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In a world where news headlines convince us that the world is warming at an alarming rate and climate change will destroy all that we know, it is hard to find hope. Our fresh water supply is dwindling, ocean levels are rising, and soon, the agriculture industry will no longer be able to support our rapidly growing population. It is easy to understand how most people would be discouraged by this news and feel like they can’t do much to help. I often found myself feeling the same way before my three weeks in Colorado. However, after meeting and interacting with many folks there, my hope has been renewed. While environmental issues do require urgency, they don’t yet require full blown panic and doom.

Over the three weeks we worked with a wide variety of agencies, each of which provided a different service to the community and environment. While each agency’s task was different, one thing remained consistent: each person’s passion and love for the environment. Everyone we met and worked with truly loved their work and were beyond excited to share it with us. After learning more about environmental issues, such as agriculture and forest fires, it was easier to picture tangible solutions that can be extensively applied around the world.

“…after meeting and interacting with many folks there, my hope has been renewed.”

– Ellie Coleman, Duke Women’s Tennis

For example, the agriculture techniques that the majority of the world currently practice are unsustainable. Mass production of crops are stripping the soil of nutrients and we are destroying arable land. However, The Coldharbour Institute taught us that regenerative agriculture is an excellent solution. This entails techniques, such as crop diversification and rotational grazing which not only sustain the land but make it healthier. It was inspiring to see real solutions as they were being implemented by real people.

Meeting these people and seeing their work not only gave me hope, but changed my view of the environmental science field as a whole. We can’t be too naive because our environment does need urgent solutions; however, these challenges and solutions can be implemented with hope rather than doom. I learned how much resiliency is needed to work in this field as it is easy to get discouraged by the headlines.

“It was inspiring to see real solutions as they were being implemented by real people.”

– Ellie Coleman, Duke Women’s Tennis

However, it was motivating to see how the people we worked with brought the same passion and energy every day. It was clear to me that if we have more people like this in the environmental field, we are going to be okay. If we can all take a more resilient mindset into helping our earth, we are going to be okay. Just because the future looks grim at times doesn’t mean we can quit and do nothing. Colorado proved to me that we are not doomed. With a positive, open attitude to solutions and change, as well as the ability to bounce back from hardship we can all play a part in helping the environment.

One response to “Resiliency In A World Of Doom And Gloom

  • Bill Bleisch says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Your resiliency is inspiring. The environmental news is so often de-motivating lately, but solutions do exist. And where there is hope, especially among your generation, there are the seeds for the transformational change that we need.

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