I read an article recently that blew my mind.
It said climate change skeptics are more likely to do eco-friendly stuff, like recycle and ride the bus to conserve fossil fuels, than climate ‘alarmists' (like me).
In other words, people who don’t believe the 'hype' that humans are exacerbating climate change by polluting the earth still make the effort to ‘go green’ more often than those of us who believe we’re headed for climate catastrophe.
Doesn't that sound like some kind of bizarro upside-down world to you?
Check out the findings for yourself at The Washington Times if you want to get super depressed. It’s counter-intuitive, but analyzing a little deeper, it starts to make scary sense.
What the article sheds light on is that there are a frightening number of us who, although we actually care about the future of the planet, have just plain given up on it.
We’ve lost faith in our ability to make a positive difference in the world.
We’ve become so overwhelmed by the doom ‘n gloom we see on the news every day that we’re effectively paralyzed.
Well, I say, eff that!
Because the fact is, you CAN do something to reduce the amount of crap that ends up in our landfills!
You can minimize the toxic assault on the air we breathe.
You can lower the demand for disposable junk that’s manufactured.
Heck, just say no to using a straw TODAY and you’ll keep that gigantic plastic island that’s floating around the Pacific from getting any bigger!
That’s a decent start, at least...
But being a Reductionist isn’t a one-off. It’s not just a ‘today’ thing.
It takes long-term commitment. It requires a radical alteration in mindset.
And, yeah, you might make some people mad (especially if you start bicycling around a Rustbelt city like mine and start championing for more bike lanes).
But the fact is, sometimes, when we fight against fragrances so we have air that's safe to breath;
when we vote to make companies stop illegal dumping so that we have water that's not doused with chemicals;
as we watch with sinking hearts as weather-related catastrophes hurt more people;
as we look back on our childhoods and remember deeper snow in winters and cooler nights in summer;
as we stand firm, refusing to purchase and pushing back against the incessant wave of commercialism that splashes us in the face telling us to "Buy this! Buy that! You need more stuff! Plastic stuff! Made by people in Third-World nations who are being paid just pennies for working 16 hours a day!";
as we dig up more soil that can no longer grow food;
as we discover more invasive bugs that threaten our health;
all it takes is one stupid jerk to chuck a Styrofoam cup out their car window and we're ready to scream--at the top of our lungs--that one burning question all Reductionists ask every day:
Why the hell do I bother????!!!!
And then we remind ourselves.
Because it matters. And I'm not in this alone.
You're recycling. She's shopping with canvas bags. He's bringing his own containers to restaurants. Aunt Mable even stopped using her awful perfume.
We may be a small army, and we may be real scrappy, but we're an army nonetheless.
And we're committed. We're driven. And don't forget that we have each other.