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Choice is ours: Living better or living consumptively

Choice is ours: Living better or living consumptively
Wendell Funk
To the Herald-Whig

A frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives.

Not every single natural disaster (e.g. drought, flood, tornado) can be directly attributed to global warming, but collectively their increasing frequency and severity can.  It is delusional to claim otherwise when a majority of national or world climate professionals say it does.

No attempt to protect the environment will be successful unless we are willing to adjust our lifestyles.  We need to power down our penchant for energy consumption and power up an active concern for the conservation of resources.  Let our morality be judged by how modestly we consume.  Do we care?

Our consumptive lifestyle is environmentally degrading.  Individually, we can slow the error by conservation measures.  Turning off lights/appliances when not needed; using shade (window blinds to trees) or fans; reducing the cold/heat of drinks, washers/dryers and rooms; closing off closets/attics; and insulating will greatly reduce our carbon footprint.  Collectively, we can to a great extent utilize public transportation, especially bus and rail.

Curbing our temporal pleasure from ever newer toys (hedonism) and directing our major concern toward slowing environmental degradation is long overdue.  A robust environment is essential if a viable economy or a sustainable social system is to exist.  A healthy economy cannot rise from a sick environment.  Our finite earth cannot support infinite growth.  Until we come to term with living on a single planet, we simply are stealing from the future.

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise” – A. Lepold. 
“Everything is hitched to everything else” – J. Muir.

The choice is ours – living better (a viable environment) or living consumptively (a degraded environment).  As self-interested individuals we will fail.  As a cooperative society we will succeed.  Promoting community wealth through environmental stability.

If humans become extinct due to unchecked global warming, will it be our shame to finally realize that we were the tenants from hell?  Or do we care?

Wendell Funk
30 August 2012