In an interview with The Guardian, Katharine Hayhoe, atmospheric scientist, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, and dear friend to the EcoRight, unleashed about recent climate assessments, public perceptions on climate change, and climate denial.

“It’s a vicious cycle. The more doom-filled reports the scientists release, the stronger the pushback from politicians whose power, ideology and funding depends on maintaining the status quo, and who are supported by those who fear the solutions to climate change more than they fear its impacts,” she said. “Opposition to climate change is a symptom of a society that is politically polarised between those who cling to the past and those who recognise the need for a better future.” When it comes to acting on climate change, she said the most important step is “to accelerate the realisation that we have to act” by “connecting the dots to show that the impacts are not distant any more: they are here and they affect our lives.”

“We can’t give in to despair,” she advises in a 2018 TEDWomen talk. “We have to go out and look for the hope we need to inspire us to act — and that hope begins with a conversation, today.”