The common threads I found running through the concepts of hunger, food and energy, and climate change were feelings of both deep foreboding and indomitable hope. It’s really easy as a young person to focus on the main problems we are going to have to tackle with respect to these issues—how will we feed not only the starving people around the world, but also in our own backyard? How will we ensure that the processes we use to feed those people are sustainable? How can we curb our contributions to climate change sharply, and quickly?—but I find that that feeling also comes unexpectedly paired with a strong sense of hope and faith in my peers.
After learning about these issues, I always like to “chase” the readings with something positive on the same topic. Yes, hunger is a tremendous issue, but there are many worldwide organizations working hard to combat its effects, like Fome Zero. Climate change and our usage of energy when producing food are closely related and quite scary, but there are myriad activists trying to figure out how we will move forward without continuing this horrific, unsustainable trend we’re on.
I think the hope is, in a way, fueled by the despair and fear I feel when thinking about how the world will look in 20, 30, 40 years—and I know I’m not alone.
Graziano da Silva, José, et al. The Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) Program: the Brazilian experience. Ministry of Agrarian Development, 2013. http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3023e/i3023e00.htm