Finding Hope in the New Year

Every Sunday, after I come home from church, I have made a habit of watching Meet the Press which I have set my DVR to record earlier in the morning.  Meet the Press is the longest-running TV show of all time, dating back to 1947.  It is a distinguished program that serves to give an interesting review and analysis of the preceding week’s news and a look ahead at the weeks to come.  Maybe I’m a current events junkie, but I always feel the program adds much to my understanding of what’s going on in the country and world.

Today the program used a different format than usual.  Instead of employing a panel of reporters and other guests to cover a variety of topics, they covered just one topic—climate change.  It was one of their best programs ever!

The thing I liked most about it was that it offered some hope as we approach the end of 2018 and look forward to 2019.  Yes, it’s terrible that we pulled out of the Paris Accords, but the program revealed that in spite of that withdrawal, many local and state governments are confronting climate change and are doing something about it.  Foremost among these is the State of California, which, if it were an independent nation, would have the sixth largest economy in the world, so its influence should not be underestimated.

Another great take-away from this program is that it pointed out that there is a new awareness among the American people, as revealed in recent polling, that most believe that climate change is real and that it is human-caused.  And the numbers who are coming to understand this are increasing.  This is not too surprising when we consider that the Creation has been speaking to us quite directly lately with unprecedented wildfires, floods, hurricanes, droughts, coral bleaching, etc.

In this increased awareness there is hope.  If enough citizens come to understand the problem and its urgency, this can lay the groundwork for political leaders and policy makers to begin to respond effectively to the climate change challenge. 

So there is hope for 2019 and beyond.  For our part, as people of faith, we must keep on working with the knowledge that none of our efforts is wasted.  Though each effort in the cause of caring for creation may seem to us like a mere drop added to an ocean, the drops can and will add up eventually to the ocean of enlightenment and compassion that will save our world.  May it be so.