The environment has been an issue my whole life, from elementary school through high school it was instilled in us that we had to not only look after, but heal our planet. Looking after our world is not a new idea – hell, I’ve been wandering the planet now for almost 40 years now – so I think we can definitely say climate change, and environmental responsibility is not something that has suddenly arrived that people are struggling to get their heads around.
And while many of us are doing our best to live with a light footprint on the world, we’ve been told by governments and NGOs alike for years that it is up to us to make the difference; but the reality of the world in 2019 is that individual responsibility will only take us so far. The biggest changes need to come from legislation aimed at the largest dirtiest corporate polluters.
the message needs to be clear: go green or go out of business altogether.
The dirty businesses – which are so frequently also heavily subsidized by government – have for too long been given a pass to pollute with impunity: and that’s hardly a surprise when so often between government and heavy industry a revolving door has operated where the people that make our laws walk directly into jobs where profit is reliant on polluting.
That must stop.
So it’s with joy in my heart that I’ve cheered on so many environmental campaigners these last few weeks bringing our cities to a pollution free standstill with polite civil disobedience aimed directly at the dirty business and their political enablers who have failed our planet over the last 40 years. Direct action has a great track record for affecting change and I sincerely hope that the concern and anger at our politicians track records’ on the environment continues to grow.
I believe that we’re dangerously close to a catastrophic tipping point, but I also believe in humanity, I believe that we can change the world – but it’ll need more than just personal change.
So the next time you’re sorting your recycling, or reducing your plastic usage, or fitting a low flow meter for your water, also take 10 minutes out to write to your elected representative: and don’t just stop there – call out businesses that have poor environmental records – use your buying power to say no – organize at work to demand your own companies are ethical and green, and ensure that any person that denies climate change, or passes the buck when they have responsibility finds their opportunities for advancement or publicity massively curtailed.
We can and will make it clear that if we can make the effort personally, then they should to – the message needs to be clear: go green or go out of business altogether.
Photo Credit: Neil A. Evans © 2018
Photo Location: Südlicher Randweg, Möhnesee, Nordrhein-Westfälischen. Deutschland.