By Patrick Metzger
This past May, I launched The New Climate—a news platform for telling uplifting environmental stories of communities adapting in the face of climate change. Our team of journalists shares original stories from all over the world. And every week we gather together the top 5 environmental success stories from across the Internet. The goal is to showcase the incredible work people are doing right now to adapt to a changing environment.
Now is the time to tell these stories. Here’s why.
Climate change is the greatest challenge humans have ever faced. It is the moonshot moment of our age. If we are to save our species, we must collaborate to meet this challenge and come out stronger on the other side. The stakes couldn’t be any higher.
We’re already seeing the effects of climate change. In 2017, weather and climate disasters (primarily wildfires and hurricanes) were responsible for $306 billion dollars of damages in the United States alone. Globally, an estimated 25.4 million people are displaced every year. The risk of displacement of this sort is 60% higher than it was 40 years ago. If soil degradation continues at its current rate, we’ve only got 60 years of farming left. It’s more crucial now than ever that we stay connected to this story of our planet’s delicate ecosystems.
So why be hopeful? The amazing thing is—a lot of people are already doing something about climate change. In every district in every country on the planet, there are stories about people making a difference in their community, big and small. Renewable energy sources are no longer a dream of the future. Most of the net new power capacity around the world every year now comes from renewable sources, with growth in solar power outpacing that of coal power. Cities all over the world are implementing infrastructure changes to become more climate resilient. And communities are coming together like never before. From India to Cambodia to Canada, people are learning to work together in new ways and see this moment as an opportunity to adapt.
As I was reading these success stories over the past several years, I realized that they were too often overshadowed by the darker stories of disasters and unfriendly political administrations. I saw this leading to depression and apathy among my friends and the environmentalist community at large. Meanwhile, innovative solutions were being lost in the milieu instead of being replicated all over the planet.
We must, of course, remain vigilant and aware of all the tragedies that come in the wake of the ongoing, present-day effects of climate change. Luckily there are many fantastic news sources reporting on this. But if we can’t celebrate our wins, we will lose track of our hope for the future and the entire environmentalist movement will burn out. I want to nourish the spirit of this movement and inspire people to act.
The New Climate is for anyone who needs a little bit of good news. Our mission is to bring environmental stories of hope to light and share them as widely as possible. I hope you’ll join me in this endeavor.
Together, we can tell a new story of hope.