Whose fault, whose greed?
I'm watching a show called Six Degrees Could Change The World, about how when the Earth warms up, glaciers melt, cities become flooded, and global warming affects us all. How did we get here? Who is really at fault?
I'd venture it's all of our fault. It's also largely our parents and grandparents who started it. It's our battle, our duty, to try to reverse a century of greed and consumption. We, the "First World", the industrial world, the people that go out to eat once a week or more, who eat lots of meat, who go shopping at places like Wal-Mart Costco Target et al, who need to buy new gadgets, who throw away such unnecessary items like plastic food packaging, we are the ones who greatly need to change our ways.
THIS MEANS YOU.
Not some token recycling of a bottle now and then. Every bottle you ever touch. You make a conscious effort to use less packaging of all kinds. You always shop with your canvas bag. You decide that you and your kids don't need a new xBox or PS3. You don't need a flat panel TV. You don't need 50 action figures, 5 will do. Heck do you even need 1? You stop driving your SUV and find at least 1 person to carpool to work with. You only drive on errands when you can combine trips to multiple stores at one time. You don't buy new sneakers even when the ones you have are OK, you don't buy new clothes just for style, you wear holes in the ones you have, and then you even patch them when feasible. You buy products that will last longer. You stop eating hamburgers and meat as much as possible, substituting chicken instead of beef, or vegetables instead of any meat.
Our first world lifestyle has been formed by our grandfathers and earlier. And much of it centers around accumulating wealth, being wealthy or rich and "having a lot". We have to really understand our lives are not made that much better by having lots of trinkets. We have to change our concept of what happy is. Happy is not being rich. Happy is having a comfortable life, enjoying what you have, not needing to have new stuff to make life seem better. Happy is knowing your lifestyle isn't using up as much energy as you did last year. Our ancestors knew this. Life was always better when it was simpler.
So how did we get caught up in doing ever more and buying more? Driven by greed of already wealthy businessmen, the economy shifted from using enough to using more, and seducing regular simple people with shiny things. Seducing otherwise normal and smart people to thinking that a new Chevy will somehow make you more attractive and have better sex, or a collection of DVDs is cool, or that no cool person would wear (insert clothing item here). It's all a scam kids. Stop buying stuff. Stop spinning your wheels in life. Get out, be active, engage your mind, don't sit around, don't get seduced by inconsequential things. And make caring for the environment around you, and your fellow man and neighbor, your top priority.
For a really eye opening movie about how we're tricked into buying stuff, check out the Story Of Stuff.