*environmental scientist soapbox time* by Doran Eirok

Right, so.
The world is scary right now, in terms of the environment and the climate crisis, and it’s easy to feel discouraged and powerless. Here are a few of my own thoughts on all this.

It’s not your fault, and fixing it isn’t all on your shoulders. We all have a part to play, but letting go of paralysing guilt is the 1st step.
Driving less, eating less meat, reducing waste: great! Do what you can, but failing to live like a monk doesn’t make it all your fault.
If you’re on Weasyl reading this, you’ve probably lived your whole life in an inescapable consumerist system. Finding ethical/sustainable buying choices can be hard & usually expensive. Try, but don’t buy the narrative that your shopping habits are why we’re here.

We’re here because of oil/coal companies etc. and the governments they’ve lobbied to keep environmental standards weak, and financial incentives large, have enabled the continuing operation of environmentally destructive practices.

The idea that it’s all on you is deflection, manufactured by those companies so they can shift guilt to you and continue operating as normal themselves.

Most of us probably live in countries that are signatories to the Paris Accords and have big shiny decarbonisation targets, while hypocritically continuing to give fossil fuel companies drilling and fracking rights and financial subsidies.

This -annoys- me.

So what CAN we do?

Scale-wise, responsibility is -so- much more heavily on governments and corporations than on individuals. This is good! It means there are fewer ‘targets.’ Fewer moles to whack in order to start making a real difference.
You don’t need to change your entire life. You just need to find your voice and make it heard. Vote, most obviously - for candidates and parties that will hold corporations to account, and pass and enforce substantive environmental protections.
Write your representatives/MPs and sign petitions between elections, whatever party they are. If they seem to be on your (and the Earth’s) side, thank them. If not, never let them hear the end of it. They’re meant to be representing you too and should know if they’re failing.

What difference does one vote make, or one signature on a petition? Maybe not much. But sitting in cynical apathy and going ‘meh they’re all terrible and nothing matters’ -definitely- has zero impact.

‘Not much’ is more than zero.
And it adds up.

Times are scary, but they’re also hopeful because more than ever people are waking up to the danger and wanting to do something about it. Feeling guilty and hopeless won’t change anything, but raising our voices together can.
Be hopeful. Be determined. Be loud.

*environmental scientist soapbox time*

Doran Eirok

14 January 2020 at 04:12:11 MST

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    The more people say things like this, maybe people will stop listening to "it's the consumer's responsibility to change". The more people realise, hey, it's not us making all this plastic packaging and creating tons of waste, maybe we can push the responsibility to where it belongs.

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      Yeah, exactly my hope. :) More people are waking up and wanting to help where they can, and that is -awesome-, and a lot of us are even perfectly happy to buy things with better packaging and use fewer straws we don't need and whatever, but we aren't the ones in control over making all that waste in the first place. So that's what I (and others who have said all this better than me) are pushing for - don't buy into the idea that it's all on us, push the responsibility to change and do better to the real big players in this system.