Hope and Change

      3 Comments on Hope and Change

The common threads I found running through the concepts of hunger, food and energy, and climate change were feelings of both deep foreboding and indomitable hope. It’s really easy as a young person to focus on the main problems we are going to have to tackle with respect to these issues—how will we feed not only the starving people around the world, but also in our own backyard? How will we ensure that the processes we use to feed those people are sustainable? How can we curb our contributions to climate change sharply, and quickly?—but I find that that feeling also comes unexpectedly paired with a strong sense of hope and faith in my peers.

After learning about these issues, I always like to “chase” the readings with something positive on the same topic. Yes, hunger is a tremendous issue, but there are many worldwide organizations working hard to combat its effects, like Fome Zero. Climate change and our usage of energy when producing food are closely related and quite scary, but there are myriad activists trying to figure out how we will move forward without continuing this horrific, unsustainable trend we’re on.

I think the hope is, in a way, fueled by the despair and fear I feel when thinking about how the world will look in 20, 30, 40 years—and I know I’m not alone.

Graziano da Silva, José, et al. The Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) Program: the Brazilian experience. Ministry of Agrarian Development, 2013. http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3023e/i3023e00.htm

3 thoughts on “Hope and Change

  1. dmh777

    I agree that Fome Zero provides an excellent example of positive actions and reasons for hope. It is also inspiring to hear that young adults remain optimistic in the face of enormous uncertainty of the century ahead. Food and its systems around the world are certainly part of a larger global ecology where the consequences of its practices, along with consumption of fossil fuels and degradation of resources, are calling on society for drastic changes to our way of life. I will also continue to hope, for my daughter and her generation and their offspring, that the world gets to experience the modern renaissance necessary to turn this corner in history.

  2. hpenwell

    I think the important thing to remember in all of the issue you raise is systems theory. None of these problems (climate change, hunger, fossil fuel) can be tackled singularly as they all have cause and effect on each other. For instance, if you look closely at the system of industrial agriculture it is revealed that practices such as monoculture, intensive tilling, synthetic fertilizer and pesticide use are all contributing to the decline of resilience in the global ecosystem. Soil is being degraded and with that comes a loss in yields and a fundamental change in the system, as soil has traditionally been a carbon sink (absorbing more carbon than they release). These are scary times to be sure. I applaud your courage to remain hopeful and believe there are many reasons for other to follow suit. Here is a video from Vox and the University of California Climate Lab that talks about the connection between food and climate change. The scientists are hopeful that even personal change in diet can have an effect on the system.

  3. monicals

    I think that it is time to take much larger, more impactful steps across the globe in order to move forward with protecting our environment. Climate change certainly has devastating effects on the Earth’s resources. I think one solution that would make a large impact would be to stop deforestation. Deforestation is a huge contributor to climate change. It produces a lot of harmful fossil fuel emissions and is something that occurs all over the globe, such as in the Amazon rainforest. Another would be to start prioritizing the use of renewable, clean energy. Although it is expensive to implement, the long term benefits seem to be worth the cost. However, considering the cost factor, this would be more difficult for some parts of the world than others. It also gives me hope that organizations such as these have already started to make progress for the future of the environment and the future of other issues such as hunger.

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