A growing commentary on climate change in recent years rests on hope. While industrialists, policymakers and research scientists regard climate change as a moment of despair, they also sound hopeful. This is evident in Nepal, where stories of reforestation, river conservation, technological innovation and campaigns for green cities manifest the hope that harm to nature can be reversed or mitigated.

Declaration of hope, however, can be a state of denial. For communities under political and economic precarity, it serves to help overcome the harsh structural realities of inequality, dispossession and violence. For those in power, hope obscures accountability, delays political action, and leads to false promises. Among climate scientists and policymakers, declaring hope amounts to pumping in more funding for research data collection on climate change. There is a belief that a greater production and consumption of data will lead to an awareness of climate change while overlooking the fact that the current economic structures hardly allow environment-friendly possibilities.

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