By Promod Puri

I often feel perplexed if the worldwide surge in climate campaigns and protests is approaching the desired objective. Does it hit the critical target that causes most of the environmental damage?

Palpably and seriously, that overlooked and evading target is me, along with the majority of us!

Despite being utterly aware of the deteriorating environment, I’m the one contributing significantly to its global degeneration.

I’m the root cause. I’m the one who is creating demand for goods and services, cheap and in abundance.

But I instead blame big businesses, manufacturers, and industrialists for their greed and irresponsible practices causing the escalating planetary catastrophe.

I’m the one shouting at the world leaders that they’re running away from their 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 about environmental destruction.

My concern for the declining environment is fake. But that is the image I’ve created to showcase it and enable myself to participate in hot climate-change deliberations.

But covertly, I indulge myself in everything which generates the cause while overlooking the consequence. The cause and its effect apply to “we human beings.” Excluding me.

I do realize my collective responsibility towards a cleaner environment. But that is occasionally put into practice.

I do a lot contributing to environmental deterioration. I have a mindset with an excuse. Mine is just a drop, an insignificant share that does not add to the damage.

My eating habits, my buying habits, my social practices continue to be environmentally immoral.

But while out on the street and on social media, I pose as a committed environmentalist.

I do know that the earth is warming up, seas are rising, and glaciers are melting. As a result, some island countries face submersion in their surrounding oceans. And 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 pretty aware that the global political heads and their expert advisors deliver, year after year, a plethora of environmental accords that do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

After intensive wrangling at the global climate actions summits, those lofty resolutions and goals remain non-binding.

They are easy to get in and easy to get out.

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

My social attachments and lifestyle do 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 pride and prized 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 an inessential banana hanger?

While creating my environmental footprints, I’m criticizing those who pollute the planet earth.

But in my conscious mind, I realize that environmental cleaning needs to start from where it begins.

I’m the cause; I’m the cure.

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