Environment Living in Society Sustainability

Spring Hope


It’s been a struggle to get a grip on the presidency of Donald Trump. There’s nothing he’s done to give us hope.

Just give me a handle — anything to grasp onto as normal! Nothing.

Like many who care about the environment, nuclear abolition, and the commons, there seems little hope of advancing a positive agenda during the first term of the 45th president. What some settle on is giving up on 45 doing anything positive, resisting his degradation of our previous work, and working toward the 2020 presidential election and a Democratic president. In other words, create a political climate more receptive to our initiatives.

“I think we have to use the coming four years to create an understanding in the general public and amongst (sic) the security community that we need a fundamental change in nuclear weapons policy,” Ira Helfand, co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, wrote yesterday in an email. “Our goal should be that the new administration that takes office in January 2021 is fully committed to this change in policy, and staffed with people who share this vision.”

I respect Helfand’s sense of urgency to use the time we have to accomplish something. At the same time we can’t afford to shelve our priorities until the political climate is more likely to support them. What’s right is right and our work on the environment, nuclear abolition, and the commons must continue even if the odds are against us. There may never be a political climate receptive to the change we seek.

It’s time to turn the page on our reactions to Trump and do what’s right. For me that means joining together with others to work on preserving an environment where humanity can live out its next era in dignity and relative peace. That’s something to grasp onto.

If the evolution of homo sapiens is to eventually become extinct, there is little we can do about that. Whether it is the return of the Imam Mahdi before the end of the world, or the second coming of Christ, we can’t place all our hopes on a life after this one. We live here and now and must act to mitigate the damage we humans have wrought on the planet.

Earth is our only home and we must make the best of what we inherited.

All around us Spring is regenerating the biosphere as it has done for millennia. To be a part of that, especially with others, can only bring us good. Even if the political climate runs against our common sense, hope remains.

This spring we must re-dedicate ourselves to that hope.