Sunday, April 22, 2007

Make a Commitment to Environmental Sanity

Now that Earth Day #38 is upon us, it’s time that we, as concerned citizens of good conscience with a penchant for sustainable living, reflect on local, national, and global events of the past year and ask ourselves some really tough questions. Are we, as global stewards, doing enough, both collectively and individually, to spare Earth—and ourselves—the ravages of global climate change? Are we demanding that our civic, corporate, and government leaders advocate for sustainable practices in all segments of our society? Do we hold polluters accountable for the damage they cause to the environment? Have we, as individuals, managed to get our own rapacious consumerism under control? In all cases the answer is no, and that means we have a lot of work to do.

The collective insanity of consumer culture panders to economic greed at the expense of cultural, socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. No society that devours its resources faster than those resources can be renewed can long endure. What we desperately need are visionaries—inventors, planners, designers, engineers, financiers, educators, and entrepreneurs—all working together to create a sane, rational socioeconomic model for sustainable living that the rest of the world not only will want to emulate but can emulate without putting the entire planet in peril.

Capitalism, in its current form, is a fatally flawed economic concept in desperate need of a social conscience. Any economy that systematically consumes all of its resources while simultaneously polluting the environment is headed for certain destruction. Change is still possible, but the time for change is now. Every day of procrastination brings us one day closer to the day of reckoning, and the day of reckoning is not as far away as we think.

Earth Day is a good thing, but Earth Day once a year is not nearly enough. Only when we make every day Earth Day will we begin to show the level of commitment necessary to make, and keep, our world habitable for the next seven generations, and for seven generations beyond that, ad infinitum.