I would not want to make debatable environmental issues too frequent of a topic on this blog. I would not want to take the focus away from preventing more direct violence and victimization, such as rape, murder, sexual assault and battery. We can all agree on the horribleness of those more blatant and direct acts, so I use this blog to regularly try to encourage us to finally work-together to actually do what it takes to end those direct acts of violence and victimization, such as rape, murder, sexual assault and battery. I would not want to take away from that by talking too much about controversial and disagreeable issues regarding the environment.
Nonetheless, today I want to point out that we do also need to work-together to defend ourselves from people who would hurt us by polluting and damaging our enviornment.
Throughout the process of industrialization, certain profit-seeking groups of people have claimed ownership of much of the world and its natural resources. They profit by overusing resources, polluting the enviornment, and making commodities out of various parts of our world. For example, some of these people have profited by claiming control of vast forests, cutting down the trees, and causing massive damage to the long-term health of our enviornment.
For the most part, the few people committing any given act of environmental destruction profit while all of us have to pay the consequences. So, while the cost to us all is not worth the benefit to us all, human-caused environmental destruction happens because the profit to the specific people who do it is worth the cost to those specific people who do it because they do not have to pay most of the costs; The rest of us have to pay the costs! And by pay the costs, I mean suffer the consequences of environmental destruction.
While human-caused global warming infamously causes many problems, pollution and environmental destruction also cause many other problems. For example, pollution to the air, water and land damages our health and contaminates our food supply. Overusing natural resources can reduce the supply of them, such as hunting an animal so much that it goes extinct or destroying trees and plant-growth more than they regrow thereby destroying our supply of breathable air. From increased cancer to asthma, we frequently see the harmful effects of environmental degradation.
Some people may suggest making laws and advocating governmental policy change to stop people from destroying the environment. For example, the government could make it illegal for any person or group to pollute more than a certain amount. The government could require people and corporations to offset their emissions–just as we would make a vandal pay to for the repairs for the window he broke. The government could create protected areas, such as saying certain forests cannot be cut down, saying certain animals cannot be hunted, and so forth.
Though I support making the government as small as possible, I might support some of those laws in the same way I support laws that outlaw murder or battery. I see those laws as mostly declarations of our intention to defend ourselves, and I support self-defense. I support defending ourselves from murder and violence, and I support defending ourselves from people who hurt us by polluting and destroying our enviornment.
However, I view the lack of environmental-protection laws as a scapegoat. I think we tend to blame the lack of environmental-protection laws as a means of trying to support environmental protection without acknowledging our own blameworthiness.
I believe that we do not need more laws to stop the destruction of our enviornment. I believe we can more effectively protect our enviornment using non-governmental methods. I believe we can do more by taking direct action rather than asking the government to change its laws. Let me give some examples: We can each conserve energy in our own personal lives. We can buy less commodities that require destruction of the enviornment to produce. We can recycle. We can boycott corporations that pollute or harm the enviornment. We can live in smaller houses with bigger yards that have trees and plants which we can preserve. We can spread awareness about the harmful effects of environmental degradation. We can spread awareness about what activities and which corporations cause the most harm to the environment. And we can stop doing those activities and stop doing business with those corporations.
If we want to protect ourselves by protecting our enviornment, I believe we can do it. And we can do it without changing the government’s laws but by changing our own personal actions.
If you have any more ideas on how to protect our enviornment, please post them here as comments. Also, help raise awareness about the environmental problem by telling people you know about this blog post. Send them the URL.
What do you think?