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Can we really make a difference?

February 28, 2009

I believe it to be an undeniable fact that the environment is suffering as a consequence of human impact. In light of this belief, I found myself in a heated conversation with an individual in relation to whether we can actually make a difference to the environment and improve the environmental challenges we face today.

Days went by and the opinion opposed to mine continued to echo in my mind: “the damage we have caused the environment is irreversible” and “As long as the government is driven by money, the environment will continue to be disregarded.”

We cannot know if the environmental circumstances can be improved, but does it make it right that we continue down this path of destruction, fully aware that our actions are detrimental to the environment?

Philosopher, Immanuel Kant believes that as long as the intent is ‘good’ the act itself is moral. In relation to the prior question, by continuing to actively destroy the environment with full knowledge, we are acting immorally.

Individually, if we looked after our own areas then we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. You don’t have to be a senator to make a difference. Changing the environment is a collective problem, which should be tackled collectively.

In recent years saving the environment has been a topic of much speculation. Al-Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’, created much public interest. It has almost become fashionable to be “environmentally friendly”. You can buy merchandise with the statement “recycle” scrolled across the front. Leonardo DiCaprio has a foundation which promotes environmental issues, and is currently working on a feature documentary on global warming called “11th Hour”. Being environmentally friendly is all the rage these days. As we all know, fashions change, and what was ‘in’ yesterday is no longer on the agenda today. So, lets hope the environment will not follow this trend.

The secret to limiting the effect we have on the environment is changing our lifestyle. Rather than thinking “I’m a good person because I recycle”, we ought to think “I recycle because this something we have to do.”

The following is trailer of Al-Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’:


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