Political Theory and Environmentalism

As I was reading F.A. Hayek the other day, I noticed an extremely thought provoking passage about how philosophers only effect practical men in the distant future. Philosophers deal with novel, abstract ideals while the practical politician deals with common beliefs. Hayek further writes:

The state of opinion which governs a decision on political issues is always the result of a slow evolution, extending over long periods and proceeding at many different levels. New ideas start among a few and gradually spread until they become the possession of a majority who know little of their origin.

The reason why this passage spoke to me was because political theory is one of my two passions, the other being environmentalism. I have already figured out that my contributions to the protection of the environment would not have any visible effects, and if by chance some of it were visible, it would only be so years after my death. Now that I realize that my contributions to political theory could also only be felt in the distant future, I am a bit saddened. I know I am assuming too much by even thinking that I have or will contribute anything to political theory or environmentalism. The point I am trying to make is that if in the slightest chance I do contribute something, I will not witness it, and it is most likely that no one will even know.