In Resilience Reflections we ask some of our contributors what it is that inspires their work, and what keeps them going.

Read more Resilience Reflections here, including Dan Allen and Rob Hopkins.

Tara Lohan has been writing about energy and the environment for more than a decade. Her work has been published by the Nation, the American Prospect, Salon, AlterNet, Earth Island Journal, BillMoyers.com, Grist, New America Media, YES! Magazine, Resilience.org and others. She is the editor of two books on the global water crisis and tweets from @TaraLohan. Tara’s website is TaraLohan.com.

What gets you up in the morning or keeps you going?

I’m driven by the belief that the stories we tell about people and places can help change the world..

For you resilience is…?

Resilience is the biggest challenge of our time. It is the ability of human and nonhuman communities to survive and thrive in the face of great changes from the local to the planetary level. Resilience is not just ecological either, it hinges on our ability to embrace economic, racial and social justice. 

Who/what has been your greatest inspiration? And why?

The people who I’ve interviewed and written about continue to inspire me with their trust, bravery and willingness to let me into their homes, their lives and sometimes their darkest moments. In the face of polluted water, stolen land, failing health and lost livelihoods, I am in awe of the people who have linked arms with their neighbors, stood up to political and corporate bullies and not just envisioned a better world, but did everything they could to work to make it a reality.

From Tara’s multimedia series Faces of Fracking: Lupe Anguiano is a civil rights activists who has worked for more than half a century to improve farmworker and women rights. (Sarah Craig) "Drilling Beachside" by Faces of Fracking, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

What keeps you awake at night?

The sounds of my city, which are increasingly the sounds of economic insecurity and the homogenization of neighborhoods.

Knowing what you know now about sustainability and resilience building, what piece of advice would you give your younger self if you were starting out?

The same advice my mother gave me: If you are working to make the world a better place for people and the environment, you are on the right path.

What one social/political/cultural/policy change would most assist your work/hopes/dreams?

I’d love to see real campaign finance reform take the money out of politics and put democracy back in the hands of every day people. 

More stories from Tara Lohan.