Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer


The moment I meet someone and tell them that I am an environmental scientist, the first (and sometimes the only) question that comes up is “so what do you think will happen?” or “do you think there is still hope?”. Sometimes people ask in humorous ways (usually due to the fact that they have seen numerous movies about the end of the world due to environmental problems), while other times I sense some terror and agony in their eyes or their voice. However, I always wonder what the best reply to that is.

If I declare an optimist and try to tell them that we still have some time to change things if we act fast and unanimously, people will either think that I am crazy or that scientists that insist that we do not have time are lying or exaggerating. On the other hand, if I declare a pessimist and respond that in my opinion we cannot reverse things, people will either think that “well what is done, it is done” or “let’s not cry over spilled milk”, while going back to their daily lives and habits. So, what is the best response to that question?

The most critical issue with environmental problems is that usually they are “somewhere out there” but not “precisely in here”. Typically, you do not see them with the naked eye, you do not feel them, you cannot touch them, and they usually happen somewhere really far away from you; thus, you do not see or feel the consequences and there is no interaction with any of our senses (which for most people is the way to make something believable). Moreover, the fact that some of the environmental issues occur in a long-term period of time means that generally you cannot tell the “before and after” transformation. The inclusion of complex science that sometimes is used to explain terms such as “climate change” and “greenhouse gas”, as well as the debate among scientists as to whether some of the environmental problems are actually real, add to the complexity of the question if there is still hope. Due to my curiosity, before answering the critical question I try to turn the question to the interlocutor to take the pulse as to what they believe. Most of the times, the movies have played their part, convincing them that the end of the world is near, and the main character will survive. I really hope that I had an optimistic answer to that question, but usually my reply is that we have to act now. That is why I created this site: to spread the scientific knowledge around environmental issues based on extensive scientific research. So the real question is…if you could know the truth about all the threats coming from environmental problems, would you want to know?