We are at an inflection point: today, more people than ever before recognize that climate change and biodiversity loss are urgent and existential threats. Yet constant reports of climate doom are fueling an epidemic of eco-anxiety, leaving many of us feeling hopeless and powerless – and hampering our ability to address the very real challenges we face.
Hope Matters boldly breaks through the narrative of doom and gloom that has overtaken conversations about our future to show why hope, not fear, is our most powerful tool for tackling the planetary crisis. Award-winning author, scholar, and educator Elin Kelsey reveals the collateral damage of despair – from young people who honestly believe they have no future to the link between climate anxiety and hyper-consumerism – and argues that the catastrophic environmental news that dominates the media tells only part of the story. She describes effective campaigns to support ocean conservation, species resilience, and rewilding, demonstrating how digital conservation is helping scientists target specific problems with impressive results. And she shows how we can build on these positive trends and harness all our emotions about the changing environment – anger and sadness as well as hope – into effective personal and political action.
Timely, evidence-based, and persuasive, Hope Matters is an argument for the place of hope in our lives and a celebration of the turn toward solutions in the face of the environmental crisis.
Elin Kelsey, PhD, is a scholar and educator, and an award-winning author of books for children and adults. She is a popular keynote speaker who regularly gives talks and leads environmental workshops across North America and around the world. Kelsey divides her time between Monterey, California, and Victoria, BC.
"Like Elin, I have met countless people who have lost hope in many countries. Most were apathetic. Some were angry. Others depressed. Because, they told me, their future has been compromised and there was nothing they could do about it. But there is something they can do. This book comes at just the right moment. It brings a message of hope to help curb the negativity, the gloom and doom we are confronted with each day. It is NOT too late if we get together and take action, NOW."
– Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
"Elin Kelsey is that rare creature – perhaps unique? – who writes with the acuity of a scientist, the grace of a poet, and the heart of a mother. After decades of fighting the good fight on behalf of her beloved oceans and their wildlife, she realizes that our conversations about environmentalism are often thwarted by overwhelming doubt and despair. Hope Matters is a clarion call to reawaken our spirits and renew our efforts, filled with engaging success stories, lyrical nature writing, and actionable ideas. 'We can recognize the urgency of the problem and be inspired by the resilience of other species,' Kelsey writes. This is a book to inspire resilience: for our children, for our leaders, for ourselves."
– Anne Nelson, Fellow, Arnold A. Saltzman Institute, Columbia University School for International and Public Affairs, and author of Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris
"In a time when so much of the news on biodiversity is depressing, Dr. Elin Kelsey reminds us that there are good reasons to be hopeful. This book is a tonic in hard times."
– Claudia Dreifus, instructor in Columbia University's Masters in Sustainability Management program and author of Scientific Conversations: Interviews on Science from the New York Times