Propagating Collective Hope in the Midst of Environmental Doom and Gloom

Elin Kelsey


Environmental educators recognize the importance of empowering children and adults, yet environmental education operates within a grand narrative of environmental gloom and doom. Growing evidence exists that children feel hopeless about the future of the planet. Given relationships between hope and agency, the question arises of how to propagate hope when environmental educators themselves are inundated by doom and gloom. This paper seeks insights from the research literature on palliative care, where questions of hope and hopelessness are more openly debated. It recognizes the value of alternative conceptions of hope and the capacity for emotions to be shared via hopeful social media campaigns, such as #OceanOptimism.

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