ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE: I’M THE CAUSE, I’M THE CURE

By Promod Puri

I’m often bewildered if the flood of climate campaigns and protests worldwide is proceeding in the pertinent direction, hitting the key target causing the environmental damage.

In fact, that overlooked and evading target is me, along with most of us. Seriously!

I’m the one, despite being aware of the deteriorating environment, is contributing significantly to its global degeneration. Rather I’m the root cause. I’m the one who is creating demand for goods and services; cheap and in abundance.

But I blame big businesses, manufacturers, and industrialists in the capitalist community for their greed and irresponsible practices causing the escalating global catastrophe.

I’m the one shouting at the world leaders that they are not taking responsibility. I’m the one telling the conservative folks that they are ignorant and don’t understand the science of the environment.

I’m part of the worldwide cry that enough is not being done.

That is the image I have, or I’m creating for myself, that environment is my greatest concern. But privately, I indulge myself in everything which generates the cause but doesn’t accept the consequence. Both the cause and the consequence apply to “we human beings.” But not me.

I also realize my collective responsibility towards a cleaner environment.

Personally, I do everything contributing to environmental deterioration. I have a firm mindset. What I’m doing is just a drop, and that it does not matter.

My eating habits, my buying habits, my social habits remain intact. But while out on the street and on social media, I’m an environmentalist.

I do know that earth is warming up, seas are rising, and glaciers are melting. As a result, some island countries are soon going to be submerged in their surrounding oceans. The coastlines are being eroded.

Although I do not understand what the guarantees in the business of carbon reduction mean, how does it work, and how it is traded or manipulated. But I do support net-zero carbon-emissions goals.

I’m quite aware of the fact that the international political community has been producing, year after year, tons of environmental accords that do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But at the same time, these lofty resolutions and goals are non-binding. They are easy to get in and easy to get out. And I notice all these conventional wrangles at the global climate actions summits.

In my socialist outfit, I demand zero economic growth where we could stop our economy from growing endlessly, we could stop endless increases in our consumption of resources, and we could take some of the pressure off the environment.

My social attachments and lifestyle conflict with my environmental responsibilities and accountabilities. In a culture of accumulation where the choices galore, the shopping spree is an indulgence. The closets are overflowing, the kitchen cabinets, the refrigerators are loaded, the garage is a big storage container. Getting bargains is a pride achievement of shopping loot.

In this environment of amassment for every need or no need, the industry is ready to flood the market with goods. Otherwise, who would care to buy a banana hanger?

I move on to creating my own environmental footprints. At the same time, I’m kicking those who pollute the planet earth. I do realize environmental cleaning has to start from where it begins.

I’m the cause, I’m the cure.

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