Parents for the Planet is a support group for planet caregivers. Climate change is a mental and spiritual crisis as well as a physical one. Joanna Macy calls our lack of certainty that there will be a future the “pivotal psychological reality of our time.” But people don’t talk about this part of the crisis. There also aren’t therapists enough to handle it, so we know peer support systems are essential.
We also know that people are more likely to act if they have hope. People who get overwhelmed by the negative story of climate change often aren’t taking action individually or societally. People who have fought hard on their chosen front, from conservation to fracking to environmental justice, get burnt out and hopeless sometimes. If we can heal these people, we can make them or keep them active.
In order to heal both the physical and the spiritual, we need to redefine our relationship with the planet: not as exploiters, not as helpless children, but as parents. So we created a network of human parents, grandparents, pet parents, plant parents, ecosystem parents, and general all-around nurturers.
1. Find and share the good news, the innovations, and the great stories about the people fighting to save our planet, what we call “Hopeful Planet News”
2. Gather to grieve, to rant, to mourn and to find companionship in our concern for the future of our planet and our species
3. Look for a range of ways to take action, from the traditional rallies, marches, and petitions to investments, education, citizen science, and fun activities.
4. Build our resilience and the resilience of our communities by changing how we relate to the world and to each other.
For us, Conservation Optimism is part of how we heal ourselves for this fight. We are in the biggest struggle our planet has faced in human history. We need all the community we can gather, and we can’t be angry all the time. We believe we must actively find the joy, the awe, the places and species that amaze us and remind us why we do this. We hope that partnering with other organizations who share this belief will help us support more people and find more ways to build our resilience together.