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Can we Change our Behavior?

Can we change our behavior to create an ecologically sustainable culture? Of course we can. Will we? Probably not. Most developed countries admit that we are causing damage to our planet with our highly industrialized practices and unchecked consumer mentality. We are already facing serious problems due to global warming and depletion of our natural resources. Lobby groups operate on the basis of determined capitalism, pushing for their agendas regardless of environmental effects. During his term (!

977-81) President Jimmy Carter tried to pass legislation that would have aggressively focused on cleaner, renewable energy sources, but subsequent Presidents have given only lip service to his proposals. The Bush administration refused our participation in the Kyoto Protocol, preferring to let energy corporations make their own determinations as to environmental fixes. Certain guidelines were laid out; the time frame, however, leaves much to be desired, as these fixes should be done NOW, not at some distant point in the future.

Due to the lost years between Carter and the current President that could have been spent on research and development, we are way behind the game. Creating an environmentally stable culture would be nearly impossible in our industrialized society. We would have to give up our cars, electricity, and basic products that have become essential to our participation in society. We are a disposable society, and each year Americans alone are responsible for 220 million tons of garbage. The best we can aim for now is seeking ways to do less harm: recycling, driving hybrid cars, and, perhaps the hardest, learning to be responsible consumers.

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