Yes, we should all be cutting back on consumption of the earth's resources. But there is one source of energy that is absolutely non-polluting, sustainable, renewable and that we must all vastly increase our use of. And that is hope.
With every day, there is some new and dire warning about humanity's dismal future, but for some reason we continually crush optimism as though all hope were a diversion to keep the flaky and naive busy while the rest of the world toils towards oblivion.
The truth is that there are sound scientific reasons to amplify our hopes that we can all stop and eventually reverse the effects of global warming.
But before we can muster political will we must first rouse and maintain our hopes. Remember, the majority of the science does not predict imminent worldwide catastrophe. And the challenges we face are just as likely to unite us in the common tasks of survival as to divide us further into warring factions.
That is my hope, anyway.
Of course to muster such a change we will need not just solar power, but what Gandhi called soul power. How about "people with hope" joining up with "people of faith," the ethical getting together with the holy? Let's meld those attuned to "sacrifice" with those who commit to giving up the luxuries of their carbon footprint.
People of faith and people with hope holding people with cars accountable. When I begin to slip into hopelessness, I remind myself that there is hope in new technology. Hope in informed human cooperation. Hope in bicycles and clotheslines.
And there I stop - I was going to say there's hope in building arks. Lots and lots of arks - but I paused. Because that's ironic, and there's not much hope in irony.
Hope has to be bigger than irony - stronger, in fact, than iron.
When we respond despite ourselves to songs of hope like Lennon's Imagine or Marley's Comin' In From The Cold, it is not because they are sheathed in irony. I'm hoping for an end to bubble gum commercials where the cool guys bust the folk guitar, because in the right hands a guitar is a machine of hope.
Hope songs need to be a growth industry. I call on artists to have a go at writing believable tunes of collective optimism. We need to checkmate the culture of sobering, frightening fact that stuns and stunts necessary human responses to crisis.
For that reason I've posted a song I wrote with Allen Booth called Wild Hope. Hope you like it.
Robert Preist’s and Allen Booth’s song Wild Hope