If you did not read the post just before this, please do so now. This one will make more sense with that under your belt.
It seems one of the most contentious subjects these days is the “environment.” This subject produces some pretty heated “debates.” The reason for quotation marks around the word debate is because far too often they don’t remotely resemble a debate. One side of the discussion is certain the environment is in such bad shape we need to take drastic measures right now, right now and if we do not, then our planet will cease to exist in the very near future. The other side of the discussion believes most (and sometimes all) efforts to make improvements to the environment are simply attacks against a hard-won status quo.
Viewpoint A considers Viewpoint B to be stuck in corporate greed, uncaring and unwilling to listen; Viewpoint B considers Viewpoint A to be hysterical, too caring about things not ultimately important and unwilling to listen. Yes, there are many shades of grey to this discussion, but far too often we are presented with very polarized viewpoints, neither of which get the job done.
First things first: we DO all live on planet Earth. So, IF there is a problem with the sustainability of our planet, then every single one of us needs to be concerned.
And secondly: we need to be incredibly intelligent and practical about WHAT we do to ensure our planet’s health and longevity. We cannot knee-jerk to solve one problem which then causes a new problem to manifest.
In late 2005, Michael Crichton delivered a very interesting presentation to the Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy on this subject of rationally assessing our environment. He made his entire speech with all of the slides available at this web site. I strongly urge that you read through his presentation.
Michael Crichton states very eloquently in this speech precisely how I feel about the environment. We need to be completely alert to what is wrong and completely rational about how to correct the wrongnesses. There is no “left wing” or “right wing” rhetoric in this perspective.
One group that I know shares this viewpoint is The Earth Organization. They are committed to making educated assessments and taking steps that prolong and improve the quality of life. Take a few minutes and peruse their web site. It is a most refreshing approach.