I do not think we need to create a value system where goods and well beings are completely separate. I just think we need to rely a lot less on Capitalism, Commercialism, and production. Capitalism is not wholly bad. Capitalism is one of the things that make the United States so great and makes us a SuperPower amongst other world powers. Without it, we endanger ourselves to other nations by making ourselves vulnerable; giving up our strongest trait.
I think what the blog prompt brought up about collaborative consumption is the perfect example of the direction we need to be moving in order to sustain the economy and environment. This solution obviously will not let the economy grow whenever it wants, or when it wants to seek other profit margins; but we must go into this idea with the mindset that some things have to give in order to improve in other areas. Our environmental condition must improve; thus the economy will have to give.
In Collaborative Consumption we see an alternative lifestyle, instead of buying a brand new good every time a person wants something. He/she would instead borrow someone else’s good that either does not want it, or even might be on the verge on potentially throwing it out. In this way, we are preserving our resources and still have the utility of having luxurious items that we had through capitalism.
This will not be an overnight change; it would obviously take a huge amount of adjustment time. For it alters the entire foundation of economic America. Like I said above if we want bad enough to improve one thing we have to let something else give. In order to save our world, we need to let our economy struggle for a little bit. In my belief with programs like the Collaborative Consumption our economy and our standards of living would balance out over time.
To answer the first question of if the human race can change the pace of climate change through education, I believe this is definitely possible. From what the most current and reliable research we have thus far we can see that pollution and CO2 gasses produced by our factories, cars, our luxuries, etc are what is causing climate change. I grew up in a house hold that was always conscious of waste, saving water, preserving electricity and my parents never hesitated to talk about the environmental effects of my presence on this earth. I understand that there are many parents that are not like this, that is why if we made it a topic covered in all classrooms, the future generation of educated children would atleast have some sort of understanding of what causes the issue and in their day to day lives the education that may lie in the backs of their heads may act as a sort of underling guidance when they need to make a decision of whether to have their mom drive them around the corner to school or to just ride their bikes. I think that we do have an intrinsic connection to the earth but that we sometimes want to hide or forget because we either have “more pressing” issues like economical problems or psychological issues. It is not that these issues are necessarily more important but that they are simply more pressing.
In my opinion we are not moving in the right direction with the biodiversity issue. We are trying to fix issues that will be forever an issue unless we change the root of the issue; or in some cases they may even be inevitable. This issue reminds me of an overprotective mother homeschooling her child and shielding her child from the bad parts of humanity. It’s useless. How will the child thrive once he/she is older and now has to live on its own and face the realities of life?! In today’s efforts we are trying to preserve more than conserve. We create perfect habitats for wildlife to thrive so their population doesn’t die out and become extinct. The sound of this is great but what is the point…?If they can’t thrive in wildlife maybe they are ment to be extinct? Or maybe we are doing something so harmful that we need to change something about the environment so that they can thrive without our overly protected areas that seem to do nothing for the species. I think we need to look at the species not able to survive and question why that is. If it something that we can change or help by causing less pollution or not allowing as much human interaction in a particular area in order for the species to survive, we need to make every effort to make that happen. But if the measures are too extreme, for example if no humans could inhibit the state of Florida in order to protect the Florida Alligator; I think that it would be time for the Florida Alligator to be extinct. Humans are a species and a dominant species currently! We need the state of Florida just as much as the Florida Alligator does. Although, as a current rule of thumb I think we need to stop being so careless and using our resources so frivolously. We are a greedy species and I think if we make our impact on Earth as a whole a lot smaller and less impactful I think issues with endangered species and biodiversity will not be as pressing of an issue.
I will preface this by saying that I am very “black and white..no gray,” “numbers” kind of person therefore it may be hard for someone with a contrasting type of personality to relate to my view. An institutional makeover could ruin our country. The racialist who feels we need political reform that will completely uproot everything we have done to make our country great comes off to me as selfish. As a country we do need to take better care of our earth. We need to take moral responsibility in respecting the earth. Which means taking our part in doing all that we can to conserve and preserve resources, live in moderation, and be aware of environmental issues. I am a business major therefore my thought process and view I take on different issues represents that population of people in our country. We as a country are in “big trouble” we are over 16 trillion dollars in national debt as of September 9th!! 16 Trillion!! If we can’t manage and support ourselves as a country then we wont be able to FREELY enjoy the natural beauties of our county. So yes, I do think Obama is making as much progress that could be made when we have such a crisis at hand. The radical belief just isn’t practical right now..I’m sorry. I am a huge advocate for the environment. I don’t run the dishwasher if it isn’t full, I carry my Nalgene bottle everywhere and rarely use plastic bags (unless I have too). I think that we have the responsibility to take care of our earth and make sure that the place we live in stays beautiful and healthy but, how are we to enjoy these things freely if we risk imperialism. How awful would that be? We simply fall too far into debt that we are taken over by another country!! Now that we are owned by another country we have to take on their rights as a country which may or may not include rights to travel to the west and witness the Grand Canyon or up to New York and see the Niagara Falls. I agree and I feel the pain of the environmentalist.. it’s sickening to see our natural resources are becoming less and less, but we need to stall this concern for a little while longer while we pursue the issue that could question our independence. I make the analogy to the common student during exam week you may eat bad, not exercise, not drink enough fluids and you run yourself down. But you know by the end of the week when you get the A in the class it will be all worth it. It’s not worth it to you to spend two hours in the gym versus two hours in the library. It’s not good to run yourself that much but you know that it is only temporary that after the week is over you can maintain health again. Like the environment we need to just skip the gym and eat the candy bar a little more so we can fix this economy, and then fix the less pressing issues later.