I see our environmental crisis as being primarily an issue on structure. When our class did our “walk around the room” visiting optimistic and pessimistic viewpoints in the past, present, and future all I could think about was how our individualist lifestyles in our own western society and how so many actions in history as well as today truly didn’t care about the effects human had on the environment. I believe we were nurtured to behave the way we do regarding community and our earth – both being systems beyond our own self. Our social, political and economic systems are great examples of that. From a young age I have been taught to not trust others and the only way to reach goals is from hard work yourself. It wasn’t till much later (I am still learning it!) the value of community and the impact that takes place from it.
From my personal experience, I wasn’t taught and had not heard about the environmental crisis from till even past high school. I was taught to recycle and compost because it’s important but was never shown the frightening facts about global warming. If I flip on the news, I never hear about the crisis we are in – and if I do it’s usually seen as a light issue or as an opinion and not as a fact. I would argue that a lot of us are in the dark of unknown about the state our world is in. I think how we need to address this issue is through education of our youth right now as well as restructuring our media to portray exactly what is happening. If every grade from a young age till college was taught in classes about the effects of global warming as intensely as the situation is itself and if the media consistently gave updates with a pressing urgency I think we would have a drastic shift in change if these ideas were implemented.
My emotional response to this crisis is easily defined as lost hope. I have a difficult time seeing that much will change in structure in our society and furthermore our individual goals. The dying polar bear in media was big news, and yet it didn’t shake things up enough. I now worry that my beloved landscapes, animals, forests, mountains and oceans won’t be the same for our future generations and that this chapter of enjoying earth is coming to a close. I know what I can do, because I believe it. Does our world know?
Here is an interview with Tony, where I asked him question one.