Climate change: the Pointy End of Hope

Tzeporah Berman
Tzeporah Berman

The effects of human-caused climate change are already evident on all continents and waters, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in its latest report March 31. The report is, undeniably, grim: agriculture, human health, water and land-based ecosystems, water supplies, and some livelihoods are already affected. There is much we don’t know, it said. Surprises are in store, it warned. Some analysts forecast wars, famine and massive destruction.

But the report also held out hope: there are opportunities to take action — challenging opportunities.  Canadian environmental activist Tzeporah Berman is an expert on facing such challenges, with experience gleaned from years on the front lines as co-director of Greenpeace International’s Global Climate and Energy Program, Executive Director and Co-founder of PowerUp Canada and Co-founder and Campaign Director of ForestEthics. An excerpt of her essay, The Pointy End:

The most heartbreaking question I get, and I get it all the time––at the end of my speeches, or from people calling in when I’m being interviewed on the radio––is “Do we have a chance?”

Sometimes people ask in other ways.

“Can we really do something about global warming?”

“Do you really think it’s possible to move away from fossil fuels?”

And, “Is it too late?”

I always give the answer many people don’t believe, but I still do. Yes, I think we do have a chance. We can win this fight. But there’s a catch: only if we live every moment intentionally. Only if we organize.

 The Pointy End, an essay by Tzeporah Berman, is republished in F&O’s Expert Witness section with permission, from her book, This Crazy Time: Living Our Environmental Challenge.