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Our planet and its environment are in bad shape, in all sorts of ways. Those of us who want to improve the situation face a dilemma. On the one hand, we have to be forceful and clear-headed about how the bad the situation actually is. On the other, we don't want to give the impression that things are so bad that it's hopeless. That could -- and, empirically, does -- give people the impression that there's no point in working to make things better. Hannah Ritchie is an environmental researcher at Our World in Data who wants to thread this needle: things are bad, but there are ways we can work to make them better.
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Hannah Ritchie received her Ph.D. in geosciences from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently Senior Researcher and the Head of Research at Our World in Data, and a researcher at the Oxford Martin Programme in Global Development at the University of Oxford. Her upcoming book is Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet.