Environment / Lifestyle

Hope for Nature is Enduring

It seems like every day, we are faced with more bad news about the damage being caused to nature. Even worse are the never-ending crises caused by our mistreatment of nature – extreme weather events, conflict, and forced human migration due to drought, and forest fires, to name just a few.

When confronted with all the problems facing people and nature, it is easy to lose hope and retreat into a belief that there is nothing we can do to help restore or protect nature.

Yet, there are many reasons to believe in a better future. And, more important, a lot of ways each of us can help nature – our small acts of kindness add up to something big.

Voices of Nature

In collaboration with Global Conservation Corps and The Sustainable Mag, I have the pleasure of creating Voices of Nature. Started earlier this year, it is a podcast dedicated to sharing the voices of innovative, passionate leaders committed to saving and protecting the world’s most threatened natural resources.

Through Voices of Nature, we showcase the transformative work of people who live and work in some of the most challenging places in the world.

The most enjoyable – and rewarding – part of the podcast is listening to the answers to the final question I ask of each guest: “Despite all the challenges we face as a society and all the damage we are inflicting on nature, there is still reason to hope for a better future and a healthier nature. Why are you hopeful?”
I would like to share a few of those answers with you. Their words encourage me when I start to think there is no longer a reason to hope for a better future. They also inspire me to take even a small act to help nature. My wish is that you also find inspiration and optimism in their words.

Words of Inspiration and Optimism For Nature’s Future

– Telmo Pievani, Professor, University of Padua (Italy)

Two generations ago, scientists could never have imagined or predicted that we would have discovered things like gene editing. In the same way, we cannot predict what our grandchildren will discover. I put my hopes in human creativity, our intelligence, our philosophy, and the wonderful serendipity of the human brain.”

Lindsay Gordon, Head of Global Campaigns, Parley for the Oceans

What gives me the hope to keep going every day is, when I dive beneath the ocean’s surface, it takes me back to that time when I was 16. I remember it crystal clear. That feeling of inspiration. That feeling of the complexities of life just trickles away. Of this innate, powerful beauty that is just begging for us to let off the pressure and just let this beautiful ocean heal itself.”

Ellen Miles, Founder, Nature is a Human Right

I really believe and see people having this incredible power to do great things. I feel like 2020 forced people to see the value in green spaces, the need for greater equality, and the power of community action. All of this has created a huge wave of possibility and potential to transform neighborhoods into green Earth and have happier healthier places.

Mathieu Crepel, Olympian and World Champion Snowboarder and Surfer

What gives me hope is I see a lot of people – mainly the young generation – that is getting a lot more involved and wanting to reconnect. They want to make humanity part of nature and not above it. Just knowing that and seeing that is a huge part of it. Humans are amazing. Some of the things we have done are not great. But a lot of what we do is amazing. If we decide to act and put our energy, our brains, and our emotions into protecting nature, we can be looking at a bright future.”

Andrea Heydlauff, Chief Marking and Communications Officer, African Parks Network

We have engineered this mess. Which makes me think we can reengineer this mess and solve it. Here we are coming out of the pandemic – one of the darkest periods in history – and we are seeing post-Covid recovery plans that involve protecting wildlife and our natural resources. Never have we been so motivated to change. Our time is now.

Steve McCormick, former President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy

I am very hopeful. But not blindly so I know that humankind has always muddled through. It is never perfect. It is never linear, never predictable. Maybe we are right on the brink of being too late. But we are not going to drive off the cliff. In fact, I think we will slam on the brakes, turn around, and head in the right direction.”

Take heart in those wonderful and powerful words. Hope is not lost. Just remember, even the smallest of steps – if taken every day – will bring us to a better, more equitable, more just future.

Robert (bob) ludke

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