12 February 2008

Optimism vs. Pessimism

GMA has been featured this past week on several other sites:

-By Common Consent
BCC Zeitcast for February 11, 2008
talked about ‘Smaller Temples Promote Sustainable Living

-Thmazing’s Thmusings
The Sustainable Svithe: crafted from recycled pieces of others’ blog posts
talked about ‘A Light to the World?

-Latter-day Sustainability
Resource: Mormon Enviro-Bloggers
talked about ‘Is the Conference Center Green?

The podcast discussion at By Common Consent had several comments regarding environmentalism in general, one of which I wanted to mention. They brought up how every conversation about the environment ends up being so depressing it kills the conversation. I have also experienced this but definitely do not want this site to become a ‘Debbie Downer’ type of site. By focusing on the role the planet plays in our life, and how we can improve our stewardship in this regard, I am hoping for a more positive outcome and discussion. President Hinckley taught us about this optimism:

“Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice. I see so many people . . . who seem never to see the sunshine, but who constantly walk with storms under cloudy skies. Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.” Gordon B. Hinckley

So my intent will be to point out what we are doing well, where we can improve, and to hopefully maintain the optimism Hinckley describes. The environmental movement’s equivalent of this optimism is Paul Hawken and his book, Blessed Unrest. In it he talks about the challenge of balancing the pessimism of the future with the optimism of today. He states, “If you look at the science that describes what is happening on earth today and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t have the correct data. If you meet the people in this unnamed movement and aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a heart.” He continues, “It is not a liberal or conservative activity; it is a sacred act.” (Blessed Unrest, p. 4-5)


Mellifera said...

Whoops! The comment I put on "featured environmental artist" was supposed to go here. Oh well... two comments for the price of one. : )

Steve Evans said...

Good stuff!

Latter-Day Sustainablist said...

I like your response to the "downer Debbie" attitude. I had a similar concern after listening to the BCC podcast.

Environmental morality is just like any other morality...you can worry about things "going to hell in a hand basket", or you can stay positive and work for a better world. I agree that Pres. Hinckley gave us a great model of optomism.

Congrats on all the good press. I hope you get more and more attention.

green mormon architect said...

Thanks for the comments. Mellifera, I would move your comment to this post, but I have no idea how to do that... :)