Hope and CMCSS

Over the last month, I have had the honor of working with sociology faculty Elizabeth Bradshaw and Mount Pleasant Citizens’ Climate Lobby president Marie Koper. The two have been organizing and coordinating the Central Michigan Climate Solutions Summit, originally scheduled in March, for the past year with a dedicated and steadfast sense of tenacity.

Central Sustainability has had an active part in the summit, reaching out to various organizations for tabling submissions, hosting the summit information our webpage, and sponsoring the guest speaker Dr. Andrew Hoffman.

One of my personal responsibilities was focused on creating the promotional video (shown above). In working on this project and speaking with all of the featured individuals, I have been reminded that things are not so bleak after all.

When thinking about global issues like climate change, I often find myself feeling frustrated and hopeless, especially in the face of such vocal and ardent deniers. It’s not conducive to argue about the scope of the problem, whether or not it exists, and who caused it anymore. In fact, it never was, but now more than ever, we need to act.

Climate change is an incredibly intricate issue with so many moving parts. You can look and talk about it from thousands of different perspectives: sea level rise, melting ice caps, fossil fuels, industrial agriculture, deforestation, animal extinctions, coral bleaching, etc., etc. The solutions for a problem this varied and complex, including mitigation of its effects, aren’t much more straightforward either. For some people, the priority is decreasing fossil fuels or investing in renewable energy; others might advocate in changing their diets, focusing on waste reduction, etc.

The problem(s) is messy and the solutions are not perfect, but we can’t point that out and sit back complacently while the world suffers because of our inaction. Climate change is real, it needs to be addressed, and we must put our time, energy, money, and dedication into combating the causes and mitigating the detrimental environmental and social effects of climate change.

With this pressure – the wave of everyday disappointments, the polarization, the division – it’s easy to get discouraged and lost in a sea of hopelessness. I understand that deeply and consider giving up more often than I would like to admit. For this promotional video, I asked participants what keeps them motivated, in part for some advice. Their responses were sincere, profound, and meaningful.

While working on this video and interacting with passionate individuals, I was reminded of my own “why.” Despite – in spite – of the tremendous obstacles, there are people who are determined to rally together, support one another, and commit to a better planet.

Thank you all, for reminding me that there is something worth saving and treasuring, there is some value in what we’re trying to do with Central Sustainability. Thank you for your work, insight, and dedication. Thank you for trying, in your own distinct and unique way, to contribute to the world in a positive way.


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