In the latest special report written by the IPCC we have once again been delivered irrefutable evidence that humans are destroying the planet at an unprecedented rate. Left unchecked, we are surely doomed to irreversibly damage our delicate planet for the foreseeable future, endangering our children, grand children, and countless other innocent species in unimaginable ways.
The momentum behind this 40 billion ton freight train (of CO2) is unstoppable. We won’t act fast enough. We won’t change. We are stuck in our ways and we’ll continue to commute our two ton luxury SUV fifty miles to our pointless jobs to put food on the table, money in the bank and gas in the tank.
Like most Americans and other wealthy nations I have been fed lies about how one should “live” since childbirth. Go to school, get good grades, get a good job, make lots of money, buy lots of things, live the dream! Work hard and you can have unlimited food, faster cars, bigger homes, better technology! The list goes on and on…
BUT, how do you live with yourself when you know the true cost of all these things? Yes, life would be quite dandy if every human could live like this sustainably and not completely destroy the one planet we have to call home, but that is not the case!
Chemicals are dumped in the ocean, rivers, and air. Landfills pile up, get tossed into the ocean, and burned. Coal plants burn more ferociously every year as energy demands increase. Oil and gas burn in millions of vehicles and homes filling our air with toxic greenhouse gases. Factories churn as underage workers wearing inadequate face protection hand-assemble our beebles and bobbles. Animals suffer through unimaginable horrors so they can be skinned and slaughtered and fed to overweight nine year olds via drive-through fast food windows.
Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with us?
As much as I hate to admit that I’m part of the problem, I most certainly am, and it’s quite likely that you are too. Not because any of us are actively trying to destroy the planet and cause a vast amount of human and animal suffering, but because we’ve been told since birth that we can “have it all,” and it only costs 99 cents. Who cares where it comes from or how it’s made?
Here’s the thing about modern industrialization and the techno-revolution: The planet is more connected than ever before. Every day we make choices that affect the planet and its inhabitants (usually negatively). Those small choices ripple through hundreds of companies, countries, and thousands of individuals. Every product you buy, kilowatt of energy you use, and every bit of food you put in your mouth affect this precious planet. Yes, your choices to change to a more sustainable lifestyle have wide-reaching impact. It may only make a 0.000001% difference, but that is what this planet needs: a few hundred million people making microscopic differences.
So, what can you do, and what would have the biggest impact at helping to slow down and possibly reverse the shit-storm that’s coming?
- Eat way, way less meat.
- Grow and consume your own food.
- Consume less energy and products.
- Vote for representatives that give a fuck about this planet.
That’s about all we can do, those of us normal people anyway. We will need government to step up and help fight this battle. Policies need to change. Taxes need to be added. Subsidies for green technology need to be expanded. With the majority of humanity pitching in we might actually have a fighting chance to save our beloved little blue ball and most of its inhabitants.
This is our one and only home, and our one and only chance to not fuck it up. We all need to re-examine our lives and make better, more conscious choices, knowing that these small choices affect the planet as a whole. I know that I will try harder, even if it is too late.
— C.C. Edgar