“There Is More Hope Somewhere”

An African American hymn we often sing at People’s includes the following verse: “There is more hope somewhere. There is more hope somewhere. I’m gonna keep on ‘til I find it. There is more hope somewhere.” Reading environmental news may make us feel hopeless about our future, and yet it is hope that keeps us working to make things better. With that in mind, we share the following from a New York Times Opinion article by Margaret Renkl, published on March 15, 2021. You may want to read the whole article, but we offer a summary.

We keep learning new things about the other beings on our planet. Yes, many species are threatened with extinction, but now and then we find that some we thought were extinct still survive in isolated places, like two turtle species recently discovered in Southeast Asia. And we’re constantly identifying species we never knew existed. This is a reminder to take care of our wild places.

More and more of the energy we use is coming from renewable sources, partly because these sources are becoming less expensive than traditional means of generating electricity. We’re also finding ways to keep carbon from entering the atmosphere. The progress is slow, but economic factors are on our side.

Some environmental damage will continue to occur, despite our efforts. It’s important that we’re now planning how to minimize the damage to ourselves and the natural world. Renkl says that these plans “demonstrate that we are as good at building as we are at destroying, as good at healing as at hurting. It helps to remember that.”

Courts in the United States have been ruling overwhelmingly in favor of conservation non-profits in suits brought to protect wildlife and halt damaging projects. The public at large is now aware that there really is a problem with climate change. They’ve seen the effects all around them and, regardless of political leanings, want to stop these things from happening.

Renkl reminds us, “Hope is not a license to relax. Hope is only a reminder not to give up. As bad as things are, it is far too early to give up.”

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