Does Hope Seem So Far Away?

Treat the Earth well,
It was not given to you by your parents,
It was loaned to you by your children.
-- Native American proverb

I recently watched “An Inconvenient Truth.” I bought it back in November but Mrs. Shife and I have put off watching it mainly because we did not want to be depressed. It is a poor excuse, but it is the truth. Well we finally watched it last weekend. And since I am being so truthful I must admit I was not depressed after seeing the film. I actually felt inspired and hopeful. We have the technology and tools to turn things around and I sincerely believe we can avert the climate crisis.

So what is up with my blog title? I guess my feelings of hope and inspiration vanished when I saw this story. It is not about environmental destruction or the climate crisis. It is about two teen boys who decided for fun that they would cook a three-month-old puppy in the oven. I just can not fathom what would make you want to torture and kill a poor, defenseless animal like that. And you wonder why people show more compassion for animals than humans? We were all young and dumb, but this is not stupidity … this is malicious and cruel. And cruelty does not deserve any mercy.

So to me hope does seem so far away when I see stories like this one. If we have people who can’t even appreciate some of the creatures that we share the planet with then how in the heck can we expect them to make Earth safer for future generations. I know this is just one example that I am using to oversimplify the entire human race, but just look at the destruction and extinction we are causing all over the globe to animals.

I know exactly what my practical and lovely wife would tell me, and so I am going to share it with you. It is The Starfish Story, and I encourage you to read it.

So I am back to my original thought, does hope seem so far away? Sure, but I now realize that each of us has been gifted with the ability to make a difference in the world. Some of us choose to use this gift and unfortunately others do not. When we can become aware of that gift, we gain strength through our visions and develop the power to shape the future. We must each find our starfish. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, the world will be a better place and we can make a difference.


  1. Apparently Google is having some technical issues and the comments link is pointing at the wrong spot. It should be instead of

  2. Now that is really wired.
    I choose to safe our wetlands.
    Their is a nasty wildflower (weed) that is taking over our wetlands.
    Purple Loosestrife. I breed the beetle that will only eat this plant. I release them every spring. One day our wetlands will be free of it and the animals will have some place to call their home.

  3. Hmm, my post from yesterday seems so crass compared to this now. I mean you're all "save the world", and I'm all, "Look! A girl jumping around in a bikini!"

    I like the starfish story, that's something to keep in mind.

  4. Well it looks the comment problem got fixed. I am still trying to figure out if that is why I have only few comments or if this topic was total buzz kill.

  5. aww I loved the Starfish Story! Makes you think!

  6. I can comment!!! Actually since it's been awhile since I had the comment, I've forgotten my take.

  7. I wonder which media source will be blamed for inspiring these twisted kids to put a puppy in the oven.

  8. i think the planet's doing just fine. the humans and lots of other species are the ones at risk.

    from a planetary outlook, i'm more worried about the andromeda galaxy.
    i've heard it has it's eyes on the milky way.

  9. I'm so confused.
    I KNOW I commented on this like RIGHT after you posted.

    Stupid blogger.

  10. I'm not 100% on board with old Al, but he does make some interesting points. However, I do believe that we still need to do things to help the environment. I mean, it can only hold so much crap, you know?

    I try my best to use as much "green" products as I can in my designs. I do feel that it will become more mainstream over the next few years though and there will be no way around it.

    Good post!

  11. Thanks for this entry Shife, for me and my family lately Hope has seen MILES away, but little things like this do help ;)

    Good luck to DA BEARS sunday

  12. Anonymous2/03/2007

    Amen. Hope is not far away especially when people like you and I take the time to show others that these issues are real and on our minds and should be on others minds, as this is a planet we do borrow from our ancestors and give to our children. The dirt we walk on is a privilege.

    I really like the starfish story, may use one day - thank you :)

  13. I don't know if I lack rose colored glasses or suffer from a dose of myopic futility, but I'm pretty sure humanity is going to wreak havoc regardless. Not saying I disagree with you and think we should all give up, though. I just feel that as individuals we are capable of evolution of thought and emotion, but as a species, we're a destructive pestilence.

    I too saw Gore's film, but I walked away with a different perspective. Of course, that should be no surprise to you, sir.

  14. Anonymous2/05/2007

    Great post Matt! I think we are reaching a turning point where it will be cheaper to try and slow down global warming that to continue to ignore it. Little things like hurricanes and crops not doing well. Pretty amazing how the United States puts out almost 30% of the world's CO2 emmissions. Can you imagine if we were sitting around, putting out small amounts of CO2 and some country was just pumping it into the air like crazy and destroying our world, how irritating that would be? Just goes to show, we can save the world AND watch girls jumping around in bikinis slapping their asses all in the same day. ;)

  15. Stuff doesn't happen warming has been growing for many many years. The Earth does go through its own cycle. I don't think the Ice Age went away due to a bunch of cavement cooking Woolie Mammouth meat.

    At the same time, mankind's technology has been accelerating the pace of that cycle, and probably interferring with it. You can thank the industrial revolution for that.

    But I think what's important is the fact that what we do today also affects what happens many tomorrows from now.

  16. The story of the two boys made me ill- I have a huge pit in my stomach- it sucks...but honestly how many people die everyday from the hand of another human being-be it directly or indirectly- wars, cancers enhanced from the products we ingest, guns, stupidity, speeding while drinking- and then going to hospitals expecting a quick fix...blaming the gov. for our choices...we have no compassion as a race.
    As for global warming the Pheonix is right- if ecologists were a little more honest and didn't give us the info for the past 500 years which in the earth's history is nothing but rather than the info for the past 1000's of years we would understand better- that being said we should still make every effort to take care of it.


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