This guest post is by Endre Rex-Kiss of Freedom Solar Power.
As climate change alters the world for the worse and the environment strains under the weight of human activity, there are many questions we must ask ourselves about our environmental behavior. If we were diagnosed with cancer, we would not wait until we were incredibly sick to seek medical attention. So why is that the attitude we embrace when it comes to climate change and other environmental problems? The world is holding its breath as we continue to burn fossil fuels and live unsustainably.
Why don’t people care about the environment now?
The deeply ironic thing is that they do care. Several US surveys placed the number of people who ‘care about the environment’ as 70-80% of the population. When asked whether people want to live in a world with an unstable climate, more environmental disasters and less resources they scream out ‘no’. People care about the environment and the effect that human are having on it, but they just aren’t acting on it.
The problem of ‘inaction’ is a complex one that has many reasons. Firstly, people mistakenly believe the environment isn’t an immediate problem. Fossil fuels running out or serious effects of climate change are years away, or so they think. Secondly they see the problem of collective action. People either don’t believe that they on an individual level can change anything, or they do and don’t want to be disadvantaged because everybody else will not change their lifestyles. Sadly people do not realize that it is individual action, like recycling or installing solar panels, that begins collective action.
What kinds of events would drive people to green energy?
Despite masses of data backing the climate change thesis, many still doubt its impact. So long as the warming is ‘unnoticeable’ to the general public and does not impact on their daily lives in a meaningful way, then they will not act. This is a massive problem as the logical conclusion of that kind of thinking is that people will only change their behavior when some massive environmental shift or disaster happens, despite the fact that such things are completely avoidable. People could prepare themselves now by installing solar panels or another green energy source, which would both save money in the long-term and cushion them from upcoming issues. But they don’t, and so the problem continues.
Why we should take action now.
Why are we waiting for fossil fuels to run out or a massive climate event to turn to green energy and sustainable living? By then it could be too little too late. If everybody worked just a little harder to live more sustainably, perhaps these nightmare scenarios will never come to pass.
So long as the relationship between our governments and fossil fuel companies is cozy, there will be no true effort to cushion people from the effect of the coming fossil fuel shortage. Oil companies wish to turn a profit for as long as they can, and that means that we will be encouraged to continue our dependence on fossil fuels until it kills us. No more, no less. Jump off the conveyor belt and think for yourself. Go online and look at the statistics; listen to the experts. Decide for yourself whether you think you should shield your family from fuel shocks by using green energy. Once you’ve educated yourself, I know the answer will and must be ‘yes’.
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