I believe there will always be hope in the Anthropocene—but whether this hope is actually fruitful is another question. As Maria Popova states, “Critical thinking without hope is cynicism, but hope without critical thinking is naïveté” (Solnit, 32). Hope can be a great thing for a person or even a species, but it can also be very dangerous. Hope necessitates action, so when people put in work and thinking towards a better dream or goal, things actually happen. But when there is no action or thinking, people fall into a sort of wishful complacency where they wish for things to get better, but don’t actually do anything about it. What’s the point of hope if you don’t actually act on it?
In our society today, we see hope in many places: from green roofs and legislation, to environmental law and more positive narratives in literature (like we saw in KSR’s Pacific Edge). But while this hope is out there, it is up to us to actually do something with it. Whether that be rallies and marches, or pushing positive narratives and living ‘green’—as a species we need to get the people in charge to start changing. And to do this, we have to continue to hope.
Hope is the spark that ignites action—unleashing the fire of change. Without the tinder that is action, the spark can’t light anything and the fire will never start. Alternatively, without the spark of hope, the kindle won’t catch and again, the fire fails. Hope needs action—and action needs hope. If we really have hope in the Anthropocene, we need to take action and create the change we want to see.
Solnit, Rebecca. “Grounds For Hope.” Tikkun, Winter 2017, pp. 31-39.