When it comes to the climate movement, joy and optimism often fall by the wayside. Contributing Editor Rachel Cargle and Intersectional Environmentalist Founder Leah Thomas discuss why that needs to change. When I close my eyes, I imagine a world where Black people are joyful and the Earth is safer and thriving. Where the soil we walk on is nourished, the grass is greener than ever before, and systems of oppression are dismantled and reconstructed. In this future, we will finally be granted the right to breathe and coexist freely in the world around us. Call it rose-colored goggles, but I find peace in imagining total liberation of both my people and the planet, and that’s why I identify as a Black climate optimist and futurist. Staying rooted in the possibilities of the future brings me great comfort as it did for my ancestors who also imagined a better world for future generations. Their optimism and hope runs deeply through my practice as an environmentalist and is the fire that inspires me and many other Black activists, creatives, educators, and organizers to carry on. Climate optimism is often misunderstood—as is optimism overall—but I think finding joy and hope, even […]

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