No pun intended, but global warming is a pretty hot issue right now. I heard one statistic that said the ten hottest years in recorded history have all occurred within the last 14 years. For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to even attempt to go into detail on any of this, but I am fired up on one particular aspect that I do want to rant about right now.
First off I need to make my fundamental belief on the environment known and that is this: including you, the reader, and myself, the author, every human being living in a techno-industrial society is culpable in global warming and the destruction of nature to one degree or another.
We all use hydrocarbon-based power, create trash and participate in environmentally destructive practices. Some us make truly sincere efforts to offset our destructive lifestyles by converting to biodiesel or boycotting automobiles altogether, using low energy lightbulbs in our homes, replacing outdated refrigerators or switching to a vegetarian diet.
Others make only wanton disregards about our destructive lifestyle: they own multiple automobiles (typically retarded hum-vees and SUV’s), create companies that use substantial amounts of natural resources while contributing nothing worthwhile to the future of humanity, continue to eat at polluting establishments such as McDonalds, leave energy-wasting lights and appliances on all the time and on top of all that many of these folks financially support other businesses and individuals who do the same.
While the latter group of everyday citizens may be guilty to a greater degree than the former, as far as per capita contribution to eco-failure goes, even the most wasteful everyday citizens on Earth pale in comparison to the owners of international mega-corporations, and that’s what’s got me all fired up this morning: I’m completely disgusted at how the politicians, beaurocrats, lobbyists and agendists have the audacity to pawn this thing off on the everyday citizens.
And here’s the clincher: virtually ALL of the media hype I’ve seen to date on global warming is directed at the everyday citizen. “If the everyday citizen would use less gas, switch to low-energy lightbulbs and
bike to work twice a week” we could severely limit global warming. Of course, I don’t refute the truth of this logic, and these proactive strategies have already been implemented by many people dubbed ‘hippies’ or ‘tree-huggers’ by conservative jack-asses like Rush Limbaugh. That’s not the point.
If you walk into a room and see a sink overflowing, do you first grab a mop or turn the water off? That logic applies perfectly in the global warming situation. In essence, asking spoiled, comfortable average citizens to curtail the use of modern amenities we’ve grown so accustomed to over the past three or four generations is tantamount to handing a ten-year-old kid 365 pieces of candy and asking him to eat only one piece a day. Anyone who has kids knows this is not very likely, and certainly not the most efficient approach to preserving a full mouth of teeth in your child.
If you want to curtail the amount of candy a kid eats, why not hand him a smaller bag? Better yet, why not curtail the production of candy? Even better still, why not curtail the production of candy and then demand the candy manufacturer to undertake proactive actions towards a healthy and sustainable lifestyle to offset all their previous years of destructive candy-making?
Who’s out there asking the automobile manufacturers to curtail car production? Who’s out there with the gall to stand up to our cherished and deified “big business” sector and ask them to limit the amount of unnecessary plastic crap manufactured every year in America and elsewhere?
Where is the bold and brave politician to introduce a bill limiting the amount of cars a single family or business can have? Who’s going to stand up to GM and hold them accountable for the destruction of a whole fleet of green automobiles in the Arizona desert? Nobody.
And surely a zillion “expert economists,” many of them no doubt employeed by large corporations, would quickly challenge my sentiments and provide detailed business summaries on how these suggestions would be “bad for the economy.”
As far as global warming goes, there’s an old saying that shit flows downhill and I firmly believe we gotta go to the top of the pyramid on this one. So long as our leaders fail to affect change at the top of the waste-chain, their requests for the rest of us to undertake proactive eco-friendly strategies will likely fall on deaf ears.
The editor of Kansas Flint Hills, and pursuer of relatively interesting information. Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.