-Based. Roots in AL and MS. James Baldwin is my personal hero.

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