Home > Columnists > Black Clouds and Silver Linings: The Resurgence of Progressive Action | George Gantz

Black Clouds and Silver Linings: The Resurgence of Progressive Action | George Gantz

About The Author

George Gantz is the author of spiralinquiry.org and he directs the online Forum on Integrating Science and Spirituality (www.swedenborgcenterconcord.org). George is a board member of Promoting Enduring Peace.

The progressive agenda for peace, justice, and environmental sustainability has certainly been darkened by black clouds, here at home and across the globe. But as John Milton noted in the 17th Century, every black cloud has a silver lining. In my PEP Talk: Black Clouds and Silver Linings, I highlight some of the inspiring news that documents a resurgence of progressive activism and gives hope for a better future.

While climate change denial has gotten great coverage in media in the last year, public concern about climate change has actually increased. Jeremy Deaton of Nexus News Media noted that “the public has grown more concerned about the climate, [and] it has also become more trusting of the press and more supportive of immigration.” And environmental groups have had a record year in new member recruitment and financial donations. There is a big, new infrastructure being built in the environmental movement, perhaps, in part, in reaction to President Trump’s actions.

The Women’s March last year also kicked off a groundbreaking year for women’s activism and women’s equality, as the #METOO movement demonstrates. Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s list, noted in an NPR interview that the number of women seeking political office increased from 920 to 30,000 in the past year. “We’ve never seen anything like this.”

Gun control and gun safety are dominating the headlines, as the survivors of Parkland confront political posturing and an increasingly aggressive NRA agenda, after the worst year of mass shootings in US history. The #NEVERAGAIN movement continues to build. The Guardian Newspaper reported earlier this month that there are now more members of Everytown USA who are for Gun Safety than there are members of the NRA.

The lesson for progressive activists is – do not get discouraged. Continue to be vigilant, to seek out and promote the truth and to support actively the things that you care about. You may not see a positive outcome on the horizon – but we need to have faith that human beings are basically well-intentioned – and the hope that together we can build a better future.

Black Clouds and Silver Linings is the sixth in a series of PEP Talks produced for Promoting Enduring Peace, each addressing a different topic in global peace and environmental sustainability:

  • The Emperors Have no Clothes reinforces the importance of speaking truth to power in an age when so many global leaders seem to believe their own lies.
  • The World is Getting Better reminds us of the amazing global progress achieved in reducing mortality and poverty and increasing human thriving, but explains that we should keep raising the bar and not be discouraged at sometimes missing the mark.
  • Think Locally, Act Locally! tells about local successes in promoting community peace and goodwill and explores how these contribute to a better world.
  • Good News! – The Western Hemisphere is at Peace explains the critical milestone of the Columbian Peace deal, which ended the long history of warfare in the Americas, giving hope that we can achieve world peace.
  • Climate Catastrophe Averted highlights the global success in healing the ozone hole, and the lessons that experience taught us for dealing with climate change.


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