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  • Writer's pictureArielle Kouyoumdjian

Climate Stories from Around The Globe: "I find my hope under a hydraulic press."

Trent's piece juxtaposes a heartfelt personal narrative with sobering data journalism. His creatively articulated perspective as a young person grappling with climate change will surely resonate with readers of all ages. Navigating between hope, hopelessness, passivity, and action is familiar balancing act faced by our entire generation in the context of climate change; but the contension between human and earth, human and human, and human and self are as old as our species. Climate change exacerbates all three of these age-old conflicts simultaneously. Trent's story lends hope to the possibility that humans will once again overcome our mortal flaws, and make peace with the earth once and for all.

Trent's Story

Climate change. This is something I’m well aware of. I hear so much about it, it’s disheartening. I’ve always been such a positive and hopeful person. But, in the face of the growing climate crisis… I find myself being tested. I find my hope under a hydraulic press. What can I possibly do? What can anyone possibly do?

Despite all of the education I’ve thrown myself into, from random websites to entire college courses… I feel like I couldn’t and shouldn’t have an environmental career. How much of a difference could one person make? Let alone one who’s so ill-suited for the big decisions that would have to be made.

But, let’s put all that aside for a bit. In the future, I plan to become an environmental scientist. This is why I’ve been so earnestly trying to push myself towards education in the field. I also have a particular interest in things relating to water. Specifically, water quality and scarcity.

Even if you don’t live in Colorado, there’s a decent chance that you know about the Colorado River. It provides water to 27 million people across the United States and Mexico. It is decidedly the most important water source for the southwestern U.S.

A lot of people rely on this water source. So, eventually, there’s going to be a problem. In recent years, the amount of water in the basin only just barely exceeds demands. Couple that with rapid population growth… and you have a river looking to dry up, very soon.

Of course, this issue isn’t all about the Colorado River. Ensenada, a city in Mexico, gets much of its water from groundwater. However, due to so much extraction, the water levels in their aquifers are getting scarcely low.

I feel hopeless about being able to do anything about all of this. Water is becoming scarce in places at an alarming rate. This issue involves the whole Earth. I’m only 0.00000001% of that whole. That’s such an insignificant number. However, in the depths of all this hopelessness, I chose to read an article in my Natural Resources course that reminded me how I can hold onto hope. It highlighted genuine, positive change in the world, which led me to see how I might’ve been getting drowned in the negative. There’s a lot that’s terrible. But, I’ll never be able to do anything if I paralyze myself with all of the negativity.

I encourage you to find your hope. What is it? What can you hold onto to be unflinching in the face of anything? I might be in the midst of finding mine, but I know I’ll have it. Some day. As a hopeful person, I have hope for hope, as silly as saying it may sound.

Until that day, I have a really simple, yet exceedingly complex phrase that I want to leave you with: “Hope can exist, so long as you let it.”

I wish you all the best.

--Trent, a Colorado student

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1 Comment

Mar 20

Yeah I also feel hopeless sometimes but I think it’s really cool that you turned that into an interest in environmental science and water

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