Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Haven’t been here in a while.

Lately I have been spending some time looking inward, in an attempt to decide which direction I wish to go in. Every day is a struggle. From simple things, such as paying bills to more complex issues such as global warming, poverty, famine, inequality and more. It can become a little over whelming at times. Recently I had one of those times, during a discussion with a friend. It all began innocently enough, he asked what would happen if certain species disappeared from the ecosystem. I did my best to answer these questions but I’m sure I wasn’t very helpful. Then he asked if the disappearance of these species really made any difference. Once again I tried to answer his question but was probably not very convincing. I’m sure that I didn’t get my point across because after I concluded my feeble attempt to answer his question he cheerfully stated that he didn’t care if these species became extinct because they served no useful purpose anyways. I was very upset that he could say such a thing and even worse that he would think such a thing. I began to explain how we needed to make changes in our daily lives in an attempt to curb global warming. As the discussion surrounding who was responsible for global warming and who should take action escalated, it became clearly apparent that we didn’t agree and that we were very close to making this into a physical confrontation. I immediately stopped arguing and sat in silence until it was time to leave. I felt that I had crossed a line that I never wanted to cross. Instead of leading by example I had become a preacher.
Some very good points were made, not by me, most of which I agree with. Why are we, as individuals being asked to make sacrifices in our daily lives? Is it an attempt to spare the largest emitters from reducing their emissions? Recent studies have shown that despite the cuts that individuals are making, green house gases still continue to rise. As individuals the small cuts we make are equivalent to pissing in the ocean. They mean nothing. I’m not saying that we should stop recycling, reducing waste and improving our efficiency. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t destroy our quality of life simply to make it easier for large emitters to continue to increase their destructive habits. If change doesn’t come from the largest emitters than no matter what we do it will have virtually no affect on the outcome. I don’t want to live in cave and neither do you. If we want to “clean up our act”, it needs to start at the top and work it’s way down, not the other way around. As my friend put it, “I’m not giving up a single thing so that some rich bastard can own a bigger house, drive a bigger car and live a better life while I scratch in the dirt”. “Screw him”.

That’s exactly how I feel.