In past articles, I have written about how changing a light bulb won’t fix everything but also that the little things do matter when added one on top of the other. But one thing I have never said was that this was going to be easy; there is no way for the change you want to see happen in the world without putting in any effort at all. Changing the way that we treat the planet (and each other, for that matter) is going to take a huge shift in the mindset of the average person. For far too long we have treated our rivers and oceans like a toxic escape route, our air like our own non-functioning carbon sequestration plant, and fellow humans like they were our enemies based only on the fact that they were from another country. For too long we have squandered our natural resources, abused our non-natural ones, and let things slide that should have been taken care of long ago. And now, all of our neglect is coming home to roost and it’s time for everyone to get to work. If this BP oil spill doesn’t spur us all into action, I am not sure what will.
After all, I don’t want my great grandchildren to have to live in a place that I had a hand in ruining, and I am sure you don’t either.
You might not have noticed the changes yet; most of us haven’t. Sure, we see bigger storms during hurricane season, strange weather in the Northeast, or maybe even longer, drier summers in the Southwest. But as soon as they are gone, we go back to feeling safe and being complacent – it’s human nature to act that way; it’s a safety mechanism. In fact, some places and people had a really frigid winter and are doubting that climate change is even real. That’s the key though – it’s climate change, which does not necessarily lead to warm, balmy winters.
In fact, winters could be getting worse and showing up in places that don’t normally get winter! Scientists are really the only ones seeing and tracking the changes, and it’s only because of them that we know that anything is really askew in our world. And this is the reason that the real effort and changes need to be implemented and executed as soon as possible, before it gets too late and we reach some sort of a tipping point (are we there already?) that we might not be able to recover from. Do I know where or when that is? Nope.
But I also don’t want to find out.
Yes, it is going to take more than just a few souls changing a light bulb in their house in order to make an impact; no one said that was all it was going to take. It is going to take everyone changing every light bulb. It’s going to take everyone making informed decisions about Energy Star related appliances for their home. It’s going to take everyone making their voice heard on issues ranging from the protection of species all the way to Michigan for our desire for alternative fueled/electric vehicles. It’s going to take voting with your wallet by supporting companies who are working towards the same goal and not supporting companies who don’t meet your standards. You wouldn’t personally treat people the way that say a company like Wal-Mart does; so why support Wal-Mart? It’s going to take work. Lots of it. By everyone from President Obama to Al Gore to local organizers to PTA heads to kids in high school. As I have said before and always end up repeating to naysayers, we are all in this together. You want change? Start by asking everyone around you to put in the work like you do; we are going to need all the help we can get. Every last bit of effort helps the cause and is worth the time put in.
Let’s get busy.
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