Whether you're looking at headlines or your weather app, there are plenty of reasons to feel pessimistic about the future of this planet—natural disasters like the devastating floods in Nigeria or Australia, and the U.S. experiencing its most active wildfire season in 2022 in more than a decade, to name but a few. Yet a growing number of activists (and everyday people) are feeling the opposite about our climate future. In fact, 57 percent of people globally who participated in the Institut Public de Sondage d'Opinion Secteur (IPSOS) annual Earth Day report for 2022 said they feel optimistic that countries will have made significant progress in reducing climate change in the next 10 years. Heck, Prince William dubbed himself a “stubborn optimist” about the planet’s future in a December op-ed he penned for HuffPost about his Earthshot Prize for climate initiatives.
These are not toxically positive folks burying their heads in the rapidly heating sand. Thanks to a growing list of new policies and improved technologies, we have a fighting chance at addressing the environmental crisis, which is why 2023 is shaping up to be the year that climate optimism breaks through the cloud of “doom and gloom” coverage to shed some light on the progress being made to combat climate change.