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Active Hope: a thread for anyone wanting to take action

(41 Posts)
WonkySwan Wed 05-Dec-18 09:53:54

Hi - following on from the David Attenborough thread in AIBU this is a thread for anyone interested in discussing Joanna Macy's Active Hope and/or playing an active part in the 'Great Turning' - a transition to a life-sustaining economy. It's to share ideas, support and encouragement and everyone is welcome.

WonkySwan Wed 05-Dec-18 09:56:01

Some more information about the book, taken from the website:

'Active Hope is about finding, and offering, our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. It offers tools that help us face the mess we’re in, as well as find and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.

At the heart of this book is the idea that Active Hope is something we do rather than have. It involves being clear what we hope for and then playing our role in the process of bringing that about. The journey of finding, and offering, our unique contribution to the Great Turning helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness. When our responses are guided by the intention to act for the healing of our world, the mess we’re in not only becomes easier to face, our lives also become more meaningful and satisfying.'

GhostsToMonsoon Wed 05-Dec-18 10:54:03

Thank you for the link. I'll have a read.

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Wed 05-Dec-18 12:53:15

Thanks and I will have a read too

7Days Wed 05-Dec-18 14:32:20

Thank you I will follow this. It was all really upsetting me so I need guidance to do something to feel more hopeful for the future

Amibambini Tue 11-Dec-18 06:11:43

Oh my gosh that thread is straight up fucking depressing. So many utterly delusional people. I know I live in a little bubble of people who are actively engaged in thinking and working towards climate justice, but fucking hell mainstream british people are selfish, apathetic unimaginative, peevish, misinformed, selfish, yes I already said it but it's worth saying again, selfish ignorant fuckers.

Ok.. rant over.

Anyways, now I've got that off my chest. I'm actually halfway through Active Hope and have been recommending it to so many people that the local book shop has started to stock it due to the increased numbers in people ordering it in specifically. (It's probably not just because my recommendations, it's a bloody good book and so needed in this time).

Yes I think a read along here would be great! Count me in!

Amibambini Tue 11-Dec-18 06:13:20

I'm not usually such an angry sweary writer (ok I do swear a bit), I was just having a moment of rage at the wall of ignorance that props up the climate inaction we have to dismantle. No biggie.

GhostsToMonsoon Tue 11-Dec-18 08:06:14

Well said Ami! I went on a litter pick on Sunday. Together we collected about 200kg of litter from in and along the river in town. Just depressing how many people don't care and treat the world as their dustbin.
I know little things like not using single-use plastic cups are often derided as futile in the grand scheme of things, but sometimes I wonder that if people won't take the easy low-hanging fruit, is there any hope of bringing about the bigger changes that we need?

MaryLouFreebush Tue 11-Dec-18 08:46:44

I've just ordered Active Hope, I'm really hoping it will help me in some way. I feel very overwhelmed by climate change, in that I don't fully understand it or how it will affect us/our children/future generations (?) or what I can do to help. No one I know is talking about it or thinking about it which I find concerning, yet here I am fretting & worrying over it, but not actually knowing if I've got the facts right in my head (if that makes sense). Sorry to derail with negativity, hopefully I will feel better when I start the book!

WonkySwan Tue 11-Dec-18 11:30:05

Hi everyone! I'm so happy there's a few people who are interested in joining in. I've been listening as an audiobook, but I actually think I could do with a hard copy so will order one this week.

MaryLou I feel really similar to you and I think many people do TBH. I don't know what the answer is, just that it would be nice to chat with other people. I think it's fine to acknowledge how overwhelming it all feels.

I quite like the rant too Ami! I mean, it is enraging. I wonder if people really are that selfish or underneath they're frightened and overwhelmed and that's the way they deal with it? IDK.

Ghosts - IKWYM, it feels so hopeless that people can't even be bothered with the tiny things. The number of cars sitting outside school with engines running is really bothering me atm. You can smell the fumes and feel them on your chest especially in the cold. I'm too chicken to tap on the window and ask people to turn their engines off. I wonder if I can persuade school to send a message out about it? I'd like to believe people just don't think but actually I suspect they wouldn't care if pointed out the kids are all breathing in their fumes. And yes, I drive, but I don't sit outside school with engine idling …

WonkySwan Tue 11-Dec-18 11:42:15

Also wanted to say hi and welcome to 7days and Calledyoulastnight too! smile

MaryLouFreebush Tue 11-Dec-18 12:41:01

I think I'm scared of the lack of control I have. I know there are personal changes I can make in my own lifestyle & household, & I'm a big believer in every little bit matters. But beyond that I feel helpless as to what my neighbours/friends/family are doing, what government & big industries are doing. I've read that at COP24 they can't even agree on whether or not they 'welcome' the recent IPCC report, & I just despair. How are the big, serious, crucial decisions on climate change going to be made if those in charge can't even agree on the basics?

Summersalt Tue 11-Dec-18 12:52:33

Hi there, thank you for this thread. I also felt utterly depressed after reading the previous thread so it’s good to have some positivity. Will order that book asap!
I try my best to be green but often feel like my bit is next to useless and that I’m banging my head against a brick wall. I particularly struggle with my kids attitudes. 2 dds, 9 and 7 and jeez they are a gift to consumerism! Does anyone have any hints on curbing materialism of children without scaring the shit out of them!?

GhostsToMonsoon Tue 11-Dec-18 17:47:13

Wonky - it's like that at my children's school with the engines running. You can actually be fined £20 for this. I emailed the person who does the newsletter to see if they could put something in to ask parents to switch their engines off but either she missed my email or didn't think it worth mentioning. And don't get me started on the parents who live 10 minutes' walk away and drive straight home after they've dropped their children off.

Summersalt - my son is not very into stuff but 5yo DD constantly wants TV-related plastic tat. I also need to think how to limit her.

AdultHumanFemale Wed 12-Dec-18 01:31:49

Good evening, Wonky. I have just placed an order for the book and it will arrive in a week they think, so I will catch up then. I'll check out your link in the meantime. Thank you for starting the thread.

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Wed 12-Dec-18 07:33:28

It’s sonesst to despair. There are growing numbers of us though!

With my kids, I had a very interesting chat with my (precocious) nine year old. I explained why I was limiting to one plastic toy this year at christmas and she did question this given we play with toys for years in our house (passed down) before charity shopping them. She herself said it made little sense given the amount of single use plastic waste. Jeezo

But I agree with a PP about limiting the consumerist mindset. I detest all the shite that’s for sale.

WonkySwan Wed 12-Dec-18 13:50:11

Hopefully, there will be some good ideas and encouragement in the book in terms of feeling despairing when looking at the wider picture. I think speaking to others helps too.

That's interesting Ghosts I never knew you could be fined! I think I'll ask school if we can get something in the newsletter.

WRT kids and materialism, watching with interest for any suggestions too Summersalt . I do try to talk to mine about it and they like a good rummage around a charity shop. Also consuming less myself so leading by example etc. I wonder if it would be helpful to show them something on TV like Blue Planet II? Or too depressing?

Hi AdultHumanFemale smile

Trying to frame my thoughts about this, but in terms of being motivated to make changes, how often do we hear the positive news? E.g. the hole in the ozone was a big deal when I was growing up and I've read that it has shrunk because CFCs were banned. Though with the total ballsup that is current UK politics, it does make me despair we're going to spend the 10 or 12 years we're being told we have left to make changes arguing over Brexit instead.

7Days Fri 14-Dec-18 22:21:25

thanks for the welcome Wonky.

one thing that has really reached my kids, re advertising, was the comparison between an ad of a toy compared to the reality. The kids next door got some piece of shite that broke by someone casting their eyeballs at it. But the ad was super fun! it was a real Learning Moment for them that they only make ads because they just want your money. I hear it over and over again from my worldly wise 6 and 9 year olds grin.

My next job is to cut down on plastic waste, am generally quite good regarding disposible items but food wrapping is a big problem for me. i'm lucky that I do have some wiggle room in my food budget but i rely a lot of frozen stuff -all plastic wrapped. Anyone got any tips i could incorporate?

it is hard not to feel downcast. But we must keep hopeful.
Every generation has its problems and major challenges. Hopefully we'll rise to ours.

More and more people are feeling this way. The shift is occurring. Lets keep on doing our bit.

GinZing Sun 16-Dec-18 08:34:09

Plastic wrapped food is a big one for me. Shrink wrapped cucumbers ffs

Supermarkets can do a lot if they’re inclined to.

Spudina Sun 16-Dec-18 08:53:30

Thanks for the thread OP. I worry about climate change all the time. I will order the book, though I have also been working through "This changes everything" for a couple of years!! I feel like I try to do my bit. I use a green energy supplier, compost, don't fly etc. Plastic is a really tough one. I would love for supermarkets to embrace plastic free isles. How hard can it be to put some paper bags in a grocery isle to give people a choice? I'm worried that brexit will weaken our environmental laws. And every day, I read something awful that orange imbecile POTUS is doing to kill the planet, and I feel a little bit more helpless. So this thread is well timed. Did anyone see a Swedish child called Greta speaking at the climate talks? She was brilliant.

Habadabadoo Sun 16-Dec-18 09:40:30

At least something positive from the UN Climate change negotiations in the headlines this morning. I know it's not enough but at least it's something. What is depressing is on Instagram they barely have any followers whereas Strictly have loads. Wake up people.
@GinZing completely agree about plastic wrapped food. Cucumbers and broccoli WTF! I can take my own reusable box/bag and put it in that - I DO NOT NEED MY BROCCOLI WRAPED UP it was grown from the dirt! It should be outlawed instantly. People can cope with that.
Also soap - stop selling liquid soap! Soap can already come without any wrapping - wow who would have thought!
I constantly find big businesses grotesque.
Also in the news this week - space tourism. Who needs to go into space as a tourist? What impact on the environment will that have? It is so so gross.
Sorry rant over!

GhostsToMonsoon Sun 16-Dec-18 18:10:43

I finished Active Hope yesterday. Parts of it were slightly too New Age-y for me, but on the whole I found it very inspiring and will reflect on what I have read. I like the positive message that small actions can help make a difference and that things that seem like they can never change might in fact do so. Sadly I don't live somewhere like Cambridge or Stroud where there's a lot of interest in green issues.

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 15-year-old who addressed the conference in Katowice, is brilliant. (I kept reading the book's phrase 'Great Turning' as 'Greta Thunberg'). I've been avidly watching all her interviews and speeches.

I am old enough to remember the high hopes attached to the 1992 Earth Summit. Here's a video of an inspirational child of my generation, Severn Suzuki, addressing that conference.

WonkySwan Tue 18-Dec-18 12:20:29

Hi everyone. I'm about half way through Active Hope and already finding lots to take away from it. I agree GhostsToMonsoon - it does get slightly New Agey in places, but in an interesting way so I don't mind!

I heard an interview with Richard Powers on R4 Today this morning. He wrote a book called The Overstory about the destruction of the great forests and he said some really interesting things about how humans seeing ourselves as different and separate from the rest of nature is one of the key causes of the environmental mess we're in and a 'profound wrong turn'. Also some interesting things in there about our assumption that growth and consumerism equal meaning blinding us to the cost of growth (destruction of the environment). Growth can't go on forever. It was really good to hear that sort of discussion on a mainstream news programme.

Habadabadoo and & Ginzig Ooh the wrapped veg thing annoys me too! I've noticed Morrisons is starting to sell broccoli and cucumber unwrapped now, though they still have the wrapped up stuff too.

I watched the Severn Suzuki video. She's saying similar things about growth and the need for a paradigm shift. I just don't understand - it's so self-evident that our addiction to economic growth at all costs is wrong. Quite apart from the environmental destruction, so many people lead lives filled with miserable jobs, depression, envy, status anxiety - the whole 'affluenza' thing. So many people seem to be seeing and saying the same things, but what will it take to make things change?

I must look up the Greta Thurnburg speech too, she sounds like such an inspiring person. Thanks for reminding me Spudina and Ghosts

Has anyone had a look at Extinction Rebellion? They have groups popping up all over the country and in other countries too now.

Habadabadoo Tue 18-Dec-18 22:26:37

Have you all signed the Green Peace petition to stop supermarkets using plastic wrapping?
Also Lidl are going to stop using plastic wrapping hopefully others will follow.

GhostsToMonsoon Wed 19-Dec-18 07:57:21

I've been following Extinction Rebellion on Twitter but I don't think anything is taking place near where I live. I could see if the local green-minded groups want to start a local chapter, but I think the numbers involved would be small.

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