In my opinion, progress is so slow it might as well be nonexistent. Yet, when it comes to saving and conserving our environment and natural resources, the things we need to survive, any progress is a good thing.
I agree with both sides of this argument. President Obama is correct in pointing out that there have been strides made in the current political system towards environmental protection and policy. There is more research being conducted on the effects of issues like fracking, fossil fuel combustion, greenhouse gases, and natural gas production on the environment. This research facilitates education, which is crucial in making informed decisions, especially in matters of national policy. There is more willingness to admit that climate change is a real problem and more agreement in the scientific and political realms about the need to find a solution. Just these steps alone are crucial to implementing proper environmental policy. Like the saying goes, “admittance is the first step to getting help.”
However, the pace with which this education is occurring is simply too slow. Based on the increased amount and intensity of natural disasters and the change in average regional temperatures around the world in the last decade, just two examples of climate change effects, the acknowledgement of environmental issues should be happening faster and steps to prevent environmental damage should be taken faster. This is the only planet we have and we cannot afford to dilly-dally in saving it.
I do not think a reform of the current system would work as a solution. While society has only adopted the ‘man dominates nature’ perspective fairly recently, it takes twice as long to reverse a pattern once it is learned than it does to learn it in the first place. I do not think we, as a society, have that kind of time unless we are willing to adapt as the earth deteriorates. A radical reform, while unlikely and somewhat frightening to contemplate, would be the fastest way to bring about the changes that could prevent ecological and environmental collapse.