“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” – Paulo Coelho

“We are all just a product of society…” I think somebody said once. And of course it makes sense, it gives us a sense of a formed identity, and someone else to blame for our mistakes. Of course we would call them that – “mistakes” – another way of brandishing our lack of responsibility for our actions. I think the reason why we are consistently getting into a deeper climate crisis is probably because we are wasting time on deciding who is to blame, rather than just getting on with fixing it.

“It’s extraordinary how self-obsessed human beings are. There is so much more out there than what connects to us.” – David Attenborough

I suppose we try to deny the fact that we are all intricately connected to each other, not just made from the same building blocks, or sharing the same energy, but that we are the builders, and we are the energy. Every person has to know that they not only may contribute to the climate crisis, but that they can also help reduce or even reverse it. We all have a purpose on this earth, and that purpose is for each other, every living other, and every future living other.

“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.” – Barack Obama

I am not perfect. I contribute to climate change. I realised this only a few years ago, when I watched Dr Sylvia Earle’s documentary, Mission Blue. Since then, there has been a rush of information regarding the ever-looming creeper – global warming. They no longer even call it global warming because now they have realised that the term limits the scope of the way we understand its effects. The planet isn’t only warming, it’s dying. It’s literally in crisis.

“We’ve seen an astonishing 60% decline in the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians in just over 40 years.” – WWF

Just like we have killed each other, and just like we have killed the animals, we are now killing our only home, and it’s beginning to dawn on us just how pertinent this issue is. As a matter of urgency, we do need to take action, rather than simply saying that we need to take action (I’m aware of the irony of my statement).

Since, as humans, we tend to need a book of text to back up our beliefs, there needed to be time to do the relevant studies, and means to do the research, along with peers to tell us that it was in fact true. What I find difficult to accept is that we always assume that unless we know something, it doesn’t exist. Common sense would have us simply look at the infinite miracle of nature, and know that if it happened, then it was supposed to happen. We must subtract ourselves from the equation of natural law, because we have already done everything in our power to erase it completely. In fact, I think that the best course of action would be to move as close to nature as possible, stop trying to fix symptoms with drugs, and start trying to reverse the diagnosis itself.

I’ve stopped looking for excuses for why I am still contributing to climate change, and instead I’ve began to start looking for ways to reduce my contribution. Not just one way, but as many ways as possible. It’s common to fixate on one avenue, and charge straight ahead in that direction, insisting it is the only way to go, but it just can’t be that simple.

“Plastic straws represent only 0.025% of ocean plastic.” – U.N. Environment

The straw must be the catalyst. It starts with one straw in a turtle’s nose, and will hopefully end with completely organic and biodegradable packaging, toys, and products. Of course, it could end another way, but that thought is too much to bear. Instead I like to hope that individual actions will spark the change that is needed to save humanity from self-destruction. We all know it’s possible, and we all know that what we do when we wake up in the morning is just as important as what our neighbours do.

“I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” – Greta Thunberg

I ask you earnestly, to join me by doing less. Throw away less plastic, burn less fossil fuel, purchase less things, and eat less meat, fish, and dairy. Yes, it takes an effort. Yes, you will need to change some habits. But no, you won’t regret it. Every parent fears for their child because they love them. The most precious gift we have is life itself, and the lives of others that are a part of this (our) world. Let us start acting like it. 

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