So I have posted several questions in the discussion section of other articles.
My questions usually revolve around the effectiveness of our activities.
I think the environmental community(including myself)really needs to take a look at how we have been trying to stop the destruction.
Are our activities effective?
Lets ask ourselves some simple questions (it is usually at this point that people get mad at me and either stop talking to me or censor my posts). These questions are not aimed at motivation or sincerity, they are simply looking at how effective we have been.
Is there more or less CO2 in the atmosphere today, than there was 20 years ago? Or is the rate of added CO2 decreasing or increasing?
Are there more organisms going extinct now than there was 20 years ago?
Are there more people in prison now than there was 20 years ago?
These are not tough questions. We all know the answers.
So what does this tell us about how effective our activities have been? It is at this point that someone usually says "well, it is better than not doing anything at all." To this I would disagree, but my point is that we should do something, but we should make sure it is something that will be effective.
Let me take a moment to anger a bunch of people (I apologize).
Lets evaluate the Occupy movement. When this first started it was immensely motivating and it gave me hope and there is still value in what it did, but it reached a point where it needed to change and take the next step (I am not going to get into what that step should be).
But the problem with the Occupy movement is that it is mainly a symbolic occurrence. We need these symbols, but they have to led us to further action and Occupy only led to further Occupy.
Lets look at this from another perspective:
Would you rather have a "facebook" friend or a real friend?
Would you rather watch pornography or have sex?
If you were drowning, would you rather have everyone make a nice banner that lets you know how much they hope you make it to shore, or would you rather have them throw you a life ring?
Symbolism is only important if it leads us to take effective action. If your nice banner got someone else to swim out and save me, then great, congrats to you, but we have had decades of banners about the environment and yet the destruction has only gotten worse, faster and more thorough.
If I offended anyone I apologize, but it really is time to look at ourselves and ask "have we really made it better?"