In Pursuit of Saving The Environment

Ed: The following opinion piece was contributed by one of our Greenpulse members, Lee HT.

With our obsession with saving the environment, and rewinding all the damages done to Mother Earth during the last century; are we actually pushing the environment towards the better or worse?

The Copenhagen Summit that took place last month could not come up with a final decision agreed to by all super and not-so-super power nations to commit to alleviating the environment problems.

The United States, Great Britain, China, India and many others had conflicted views on ways to cure the environment while still keeping their national priorities intact; development and generating a bigger GDP for their countries. The ball of responsibility is being kicked around without ever meeting the goal net.

Yes, everyone has their own responsibility to do their part for the Earth. However, materialism is strongly instilled within 90% of the Earth’s population, the situation seems somewhat impossible to achieve.

Developed nation, with knowledgeable citizens, high rates of recycling and reduced carbon footprints; somehow or other people succumb to temptation i.e. shopaholics, techno-crazed people, gamers. No matter how much recycling they practice or how often they take public transportations, they still give in to temptations of buying the latest fashionable clothes of the season or to get their hands on the latest Macbooks or iPods.

Even an environmentalist can succumb to the seduction of materialism. In place of plastic bags, we’ve seen the emergence of reusable shopping bags. In place of papers, we’ve seen the creation of electronic paper gadgets. In place of cars, we’ve seen productions of electronic bikes and mobile vehicles. There are a thousand and one other materials that have emerged in our pursuit of an ideal environment or in our many attempts to reduce pollution.

The question is are we really doing Mother Nature a favour or are we actually trying to appease our guilt by inventing environmentally friendly products which at the end of the day, still is a product of materialism.

The fact is right in front of our eyes but we humans still turn a blind eye to it. As long as development, materialism and greed exist, our pursuit of an ideal environment is nearly impossible. No nation in this world is willing to give up development and remain a third world country. Arguments of attaining both an ideal environment and development by some parties are perceivable but how long will it take before that is possible? It will need more researches, inventions and environmental summits before it is possible. All these take time. How long do we have to wait? And while we wait for that day to arrive, I guess we have to be content with trying to save the environment in our own ways to lessen our guilt.

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