Suicidal Endgame?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Photo Credit: Jonathan Rausseo

I see garbage on the ground, I pick it up and put it in the trash.
I drink an iced tea, I carry it until I see a recycling bin
I see a light on and not in use, I turn in off
I know we're both going to the same place, I carpool
I don't agree with where my meat and produce comes from, I won't eat it
I turn the lights off during Earth hour
I know that something's in walking distance, I walk
I see someone throw away a can when the recycling bin if five steps away, I get annoyed
I have clothes that are too small for me, I donate them

In my mind, I'm a pretty average guy, just tryin' to do my part.
Apparently I'm a 'hardcore environmentalist'.

For the longest time I didn't get it; the title really pissed me off. 'Not being a jerk when you don't have to be' is considered being 'hardcore'.
But through the last month of Katimavik, living and co-operating with 10 other people and trying to make compromises on the way we run the house, and the last 2 weeks of working at uOttawa, reducing, reusing and recycling in ways I've never even dreamed of, I've come to 4 realizations:

1. There is so much more I can do to reduce my ecological footprint, so long as I'm willing to sacrifice some personal luxury and convenience

2. I'm willing to do it

3. I am and always have been willing to sacrifice my personal luxury and convinience for the betterment of the environment

4. That's pretty much the textbook definition of a hardcore environmentalist

So alright, fine. I'm 'hardcore'. But if you ask me, the only things separating me from most of the general populace are ignorance, denial, and stubbornness. Everyone's heard the Global Warming spiel and there's conclusive evidence and conclusive bullshit on both sides of the issue, so I'm not even going to begin to debate that subject without first having some sorta omnipotent scientific degree, but we all know our waste can't amount to anything good.

Last Monday Jon took us to a presentation on sustainability. The presenter was boring as hell, but his graphs and math were pretty damn solid. In lamens terms, he just pointed out an obvious truth: Our world population is increasing exponentially. Our energy consumption is increasing exponentially. Our non-renewable resources are not. Estimates are that, at the rate we're going, we'll have more international consumption than we will supply within the next 40 years. Maybe we'll fix up our act before then, who knows! I mean, just look at how much progress we've made towards environmentalism in the last 20 years! We'll be fine!!!

That was, of course, sarcasm. We've done jack all for the last 20, and we may very well continue to do jack all for the next 20. Believe what you will, but personally I refuse to be responsible for my own destruction. Call me 'hardcore', go ahead. Just as long as I'm allowed to call you 'suicidal'.


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