Reality Check for Us Environmentalists
Okay Kids. Let's get real for a moment.
According two recent articles published by respected online publications, Orion Magazine and Worldchanging.com, it appears that the 'plan A' of the environmental movement's roughly four-decade effort to meaningfully engage the "mainstream" to drive an "ecological u-turn" isn't really succeeding. Consider how and why the combined membership of the major environmental groups comprises no more than 1-3% of the US population.
Meanwhile, since we as a civilization are consuming far beyond the carrying capacity of the planet – then have we really done anything different than we did 50 years ago? Other than to be aware of how much more stuff we are consuming, and how much worse off Nature is?
I am reminded of what Bill McKibben recently said in a local talk at the regal Downtown Los Angeles public library. He shared with us a research study that although our GDP (gross domestic product), and our associated collective environmental footprint, has tripled in the last 50 years, it does not appear that we human beings are any happier as a result.
Although there is good news – the "the mainstream" has begun to become aware of the environmental crisis on the planet, and the role that we humans have played in creating this crisis. Even so, we still need something of a "reality check" about the consequences our consumer-focused culture. Consider this: according the nonprofit Redefining Progress, which conducted an "Ecological Foot Print Test," if every person on the planet consumed as much stuff as we in America do right now, our species' collective "gaping-mouth" would need 4-5 planets of stuff to keep the ponzi scheme going.
Meanwhile, there are environmental fire alarms every day in the news – what are you going to do?
First thing I suggest is to breathe, and relax. And enjoy reading these interesting, articles: From the Orion, "The Idols of Environmentalism: Do environmentalists conspire against their own interests? First in a two-part series." And this excellent WorldChanging.com article: "Make This Earth Day Your Last!" posted by Worldchanging.com Founder Alex Steffen and Managing Editor Sarah Rich.
Thought provoking, indeed!Tweet