Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis

Wisdom and Action in the Long Emergency

“A vitally important book.” Tim Flannery

As the risks of the climate crisis continue to grow, so too do the challenges of facing a harsh climate future with honesty and courage; justice and compassion; meaning and purpose. Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis explores diverse sources of learning and wisdom – from climate scientists and activists; philosophers and social theorists; Indigenous cultures and ways of life; faith based and spiritual traditions; artists and writers – which can strengthen our capacity to live courageous, compassionate and creative lives in a world of rapidly accelerating climatic and ecological risk.

Visionary leadership and courageous collective action to accelerate the transition to a just and resilient zero-carbon society and restore a safe climate remain our most urgent political priorities. Awareness that even the most rapid action might still be insufficient to prevent severe and irreversible social and ecological damage is however a source of deep distress for many people passionately committed to decisive climate action.

In Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis, John Wiseman draws on his broad experience as a climate activist, researcher and policy maker to provide a wide ranging, accessible and provocative guided tour of ideas which can inspire and sustain radical hope and defiant courage in the long emergency which now lies before us.


MSSI news: Facing the climate crisis with hope and courage

Book launch and webinar

On 16 September 2021, the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and Melbourne Climate Futures hosted the online launch of Prof John Wiseman’s book, Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis: Wisdom and Action in the Long Emergency.

The book launch was chaired by Prof Kate Auty (Chair, Environment Protection Authority, Victoria) and included a webinar discussion with author Prof John WisemanProf David Karoly (climate scientist, University of Melbourne), Victoria McKenzie-McHarg (Chair, Climate Action Network Australia) and Prof Kathryn Bowen (Deputy Director, Melbourne Climate Futures).

Catch up on the discussion below.


Professor John Wiseman is an Honorary Fellow with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, at the University of Melbourne.

Meet the Writer: John Wiseman in conversation with Georgina Godwin for Monocle radio (26 August 2021)

Prof John Wiseman introduces ‘Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis’


A great book to guide us into the depths of who we really are and out of the overwhelm of the climate crisis.” Christiana Figueres, co-author, The Future we Choose and Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (2010-2016)

"This book focuses on some of the most creative and courageous responses to the crisis that hangs over all our lives: these are stories that need to be told and retold, so that we know we are not alone in facing this monumental challenge." Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org

This valuable book will help you gain the courage needed to continue the fight against climate change and its increasing impacts. Even as a climate expert I learnt many important lessons from these multiple philosophical and religious perspectives.” Prof David Karoly, Climate Scientist, University of Melbourne

Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis is a must read for anyone coming to terms with the climate crisis. Uncompromisingly honest yet always compassionate to the human condition, Wiseman offers not simple solutions, but an enriching discourse grounded in history, philosophy and the great spiritual traditions. This generous book is leading the way forward, beyond the existing apocalyptic climate change literature, to offer hope and tangible solutions underpinned by a faith in humanity’s abiding capacity for restoration.” Grant Blashki, Lead Clinical Adviser, Beyond Blue and Associate Professor in Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia.

John Wiseman in conversation with leading climate scientists, activists and policymakers

Click 'Playlist' icon on videos to hear more from each speaker

Playlist: Prof John Wiseman in conversation with Assoc Prof Grant Blashki, University of Melbourne
Playlist: Prof John Wiseman in conversation with Anna Rose, Farmers for Climate Action
Playlist: Prof John Wiseman in conversation with Prof Tim Flannery, Climate Council Australia
Playlist: Prof John Wiseman in conversation with Prof Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University
Playlist: Prof John Wiseman in conversation with Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Climate Action Network Australia
Playlist: Prof John Wiseman in conversation with Prof David Karoly, University of Melbourne