Climate Courage & Radical Hope: How Ought We Respond to the Decreasing Likelihood of Successfully Addressing Climate Change?
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In our current context, given the scientific and political realities with which we are faced, it is evident that the likelihood of successfully addressing climate change is rapidly decreasing. The central question of this thesis is how we ought to respond to this predicament, focusing particularly on the role that hope has to play in answering this question. It will be argued that hope is necessary for any legitimate response to our current situation, both in terms of justifying a response and motivating it. That is, a response cannot be justified if there is no hope of it delivering positive results, and if it is perceived that there is no chance of the hope being fulfilled then no one will be motivated to pursue that response. To argue that hope is an essential element of any justifiable response to our current predicament, the nature of hope will be examined and hope will be distinguished from both wishful thinking and optimism. However, it will be argued that although hope is necessary in our current context, it is also not clear that it is possible. It will also be suggested that the alternative, giving up, cannot provide us with a justified response. Given this, the concept of radical hope, hope for an indeterminate good that transcends ones current understanding of the good, will be explored as a possible alternative. It will be suggested that radical hope shows one way that we may retain hope, despite the decreasing likelihood of successfully addressing climate change, and that this hope could inform our response to this predicament.