Despair not one more day

  • Adrienne Rich

 
      "... My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
      so much has been destroyed

      I have to cast my lot with those
      who age after age, perversely,

      with no extraordinary power,
      reconstitute the world."


            — Adrienne Rich


      History shows that the proverbial rock can be rolled, if not to the top of the mountain, then at least to successive plateaus. And, more important, simply pushing the rock in the right direction is cause for celebration.
            — Paul Rogat Loeb

Hope often comes in short, explosive bursts: Like the splash of a fish breaking a silent stream, it’s often hard to spot, even harder to hang onto. But now, in The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, Paul Rogat Loeb wraps the thought-provoking words of 49 different writers — ranging from Sherman Alexie and Wendell Berry to Václav Havel, Terry Tempest Williams and Joanna Macy — into one compact volume that even the cynics among us can hold on to.

Anyone who has been following the news about the environment has gotten discouraged over the last four years. Here in the West, most of us can look to our own communities and see the results of our irresponsibility. Unsustainable energy development is everywhere. Roads, pipelines, OHV trails and monster homes are snaking their way across virgin lands. Environmental laws are falling as fast as dominoes, and more rare species are losing protection each year.

But, wait. Don’t let despair trick you into inaction: "If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction," writes Howard Zinn.

Indeed, look to New Mexico and Wyoming, where environmentalists and ranchers are putting aside distrust of one another to fight their new common enemy, multinational energy companies. Look to the labor unions and environmentalists working together against corporate destruction of the workplace and the environment. Look to how quickly reintroduced wolves are spreading across the Northern Rockies. Look out there and see the West’s beauty for what it’s worth. It’s worth fighting another day. It’s worth finding new friends. At the very least, the West deserves our hope.

The Impossible Will Take a Little While:
A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear

Edited by Paul Rogat Loeb. 422 pages, softcover $15.95.
Basic Books, 2004.

High Country News Classifieds
  • POLLINATOR OASIS
    Seeking an experienced, hardworking partner to help restore a desert watershed/wetland while also creating a pollinator oasis at the mouth of an upland canyon. Compensation:...
  • ELLIE SAYS IT'S SAFE! A GUIDE DOG'S JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
    by Don Hagedorn. A story of how lives of the visually impaired are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs. Available on Amazon.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
    All positions available: Sales Representative, Accountant and Administrative Assistant. As part of our expansion program, our University is looking for part time work from home...
  • COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Position Title: Communications Associate Director Location: Flexible within the Western U.S., Durango, CO preferred Position reports to: Senior Communications Director The Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF)...
  • HISTORIC HOTEL & CAFE
    For Sale, 600k, Centennial Wyoming, 6 suites plus 2 bed, 2 bath apartment. www.themountainviewhotel.com Make this your home or buy a turn key hotel [email protected]
  • MAJOR GIFTS OFFICER
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Major Gifts Officer to join our...
  • RUBY, ARIZONA CARETAKER
    S. Az ghost town seeking full-time caretaker. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    Basic Summary: The Vice President for Landscape Conservation is based in the Washington, D.C., headquarters and oversees Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing...
  • BRISTOL BAY PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Seeking a program director responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of the Alaska Chapter's priority strategy for conservation in the Bristol Bay region of...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The National Bighorn Sheep Center is looking for an Executive Director to take us forward into the new decade with continued strong leadership and vision:...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Powder Basin Watershed Council, based in Baker City, Oregon, seeks a new Executive Director with a passion for rural communities, water, and working lands....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Powder River Basin Resource Council, a progressive non-profit conservation organization based in Sheridan, Wyoming, seeks an Executive Director, preferably with grassroots organizing experience, excellent communication...
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, based in Ely, Nevada is looking for a new executive director to replace the long-time executive director who is retiring at...
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • LOG HOME IN THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Beautiful hand built log home in the heart of the Gila Wilderness on five acres. Please email for PDF of pictures and a full description.
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.