“The Greatest Threat To Our Planet Is The Believe That Someone Else Will Save It”
I ask you firstly to close your eyes and imagine a perfect world: Human utopia. Vibrant Trees, lots of Happy People and Green scenery. I then ask you to open your eyes and look around. Take a hard look at what we do have and why is it this way.
Currently, sustainability is a “hot topic”. Before the industrial Revolution the human race self sustained, the wheel was used for transport, and agriculture was seen of critical importance however, during the Industrial Age, human race has become dependant on new technology and consistently improving upon what we already have. FACT.
If we take the example of a car: The car has become an essential must have in everyday life. “Carmageddon” (Monbiot, 2016). During the automobile rise in the early 20th century, we became reliant on four wheeled machines to transport us to work, to social activities, to the corner shop less than 1km down the road! The car has become such an ingrained necessity of our functioning life that we do not consider the damages in which this may cause and this is only one example.
Where did we go wrong? I recently have taken part in a social experiment in Lancaster UK, during peak time on a Friday night. I simply watched how many cars passed by me and the results were disturbing. Out of 75 cars that passed by, 68 only had a single driver inside. This therefore shows just how much we rely on this commodity of necessity to get from A-B. Is this a product of wealth, class or need? Who knows, but by 2050 there will be 9 Billion people in the world. (National Geographic) That is a large amount of emissions and pollution going into the atmosphere, an increase in cars, a worry of enough agriculture, a worry of enough sanitation, clean water and food. It is certainly a hard swallow to digest and take in.
These are important issues, and they need to be dealt with, educated upon and actively combated against now because in 2050 it will be too late.
I ask you this: When do we go too far? When do we stop?
Firstly I am very much aware that when I make such a sweeping statement many would argue “But I recycle? I watch my carbon footstep!” That may be true but I ask you this, do you spread the word? Do you encourage your young to do the same? Do you encourage your neighbours, family members and friends to do the same? Probably not and therefore we are all to blame. In a population such as the UK, where it is easy to change we still are traveling in the wrong direction. As a human race we simply do not do enough to encourage and inform people to actively sustain.
For this I purposely point the finger at the education system. Why do Educational Professionals not include a compulsory element of education in every course on Sustainability and world issues? This is something that needs to be incorporated into every sector as it impacts fundamentally all aspects of life: history, business, language, arts, science, maths and so much more. Learning and educating ourselves is the first step to success. Educating our future generation to not make the same mistakes we have made is the first key action in order to eventually globally sustain and reduce emissions and waste.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Ghandi.
Monbiot G, (2016):