It is up to us

SUBHEAD: If America is to cease climate destruction, it is Americans, not corporations or regulations, that must change.  

By Katie Gelfling on 30 July 2012 for Island Breath - 
Image above: Outside America an American couple have saved some rainforest and built a community in Costa Rica. From (

The bulk of the American public benefit greatly from the nature-abusing practices of our corporations. Cheap non-local food is imported at great distances to grocery stores, minerals are mined in the cheapest way are used to make cheap electronics- almost all products Americans buy have in some way outsourced much of the cost of the environmental impact, including the materials used to build our homes and roads.

 In addition, Americans structure their lives so that they work farther than a walk away from their homes- daily commute is the norm for most Americans. Even the Americans who are aware of the advantage that eco-destruction gives them in their daily lives tend to buy organic or local occasionally, carpool sometimes, or recycle the parts of their disposable products which are recyclable in their areas.

Those things are great, but they are a drop in the bucket and may work to camouflage the depth of what needs to be done. It would be possible for each person who is radicalized by their knowledge of climate change to adjust their personal lives so that they could walk to some kind of work (likely this would mean moving or getting a different, less-good job) buy only local food (this would mean greatly reducing the variety of their diet, especially in locations with winter) buying only local clothes/linens (this would greatly reduce style options) use re-usable and repairable products only, (which would generally mean giving up most consumer electronics such as cell phones, tvs, and laptops, and increase the required elbow-grease of many cleaning tasks.)

Better insulation, solar lighting, sleeping while the sun is down, and doing things by hand can greatly reduce energy use in the home. Now the above is not impossible, is completely revolutionary, and does not require the consent of any corporation or government. It can be done right now all across America, for anybody who is serious about giving up their unearned advantages won them through climate destruction. if enough people went along that road more choices in local food, textiles and reusable products would emerge for that market, making the road a little easier for everybody.

Of course, I do not expect Americans to give up their luxuries any more than i expect corporations to give up their profits. However, i do wish that the subject of the benefits not just to corporations, but to every-day americans were discussed more fully.

 Occasional recycling and buying local alone simply do not make enough of an impact on Americas portion of climate change. I do not mean to discount the impact that businesses have on the environment.

However as you said, businesses are mindlessly seeking profit. With the government in the pocket of money from the businesses, the only way left to steer the businesses (and the government) is to ensure that businesses can only see a profit when they have earth-friendly practices. (And i'm not talking earth-destroying biofuels or the like.) If we want America to cease it's climate destruction, it is Americans, not corporations or regulations, that must change.


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