The new issue of Positive News magazine is out now. Acting editor Daisy Greenwell picks out her highlights, including the rise of climate optimism, the boom in co-living, and an interview with Ellie Goulding
Can you feel it in the air? Climate optimism. I’ve noticed the conversation around climate changing lately, progressing beyond just what’s getting worse. Is time running out to ensure a liveable planet? Yes. Are we falling short? Yes. Can we turn things around? Yes. It’s that third yes that a rising tide of climate optimists are choosing to focus their energies on.
There are reasons for hope – be it the unprecedented boom in renewables or the historic new international high seas treaty – and celebrating progress is needed, too.
Not to escape in denial, but because, as Rebecca Solnit writes in her firecracker of a book, Hope in the Dark: “Hope is not like a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch feeling lucky…Hope is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope.”
It’s a concept the cover star of the new April-June issue of Positive News magazine is well-versed in. Ellie Goulding was one of the first pop stars to start talking to a vast public audience about the climate crisis, having had an epiphany seven years ago while on tour during a heatwave in the US.
Losing followers every time she posted about the issue on social media, she soon realised that ‘climate doomism’ only turned people off. In our interview, she talks about how she became an “active hoper”, despite suffering with serious anxiety, and why if publications like Positive News became the norm, she truly thinks “it would change the world”.
Hope means another world might be possible. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope
It was also hope that galvanised the doctors and activists interviewed for our feature about another hot button issue: the remarkable rise in research into the clitoris, for centuries medicine’s most ignored organ. Thanks to their committed activism, anatomical drawings of it are being reinstated in medical textbooks and new studies are sweeping away the taboos that have long shrouded this body part.
Is being an optimist a prerequisite for life in a commune? We’ve explored the boom in interest in communal living, meeting the communities searching for answers to some of the crises of modernity, from climate change to housing and loneliness. From a floating eco-community in Amsterdam to an older women’s cohousing project in north London, we find out whether it really is the good life.
I hope these and the myriad stories of hope in this issue stoke your own fires of optimism this spring.