Hope flourishes, just as the wildflowers do
In the 1960s, when we had to navigate a mammoth snowstorm to get to work, we at the Washington Star joked that the “other paper” would never cover weather unless the world was coming to an end. Today, weather — and climate change — regularly makes the front page of The Washington Post.
The changes are upon us in Florida: sunny day flooding; warming (more 100-degree days, with heat lasting longer and starting earlier); intense storms; copious rainfall one year, extreme lack of it the next. But we suffer hardly at all compared to those in the world who struggle to feed themselves in the face of continuing drought or those who have lost their homes in floods.
There are hopeful signs. Activism at the grassroots level is growing. In January, millions marching on all seven continents inspired hundreds of thousands to take action afterwards. One count says 6,000 groups have formed since the Women’s March. The nucleus of this phenomenon? Thoughtful men, women and children no longer willing to sit back and let others take care of things. They are doing research, teaching, litigating, demonstrating, speaking out, preserving habitats, conserving resources, living sustainably. Many young people are waking up to the fact that they will inherit this beautiful blue planet and want to start now to save it. Acting in concert with others makes us resilient, enhances our lives and benefits our fellow species, which are dying off at alarming rates.
We who live here are gifted with the beautiful every day. No need to visit the Grand Canyon if we just take time to notice what is laid out in front of us: a wildflower by the roadside, the sound of wind through the trees, the trill of birdsong. I often walk in the pinewoods to lift my spirits. Others find solace at the beach. “Bad news” recedes and, despite the changes, nature continues to delight.