As scientists, we are trained to focus on the facts, the data, the models, the observations.
We are trained to be objective and unemotional.
But we cannot solve the climate crisis without our emotions. It is okay to understand our sorrow. It is necessary sometimes to use our anger to motivate ourselves and others. And it is most essential to embrace our love for the world, to build strength and determination.
We must love humanity. We are as much of nature as ants, trees, lichen & bacteria. Our lifestyles cause harm, but we’ve also created beauty and discovered wonder. All of us are worthy of saving.
We must love ourselves. Every single one of us has something to offer, and typically the best thing to offer is what we love. If you love science, then study the marvel that is our Earth. If you love building machines, then build machines that replace fossil fuels. If you love art, use art to build communities and action. If you love people, help them understand who is most vulnerable to climate change and must be supported.
And we must love our community, because community is where the most important change happens. It is where we come together to solve problems and help one another. It is where we create. So love your community.
Or create a new community in which your love is welcomed.
Sometimes you will have to love fiercely and sometimes you will have to love bravely, but always love with purpose and compassion.
(I wrote this, inspired by Melanie Ruth, as a message to Bristol Children as part of their brilliant book “No More Baby Sharks” available here: https://www.tangentbooks.co.uk/shop/no-more-baby-sharks-climate-change-messages-from-bristol-children