Firstly a confession, I have been getting it wrong, very wrong in fact. Expending energies on taking glass containers to the shop,buying second hand, eating mostly vegetables…..seeing my part in the fight for the planet as one which could be fought within the boundaries of my own home, within my own village. I’ve changed my mind…
These actions in themselves are not wasted, they have sparked an interest in the health of our communities and environment, the health of our families and societies and the health of our natural world. Like many environmentalists before me, my journey began with re-cycling and continues with taking action against the giant corporation which is trying to store gas underneath my village, campaigning vocally on blockades and joining in with demonstrations.
However, if we are to make an impact on the health of the planet and our communities we must act TOGETHER, our belief that the environment can be fixed by personal solutions is a fallacy, only collective action will bring about the titanic changes which are needed to save us from annihilation.
A deliberate, systemic message has pushed the need for solutions onto the individual consumer, thus placing the onus on personal consumption and deliberately hiding the much greater impact of corporations and the consumer economy of growth at any price. In his article ‘Forget Shorter Showers’, Derrick Jensen explains how we have been subjected to a ‘campaign of systematic misdirection’- consumer culture has taught us to substitute personal lifestyle choices for organised resistance’ . Explaining further, he uses the example of water consumption in the USA; as individuals we are encouraged to think that taking shorter showers will fix the world’s water and energy problems, but since only 10% of water use is domestic, this is a deliberate ploy to hide the 90% used by agriculture, the military and industry. In another example he explains that of the waste produced, only 3% is actually domestic- so that even if everybody turned Zero Waste overnight, we would still only be reducing our waste by 3%.
Jensen states that if everyone were to follow every single suggestion cited in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, it would only account for a 22% fall in carbon emissions. Scientific consensus is that emissions need to fall by at least 75% worldwide if we are to save the world in which we live.
Collective resistance is the only answer, we must get together to force our governments to act now. We must join together with as many others as possible to ensure that we save our planet from the selfish few who would seek to annihilate us for the sake of greed and profit.
I believe the capacity for action lies in all of us. I believe that even amongst those who say that they are looking for a ‘quiet life’ a strengthening voice is crying for the need for change. We feel it to our very core, something is very, very wrong with a society which sits back and watches while our Earth is destroyed for the sake of profit and power. I urge you to make that small change today- join in and fight for what matters most- our families and our environment.