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Beyond Hope or Despair


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
How can we work with reactivity—our own, and others'—and create the conditions for a truly effective response to ecological crises?
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With the stakes so high, why do we have such difficulty engaging with climate and other ecological emergencies? Why is it so hard even to talk about them? In this presentation, climate psychologist Renée Lertzman discusses how to work these challenges in ourselves and in our relationships.

This video is from The Time is Now: Showing Up for the Earth, a daylong program on April 24th hosted by Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Founding teacher James Baraz shares this offering, along with the following message:

“Spirit Rock is proud to collaborate with One Earth Sangha and support all the great Dharma climate work that they do. May these talks support your climate work and care for our planet.”

Learn more about Spirit Rock and offer dana (generosity) here.


“It’s really and truly about how to stay present amidst what’s happening. If there’s an essence, that’s it… that’s the work.”

“… looking at the centrality of love, really tapping into our love, our connection, is really truly what’s now being identified as our true superpower, our fuel and resourcing that we can draw on amidst what’s happening.”

“I’m convinced that actually being able to invest in some capability, it could be very simple, just practicing being present, practicing showing up, practicing listening, practicing evoking out of other people their own relationship to the issues, can cut through a lot of swirl and unproductive behaviour.”

“There’s still a lot of attention on fixing and solving and being in that problem/solution mindset. … It’s not about solving the problem, it’s actually about fundamentally evolving who we are as human beings.”

“The most powerful thing we can do is to listen and enable people to speak their experience.”

See all offerings from The Time is Now: Showing Up for the Earth. Speakers in addition to Renée included Maria Christina Tavera, James Baraz, Kristin Barker, Duane Elgin & Coleen LeDrew Elgin, Kaira Jewel Lingo, and Juliana Birnbaum.

Picture of Renee Lertzman

Renee Lertzman

Renée Lertzman is an applied social scientist with expertise in environmental engagement and climate communications. Informed by her practice in the Insight tradition, she teaches and consults in the emerging field of climate psychology and is author of Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement. Learn more about Renée's work at
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