Sinéad Moriarty Hopes To Inspire Young Climate Activists With Her New Book Finding Hope
We are delighted to welcome bestselling author Sinéad Moriarty to the Eason blog to introduce her new childrens book Finding Hope.
We’ve all watched in horror at the weather across Europe this summer. Here in Ireland we had the worst July on record, while in Greece and Spain people were dying from the extreme heatwaves. Climate anxiety in children is on the rise, with over 70% of young people saying they suffer from climate worry.
My new middle-grade book, Finding Hope, is a novel that explores the themes of the environment and climate action, but it’s also the story of Hope, a young girl who has lost her mother and desperately needs to fill the void left behind. She chooses to fill that deep hole of grief with climate action.
I was looking for a new theme to write about when I came across an article about climate anxiety in young people. I also was blown away by Greta Thunberg and her climate activism. I could see how impressed my kids were by her. I watched Greta grow in fame and confidence as she travelled the world to berate leaders on their neglect of the climate.
I saw how fascinated my children were at how this young girl in plaits was having such a huge impact on climate activism and was mobilising children all over the world to fight to save the planet. It made them, and me, think about the power of one voice. Children often feel that they are helpless. How can one small person make a difference? But Greta showed them that, in fact, one person can make a huge difference.
In Finding Hope, I wanted to stress that each individual can make positive changes that will help the climate. I want children to feel empowered and hopeful, not overwhelmed and powerless.
The problem with all of the information about climate change is that it can be very overwhelming. The changes in the weather, the natural disasters, the floods, fires, hurricanes, the devastation to communities and countries is on a vast scale and children do feel overcome. Children now are a lot more informed – mostly via TikTok, about the world than we realise. Unfortunately there can be a lot of catastrophising on social media so it’s important that we talk to our children and inform them.
The best way to deal with climate anxiety is to empower your child. Inform them with facts, and allow them to become mini-activists. Whether it’s a local beach or park clean up or writing to politicians or donating pocket money to climate causes. Allowing them to take ownership of their activism will help hugely.
Finding Hope will open up these conversations with your children and hopefully inspire some future activists.
- Sinéad Moriarty
Finding Hope is published on the 7th of September.