If a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to. -Greta Thunberg-
It’s climate week and I am very happy to see all the marches that have been led by young people. Last March, I mentioned Greta Thunberg in an article (here), and I find it wonderful to see how many people are paying attention to her and following her lead. It’s not like she’s going out on a limb. She just wants our leaders to heed the science around climate issues.
I am also heartened when I see kids suing governments over climate change. In the case of Juliana versus the United States, young people are taking administrations to task for subsidizing the fossil fuel industry and for not implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gases. For gambling with their future. For gambling with their right to have a future!
We need to support young folks by going to the marches. I hear some say that it would be hypocritical to go to a march if we are contributing to the climate crisis by driving cars, taking planes and by consuming as we do. They have a point. But we must participate all the same. If we are ever going to resolve these issues, we need leadership and we need to be out there demanding it.
Individual Versus Collective Responsibility
Normally, I tend to advocate that we, as individuals, have the power for change. (See here) Many of us happily perform all types of actions that are good for the environment. But where do we draw the line so that it doesn’t feel like self-sacrifice? For instance, I know that I could stop traveling by plane, but to do so while just about everyone else flies at will would make me feel terribly resentful.
So many people I know are taking steps to limit their impact on this Earth, but unfortunately, it is not enough. Many could do more. And industry could be doing a lot more!
Manufacturers need to be held accountable. We want high quality, lasting goods. Programmed obsolescence should be considered a crime against the environment, as should other despicable practices, meant only to create profits at the planet’s expense. Resources need to be protected; we must come up with better ways to use recycled items. Transportation needs to be rethought—surely we can come up with something better than our fossil fuel-gorging system. And so much more. Our leaders must stop catering to greedy commerce and care for people, the planet and future generations. Give us better options and we will step up!!!
Where we the consumers are concerned, there is also room for improvement. We tend to be more preoccupied with individual concerns. Concerns like not wanting to pay more for gas, not wanting to downsize our cars or our houses, using air travel like there’s no tomorrow, buying all the latest electronic gadgets and using disposable this and disposable that…. it all adds up!
Because we haven’t yet found the way to come together for greater good, we need to demand that our governments set rules that everyone will follow. It’s only fair. As twisted as it sounds, we need to insist that our leaders force us all to act responsibly. So let’s get out there and make them listen (so they can make us listen 😊)!