Keep Green Issues Simple
For those of us who have an environmentalist outlook on things, there is often a problem with the size of the issue. Yes, the environment is a matter for concern – no-one could possibly deny that and retain a modicum of credibility – but which part of it do we look at first? Taken as a whole, the environment itself covers such a broad range of topics that it is difficult to pin down. This is perhaps where the movement has failed in the past – as much goodwill as there is for green issues, it has been difficult to nail down a list of priorities which will allow the problems to be dealt with on their merits. As a result, from the outside the green movement looks like a disorganised rabble squabbling about which issue should take precedence. As time goes on, it is hoped that this will become a thing of the past.
As we await the December conference on the Environment in Copenhagen, Denmark, the environmental movement does seem to be shaking its priorities into some sort of order. Top among them seems to be the issue of carbon and its related problems. Carbon deposits in our atmosphere have all sorts of effects that we would be well advised to avoid, but we as a global population have been slow to stop them from increasing. Although most of the world’s nations have a Green party which participates in national elections, in no major country has such a party been elected to form the basis of a government. Parties of government tend to offer more vocal support than logistic solutions where the environment is concerned, and thus the will to do something is often frustrated by issues such as the economy or defence.
The hope is that the conference in December, set to be the focus of a previously unseen level of media and public interest (for an environmental issue), will galvanise governments into actually doing something cogent to improve the state of the environment. After the Kyoto protocol were decided in 1997, the plan laid out to reduce carbon emissions by a significant level over the following twenty years slowly unravelled, as the United States refused to ratify the arrangement and other nations which had ratified showed little thirst to stick to their guns. Copenhagen is seen as a chance to move on from the disappointment of the aftermath.
Already, however, we are hearing that Copenhagen may not herald the signing of any new deal on carbon emissions – or at any rate, any deal which will mean much globally. For those of us with an eye on a greener future, it could be a frustrating fortnight. In order to ensure that something is at least done, the best bet may be to do it yourself. We as individuals may not be able to deliver the kind of results the governments could, but this is no reason to back off from your own plans. A lot of small steps can make up a long journey, and it is worth remembering that.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Thegreenlivingblog.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Sep 9, 2009.
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