“Education, I fear, is learning to see one thing by going blind to another.”
~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
It’s hard to be an optimist when you work with environmental issues. That’s the story line that I hear anyway. It became the basis of such a common question in my environmental science courses – ‘how can you teach this course and not be completely depressed?’ students would ask – that I began to interject empowerment clauses throughout the semester to stop students from becoming despondent. My final lecture is now a discourse on optimism and possibility and is probably the antithesis of anything you might expect by way of concluding a semester spent groveling in the wastewater of civilization.