Last Thanksgiving I was conflicted. As I enjoyed extraordinary blessings in my own life — due in large part to the luck of where I was born — the world around me seemed to be crumbling.

That disconnect remains, of course, and adds a tinge of melancholy to any celebration. My blessings have only grown, along with my awareness of the billions who do not share them. But this year, glimmers of hope have emerged.

The climate "debate" seems finally to be over, and the real debate — what to do about it — has begun, however tentatively and haltingly. The new Congressional leadership seems to take the issue seriously, and may begin the process of helping America rejoin and resume leadership of the community of nations in search of a solution.

The question of energy security has moved to the front burner. A buzz of imagination and entrepreneurial activity surrounds the clean energy sector.

A new wave of environmentalism seems to be sweeping over the country, taking root in pop culture, business, and politics alike.

We’re finally starting to collectively ponder what it would take to create a human society that exists comfortably within the confines of the world’s ecological limits.

Our concern is embryonic, and the steps thus far hopelessly inadequate. But for whatever reason, I’m optimistic that we are beginning to face and understand the task ahead of us. For that, and for the countless unsung citizens and activists who have worked so long to bring it about, today I am thankful.

I am also thankful for the community that has gathered here at Gristmill, who surprise me every day with their thoughtfulness, humor, and passion.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.