In the words of Sanjayan, a scientist with The Nature Conservancy, "we in the conservation movement have done a spectacular job of demoralizing and depressing people." Unfortunately, our focus on the difficulty, the immediacy, and the extent of the challenges confronting the world's environments this century has convinced too many people that "the world is doomed."
Of course, it's not only because Earth is resilient, but also because collectively, we human beings have the intelligence and wherewithal to make fundamental changes and accomplish great things. If we decide to do so.
What we need is Hope, a belief that what we do as individuals and as a species can make a big difference. Hope that we can find common purpose in ensuring that our Earth remains not simply habitable but also beautifully diverse and life-giving.
Without hope, we wallow in resignation, admitting helplessness without ever really daring to see what we might be capable of accomplishing.
So it becomes important to publicize the good news, to make people aware of what we have done to preserve a species, to protect a natural place, to discover ways to reduce our "carbon footprint" or our impact on nature.
This is my Christmas wish: that we embrace our full human potential, put aside our helpless attitudes, and empower ourselves with Hope. And this is my Christmas gift: I commit myself to focusing on the positive, to doing whatever I can to keep Hope alive among us.
It may take some time, but if we go forward with Hope, we really will be able to accomplish the "miraculous."
Here's the link to Sanjayan's interview with David Letterman on this topic:
From the glaciers of Alaska to the coral reefs of St. Thomas, Anthony F. Chiffolo has been photographing nature in its myriad forms for more than twenty years. His photos of flowers, wildlife, and landscapes have appeared on the covers and in the pages of books such as "Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior," "Shrines of the Holy Land," "Marian Shrines of the United States," "Sadhana," and "Affirmations from the Heart of God." His photography has also been published in pamphlets, brochures, catalogs, and magazines such as "Bugle," "Turkey Call," and "Liguorian." He has exhibited and sold his photos at the prestigious Waterfowl Festival in Easton Maryland; the Fire Island Pines Art Project Biennial Art Show in the Pines, Fire Island; the Hudson River Wildlife Festival in Kingston, New York; and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s “In Celebration of the Bay" in Annapolis, Maryland.
Anthony is also a published author. His books include "Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Foods, Feasts, and Lore" and, forthcoming, "Cooking with the Movies." Please visit his websites and blogs www.anthonychiffolo.com, www.cookingwiththebible.com, and www.cookingwiththemovies.blogspot.com .