...as in the imperative (i.e. you, youth, progress). This blog is updated by politically active young people. Issues that will be discussed are those which concern young voters and are of concern to young voters.

Friday, August 04, 2006

...but can you walk the walk?

The culture of individualism and the breakdown of the American community are having adverse consequences on society’s relationship with the environment. The environment is the source of all life; humanity cannot survive without a healthy supportive ecosystem. Already virtually scientists believe we have passed the sustainability threshold for the global ecosystem. The world is overpopulated and we risk catastrophe on an epic scale in the future, from lack of resources and global warming. Furthermore, we are currently destroying, permanently, the inherent and awesome power of the natural world. In order to truly cherish the environment and not just treat it as an object, we must embrace the (truth that the reality of ) awesome power of nature and humanity’s profound dependency on the rest of life. We are the highest of all species on the food chain, and right now we are destroying the base, and we risk, as a species, falling to extinction.

Our lifestyle in the developed world is based on the unending desire for personal comfort and psychological security. We strive to avoid discomfort at all times. We must have the best houses, the biggest cars, and make the most money possible. We are never satisfied; we are always competing against each other. As a result, we do not take the time to understand and live with the environment nor have any interest in caring for the environment. We are the leading producer of carbon dioxide in the world. Yet we are too stuck in our lifestyle to make the drastic changes necessary to stop global climate change. Most people in the world survive on a dollar a day, while the American economy strives on the greed and vanity of our culture. The richest of the rich in America are given tax breaks and their descendents are guaranteed to inherit their entire estate, ensuring they will live in gross opulence. Meanwhile, the government creates a mentality in which each person is encouraged, if not coerced, to look out for his own individual interests, so no pays attention to the suffering of other people or our planet. Every minute 40 children die of starvation. If you took 10 minutes to read this article 400 children will be dead. Unless we take strong action against global warming, these catastrophe’s are only going to get worse. But our society is stuck in gridlock literally and conceptually. The bottom line is we must make sacrifices. Being a vegetarian would reduce each person’s ecological footprint greatly. By 2050, with the expectant population growth, half the world will need to be vegetarian for resources to be sufficient. Furthermore we need to as individuals and as a society stop relying on cars and using so much energy. The technological and policy needed to reform that our government needs to make will not come under this administration. But if a grassroots environmental movement flourishes, that doesn’t just go to see An Inconvenient Truth, but takes responsibility for fighting global warming; we can make significant progress and ease the transitions into an environmentally friendly economy. We must not only drive hybrid cars but add solar panels to our houses invest in win power, become a vegetarian or a vegan. The bottom line is that we must all recognize the magnificent dependence we have with the environment and ask not what the earth can do for us, but what we can do for our planet.

-This post is not endorsed by both authors.

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