You Are Your Own Best Interest

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You are the only one who can make a difference. Sure, there are lots of “you” out there, but each person individually is responsible for making the changes necessary to clean up our planet. Our government isn’t going to do it for you, as evidenced by Obama’s lack of followup on campaign promises about the environment. Other countries aren’t going to do it for you, as showcased by the endless amount of conferences (like COP 16 going on right now) that never solidify any solutions. Corporations aren’t going to do it, as their own best interest is their bottom line – profit. Even non-profit environmental groups like The Nature Conservancy take their funding from the world’s worst polluters. So who does that leave?

You.

All you can do is to try to make your little corner of the planet a better place. That’s it. All the marches, protests, letters, and conferences probably aren’t going to provide the drastic change we have all wanted and worked at for years. Call me a cynic, which I most definitely am, but I prefer “realist” instead. It’s tough to admit it, but the longer I publish this site and stay involved the more I don’t believe we will see major change occurring at a bigger level.

Local is where it is at and the only place that we can affect change.

Maybe if enough of us make the necessary adjustments in our own lives, bigger change will take effect. That’s what we hope, right? There is a reason we try to buy organic foods, eliminate toxic chemicals, and buy more fuel efficient cars — We want to see humanity start to clean up the mess it created. I hope that it’s not too late and that we aren’t headed toward an unstoppable collapse of life here on earth, but I am not worried for myself. More than likely I will be fine and will be long gone before anything too drastic happens. I am worried about a few generations down the line from me. They are the ones that will have to truly live with the decisions we make today. Every time a conference like COP 16 fails to make any changes (which they will do again this time, sadly), we are taking away from future generations here on earth. That’s why depending on anyone bigger than just ourselves to “save us” is incredibly shortsighted. It’s not going to happen. And while our small local actions don’t seem like they make much difference, if everyone started doing the same the impact would be huge and far more valuable than flying delegates and reporters all over the world to cover climate negotiations that never result in anything.

The quote “You’re my only hope” from Star Wars rings true today for anyone concerned about the future existence of human life on earth. You are your own best interest, so get started. No one else is going to do it for you, no matter how much they promise you that they will try. Start thinking and acting locally, and let’s hope it pays off.

Photo by aussiegall

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Comments

  1. I agree, Kim – that’s what makes me a realist and a cynic. I have doubt that our individual changes will make a difference on a grand scale. But I also know that’s all we can do, so if we can make a difference at home, at least we can control that. Governments & corporations have no interest in doing the work, so that only leaves us to try to do our small little part in hopes that it might pay off. And I do mean “might”.

    🙂

  2. I definitely agree with you David but … what we do as individuals has little impact compared to what big corporations are doing. I can change my ways and hope that others do the same but if the corporations continue to pollute the way that they are, I fear my efforts are for nothing.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. But cynical? Absolutely.

  3. Indeed — one of the side effects of being realistic is becoming a cynic. The *only* fact is that reality (at least as far as things like the environment are concerned) is not a happy land of magical unicorns that will somehow sprinkle fairy dust on billions of people and get them to help save the world. No amount fairy dust will overcome greed.

    But your point is very well made, and the microscopic amount of us in the world who care about these things should continue to care about them and live that way as best we can.

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