Qu: If turning off appliances, recycling etc. are just a drop in the ocean; is there any point doing them at all?
With all the media hype, the threat of peak oil and messages of impending catastrophe for the planet, I don’t blame you for feeling over faced. Ultimately global change will happen quickest if instigated by global leaders. Once out of the ground fossil fuels will be used and harmful pollutants emitted. Politicians must devise and implement policies that reduce the amount of coal, gas and oil extracted within, or imported into a country. The sad truth is that if leaders don’t control the amount of fossil fuels at source all our attempts to reduce emissions in a hundred little ways make a very small impact on the overall situation.
However, that doesn’t mean your efforts are useless. Every little does help, so keep up your recycling, turn of those appliance and encourage others to do the same. You can also use your vote to influence the way the government prioritises. Politicians won’t change unless the public puts pressure on them. If you don’t then it’s left to corporate lobbyists, who can twist legislation to ensure that corporate interests are served. As James Bruges writes in What About China? A new wave of thinking suggests that the solution must involve individuals.The atmosphere does not belong to corporations – not even to governments or countries. We all, as individuals, have an equal right to its life-maintaining properties.
Instead of getting demoralized find out who your local MP is and urge then to put a cap on the use of fossil fuels. Get inspired about what you can do by learning more about the transition town movement, where communities are successfully working together to find a post-carbon way of living.