Posted by: r.m. | December 12, 2013

finding hope amidst the destruction

I am finding difficulty in reclaiming hope when I read the news.  It is not the news of political crimes and terrors of war and the blinding racism inflicted by too many people, but the news of our environmental crimes on our home, that threaten to suffocate the hope.  And without hope, there can be no action. Without hope, I find myself relinquishing my ideals, my principles. What is the point, after all?

Today, I read about ‘Sub-Arctic Lakes Shrinking Due to Climate Change‘ and ‘Illegal logging thrives in Peru‘ (see picture below)

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But it is not from those articles that I can find hope.

I can find hope in news of resistance, news of communities working together to stop the destruction, to build a better world, an egalitarian world. 

And there are dozens of those news items.

Here is one example:

no-redd-rice-1Signed December 6, Bali, Indonesia–We, the undersigned Indigenous Peoples, peasants, fisherfolks, immigrants, women, youth, cooks and civil society of the world gathered in Bali to protest the WTO, know that rice is a sacred staple crop which feeds billions of peoples worldwide. We, who courageously resist efforts to impose the use of genetically modified so-called “Golden Rice” of Monsanto, now unite to defend rice from being used as a part of capitalism of nature and carbon markets – “REDD Rice”.

In contrast to the articles about environmental destruction in mainstream sources, these communities remind us – again and again – that environmental protection cannot be achieved without economic justice and without political sovereignty.  The issues are linked, inter-linked, just as the elements in our ecosystem are inter-linked and inter-dependent.

People resist. So there is hope.

And there is hope also in the reason for the resistance itself: love.  We organize, we defend, we write, we raise our spirits – because there is much to love on this earth.

Here is one.

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[link to the picture]

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What gives your heart a smile?

What gives your heart strength to hope?

For me, not only frogs, but since all struggles for justice are linked – deeply linked, I cannot but go back to one of the largest current crimes against our humanity: the crimes of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and occupation against Palestinians.  And here is one picture of hope.

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We can break the walls of injustice and indifference.

And build a better world.



  1. Jad Ghantous A1210451 Biol207
    I really liked the picture of the frog as it is a clear indication that intelligence is not just a quality of the human species. I do agree with you in saying that economical injustice is a burden for achieving environmental protection. Everything in our world is related in one way or another and that dictates for us to always act in an integrated way.

  2. I liked the link between resistance and hope. The REDD rice campaign presented in the article provides an example of how people resist the implementation of approaches that would be harmful to the environment; a campaign which symbolizes resistance and hope.

  3. Marianne Bersaoui BIol107
    I liked the article, it invites us to have hope; we cannot live without hope. In fact, our environment is fighting for its survival. We, humans, have damaged our mother nature. So we have to correct what we have done, with the intervention of politicians who have the power of change. Let’s hope that our environment will return one day as it was before humans’ intervention.

  4. Nicolas Abdallah (BIOL207)
    While reading the article about the sub-arctic lakes, I have noticed something that isn’t really related to the main aim behind this post, but I think it’s worth being mentioned: lakes are drying up, precipitation (and therefore rain) is decreasing, while on the other hand, we have too much ice melting in the poles. So liquid water is absent from where it should be, and it’s present where it should be in the solid phase! We have drought, and floods! These two opposites share a common property: they are both caused by the same agent: global warming. So imagine how deep this phenomenon has affected our ecosystem, most specifically here the water cycle, which is one of the most crucial and vital cycles.
    On a different note, at the pace at which capitalism is growing, it might come a time where people are denied one of their basic rights: food! It’s quite ironic to see that the same organization that has declared this right some decades ago, is now supporting the usage of the greenhouse gas emitter REDD, which is the first step towards privatizing earth! This and other acts by the UN at the political level, like falling for the self-victimization strategy exerted by Israel and taking the rights of this so-called nation into consideration in anything the organization does, leads us to ask ourselves about the credibility of this organization, and whether or not it really prioritizes human rights.

    Our world today needs hope more than anytime. We need to react, not just against a political regime or a person in power, but also against crimes that are affecting our earth. It’s our responsibility to say NO, to refuse what our governments imply on us. Hope becomes even more and more effective when nations’ leaders are independent of any authority, let it be political, familial (which is pretty common in our country), or financial.
    The frog’s picture show a very impressive reason that should motivate us to make a change in the world: rain! It’s really worth fighting for, right? Hopefully we will realize that soon…. before it’s too late.

  5. Aida Metri- BIOL207

    The illegal logging in peru is really such a tragedy. Now a days, when people look at a tree, they think logs, fireplaces, homes. They never realize that the tree they cut down in 5 minutes actually took 50 years to grow. They don’t realize that the same tree could be a home to hundreds of living things, and by cutting it down there could be a huge impact on the environment. People these days think economically and not naturally. Easily accepting bribes for ignoring the illegal acts going on.

    Lakes are drying up, we are loosing our nature(most importantly our trees) and what else could we possibly need but unnatural food.
    ” REDD(Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). REDD uses agricultural land, soils, forests and tree plantations as sponges for greenhouse gas emissions. Now these climate polluters want to use rice as an offset for their pollution instead of reducing emissions at source.” Who new that the world would actually come to this?

    Hope is something we need in this world, and what better way to achieve it than to look at those heart warming pictures of the frogs? Frogs accept nature the way it is, they learn to cope with it the way it is. Frogs, as all animals, learned to protect themselves from the sometimes harsh environmental conditions. Who would’ve ever thought we would see a frog holding up an umbrella! I have hope that humans will one day see nature the way animals do, and we will stop damaging it and learn to live with it the way it is. After all- it did come first.

  6. They say that hope is what keeps us alive. The hope of surviving for tomorrow, the hope of finding cure to cancer, the hope of having no more wars in the world, and the hope of getting back the original green of our planet. Even the animals have hope. The picture of the frog is so adorable. It’s one of the most beautiful pics i’ve ever seen! It’s quite impossible to regenerate the fauna and flora already lost. However, we still have time if we act fast. Hopefully, we can save what’s still remaining by raising campaigns, for example, to save the ecosystem. We need to work together as unity and collaborate seeking for a better world with more peace, love, and care for the environment that we depend on to exist. As long as we love and resist there will be hope, and therefore a chance of having our dreams come true.

  7. Hope is what we need to keep us going. It is the faith we have within that there is a better tomorrow, that we can, that someday we will..Seeing the frog all so vulnerable but intelligent draws a smile across my face. Hope springs from resistance. It is encouraging to see resistance against the injustice forced upon the Indonesians. Because they refuse to be victims of self-centered economic power and because they are educated enough to know what it better for them and for their children, they have the hope that empowers them to refuse to comply peacefully.

  8. Awh! That frog carrying the leaf as an umbrella with its human-like expressions! Isn’t that just adorable? I mean look at it, so determined and so hopeful in face of all the harsh conditions .. I believe this is one of the most powerful images. It is a great inspiration, in fact. Building a better world starts with such kind of spirit, a spirit that does not take no for an answer. Let us make a change, no matter how small that is. Let us not keep calm. Let us make the world hear our shouts against injustice and indifference. Let us be sure that our voices get heard. Let us break walls, just like what the Palestinians did…walls of all sorts of violations… Let us be a model for generations to come, and let us leave the world as a better place..

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