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Blog Action Day: It’s Up to Us

by Derek Markham · 2 comments

Blog Action Day 2009

Whether you call it global warming or climate change, the issue of human impact on the earth’s systems is a very real one.

For climate change skeptics, it’s a big jump to imagine that we are affecting the world around us, and it’s easy to point the finger at other people’s actions and say that there’s some hidden agenda in the climate argument (Al Gore is getting rich, Environmentalists are socialists, The third world countries are to blame for pollution and overpopulation…).

Environmentalists are also more than happy to put the blame on others – the energy industry, the mega-corporations, the government.

But the truth is, it’s us. Every single one of us.

There’s no big bad guys, and no ‘evil corporations’ are guilty of more damage to the earth then we are. It’s us. Our daily habits affect the world around us, and we as environmentalists are as guilty as anybody.

Here’s my argument: The businesses and industries that we love to bash are only pursuing their mission – to sell what people are buying. And we keep buying it, whether it’s electricity made by burning coal, or oversized trucks and SUVs that gulp down petroleum and spew out pollutants, or consumer goods made to be used once and thrown away, or… the list goes on and on.

If we weren’t gladly throwing our cash at these companies every single day, they would not be able to continue with business as usual, and would be forced to find something else to sell.

So the power lies with each of us, in our daily actions.

When we can change our habits and live in a different way, we’ll see that the change happens.

It’s not going to change overnight, and there won’t be any magic bullet for climate change action to come out of the Copenhagen (COP15) conference (sorry to burst your bubble). No amount of half-ass solutions are going to bring about massive CO2 emissions reductions (350ppm), and while I like seeing more renewable energy initiatives, if we keep using (wasting) the same amount of energy, we will continue to burn through our natural resources at the same alarming rate.

This is not to say that we should abandon movements like 350.org and TckTckTck, or dismiss COP15 entirely. They have their place as well. But when we expect these organizations and events to make the changes happen, without accepting our own personal responsibility here on Earth, we’ll continue to be disappointed.

It’s up to us.

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Related posts:

  1. Blog Action Day 2008
  2. International Day of Climate Action – October 24th Actions
  3. Climate Action Plan B: – An Ark on the National Mall

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cate Ferguson October 15, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Derek it’s a hard pill to swallow and I’m choking just a little but in the end I agree with you.

We live in a blame and retribution culture and taking responsibility is not very high up our lists. Adding having to make changes to our actions just makes it so much harder to get people to life their heads from the sand.

I for one am prepared to stand up and be counted and I’ve taken all of the easy steps I can think of, now to look at stuff that might be a little more painful but as the saying goes… no pain, no gain.

Thanks for the cattle prod in the back!

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2 Global Patriot October 15, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Nothing could be more to the point than the fact that we, each of us, through our own daily actions, have the greatest affect on the planet.

Whether it’s pollution, climate change, poverty, clean water or equality – we are the most powerful force – not our governments and not our corporations.

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