Hope in Nature means faith in people

‘The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese’. Those few words, scrawled in the areal graffiti of a thoughtless tweet, should be as light and transient as a dirty snowflake. When they issue from the most powerful man in the world, they feel more like a gale of filth. How is

An optimistic vision in pessimistic times

In March 2016, I was sitting in a crowded lecture theatre in Cambridge, listening to Nancy Knowlton talk about how her #OceanOptimism movement had inspired a massive outpouring of positive stories of success to counterbalance the gloomy prognoses that dominate the marine conservation discourse, such as the possibility that coral reefs may dissolve away in

Has hope become the most endangered species in conservation?

As wildlife continues to decline around the world, conservation has become a bleak calling. Can a new Optimism Summit help reframe the mission to save life on Earth? Want to hear a sad story? You could read this article of mine about the first mammal lost to climate change. Or this one about how there

Hopefulness and confidence about the future of conservation

There is no better alternative to optimism. Pessimism doesn’t achieve much. ˈɒptɪmɪz(ə)m/ noun hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something. PHILOSOPHY the doctrine, especially as set forth by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds. ‘Optimism’ inspires different emotions in different people. Some have the ability to

New summit aims to get us feeling optimistic about conservation

From the ‘Red List’ of threatened species to reports of indigenous people suffering from the loss of their natural resources, we are constantly faced with upsetting news about conservation. But while the issues facing the planet are serious and urgent, a new summit being organised by the University of Oxford is aiming to highlight the

How Conservation Rocked in 2016

Whilst many of us will remember 2016 as the start of the post truth era, brought about in large part by what scientists have described as a new type of Fact-Resistant human, 2016 has been a great year for conservation. In our continued efforts to shift the focus away from a doom and gloom outlook

Four optimistic ways conservation can do better

I like to think of myself as an environmentally-conscious person, but while I do try hard to minimise my impact, I’m certainly a little more laissez-faire than some other people I know. So when I speak to people about their lifestyles or read articles about trying to reconnect people with nature or inspiring societal change,

Slacking our way to success

In celebration of the conservation optimism conference next April, I decided to write a blog about one of the most innovative pieces of technology that could revolutionize the conservation sector entirely, by making us all better at communicating with one another. All the work that we do as conservationists is underpinned by a need for

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