We seem to be very efficient, but unfortunately this does not mean that we are doing the right things. Saving the environment is the next new trend. Everyone wants to get involved and be part of the latest fashion. But below the hood not much have changed after all. The methods are the same and the results may be less than impressive.
For many of us it is not about saving the planet but reducing the guilt. We are bluffing ourselves and trying to be good citizens. However, this does not change the underlying facts and the ongoing destruction of the planet. Still, we are carrying on with our lifestyles and ways of working without changing anything radically. By our actions we are saying that we are concerned and I can do this and that but I don’t want to go any deeper. I’m not willing to do major sacrifices. This is my life—no matter how twisted or destructive its impact might be.
Buying carbon credits is easy. Following your carbon footprint and compensating it may sound like that you’re helping out in a big way. But what is it exactly that you’re trying to do? First you consume (destroy and pollute) and then you feel guilty or concerned about it and compensate by buying some credits that may either be someone ‘rights’ to pollute that have been sold to you or you are planting something back to nature that will take decades if not centuries to heal and compensate the loss you made. How can you be so sure that there is enough time left for future generations and your credits to ‘payback’ before the whole planet has been destroyed? You did not stop the destruction and pollution in the first place. What you said was that you’re continuing to do your mess now and you will fix it later somehow. And who has said that carbon credits or any other single concept is the right solution for the damages we are causing?
Regulators are keen to impose new taxes and restrictions on various items and processes. Energy is ‘bad’ in general and needs to be highly taxed. Some ‘alternative’ energy forms are preferred over others and there are sanctions and incentives for certain activities and actions. In an overall level we are forced to act in a unified and specific manner but in reality we may help out someone’s business interest more than save the planet—we just continue the destruction in another way that is more ‘socially’ accepted. How does it help the environment that governments impose taxes on energy? It certainly helps the government to get more revenues by appealing to our ‘responsibility’ to our living environment. At the same time the very same government is telling us that growing crops and other biomass for fuel are saving the planet and these forms need to be subsidised. What happened to the overall impact and energy input-output efficiency? We are just recycling the money and boosting business, not saving the environment. Guilty revealed and the new fashion trend harvested, mainly supported by coercion.
Money does not buy love. Neither can it buy nature. By looking around us it’s obvious that we have not learned this lesson. No matter how much money you have still you cannot undo the damage for rain forests, polluted water and land, corrupted crops and extinct species. We are good at destroying but very poor at creating. What has taken tremendous amount of time by nature to build we are destroying almost in seconds compared to the overall time perspective. We are irresponsible and ignorant of our support systems. What else can be said when we prefer short term at the cost of our children?
Guilt does not solve the issue, neither paying more. Something more profound is needed. We need to reconsider our priorities and values. We need to reassess our relationship with this planet, with nature. Now we consume. We use, utilise, and throw away. This is a one-way relationship that is not sustainable. We are living in a closed system called the planet Earth. We cannot pile up things forever and expect that our trash and pollution are well hidden and do not come back to us. Who do you think are already eating, drinking, and breathing hazardous waste? So far things have not gotten better. Our current solutions are not working. More regulation, more penalties, more subsidies, more forced ‘one right way policies’ are not the answer. The question is not what you do but why you do it. Everybody can do his or her own share. There is more than one way to live in this planet. Now it is time to explore and experiment other approaches that are based on a more balanced way of existence. What is it that you’re paying for?