My Hope Living on a Hurting Planet

This year, several scientists intend to make history by declaring that our planet has officially entered the Anthropocene.

What is the Anthropocene?

We’re currently in the Holocene–a period where Earth’s patterns have been influenced by natural events. Unlike the Holocene, which began about 12,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, the Anthropocene would be defined by the collective impact of human activity.  This new period is expected to have long-lasting and potentially catastrophic results, including pollution, overpopulation, deforestation, mass species extermination and so on.

In other words, Earth’s future is no longer being determined by “natural” causes but rather by us.

I would like to challenge that assumption, however. Think about it: What if we were able, on a broad planetary scale, to begin to shift the mindset of millions of people toward being loving caretakers and custodians of this amazing planet?

In that case, we could redefine the Anthropocene–not as a season of human destruction–but as a period with positive human caring, by repairing the damage of the past and helping nature heal the planet for the future…

Day after day,

Year after year,

Epoch after epoch.

For all the generations to come.

If our efforts so far have caused so much destruction, usually unintentionally, imagine what we can do – intentionally – to change our world for the good, if only we put our hearts and minds to it.

This gives me hope, and it makes me proud of my work as TreePeople’s Director of Park Operations, as we help to lead the way by teaching stewardship – inspiring people to take responsibility for their own neighborhoods.

That’s exactly the kind of change and thinking that our planet needs right now.

Are you ready to join us?

Take action now! Support TreePeople’s work to create a climate-resilient city. 


By Jim Hardie

Jim Hardie was a full-time actor when he became interested in TreePeople after reading about our weekend plantings in the newspaper. Shortly after he started volunteering, Jim took TreepPeople's first-ever Citizen Forestry training in 1986 and began leading and training our growing volunteer base. A TreePeople board member since 1994, Jim has also donated his time to produce our summer benefit entertainment series for the past decade. Jim currently serves as TreePeople's Director of Park Operations.