When it comes to significant moments in history our minds are captivated by the whats, the whens, and the howcomes. Sadly though, when it comes to the environment, our minds are focused elsewhere.
by Josh Raynham (Staff Writer)
It is no secret that our world is dying. The number of major climate disasters has been rising in the past decade, from hurricanes to wildfires. According to studies, this new frequency of the occurrence of natural disasters is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. A study published in the Journal of Science found that the average 6-year-old will live through three times as many climate disasters as someone born in 1960 — including twice as many wildfires, two and a half times as many crop failures, and over three times more river floods. So why don’t we care?
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill revealed the vulnerability of fossil fuel infrastructure and the dangerous effects these vulnerabilities have on our environment. That same year South Africa hosted the Soccer World Cup. I still remember going to one of the first games played between Paraguay and Uruguay. I remember where we sat and that the game ended in a draw. Up until now, the only thing I knew about Deepwater was that Mark Wahlberg starred in a movie about it. Our focus on the world today seems to bypass the urgency which is needed in order for our planet to survive. We spend our time locked into our phones, struggling to keep up with the constant surge of modernization that seems to engulf our everyday lives.
The problem is that we are trapped in a pit of quicksand that has been slowly sinking since the birth of humanity. Sidetracked, we scramble to pay our bills and afford rising food costs – all whilst trying to entertain ourselves in a dying world. We’re running as fast as we can, whilst our leaders keep changing direction and our scientists are egomaniacs who play the blame game with us all. Our minds have become so threatened by the idea that we are to blame for our Earth dying that we do not see, or perhaps do not want to see, the roots which run so much deeper than a straw in the ocean.
We are stuck in a loop of not knowing what to do. Eat healthier, ride a bike, stop fishing. These are futile problems if we don’t fix the root of the issue: our society has been bred to rely on the structures which control us and who control our outlook on the environment. The sheer nature in which the world is run encapsulates the theory of globalization which has been spurred on by a sense of capitalist modernity.
The environment is a topic that will continue to be the center of the debate until humanity is wiped from the face of this earth. Sadly, I fear that the debate-phase is where the topic will stay. Whilst governments can pass laws and ordinary people can use metal straws, the fact that the earth continues to turn gives people an excuse to say, “well at least the world hasn’t ended”. To change we must understand the system which we have been brought up in and realize that whilst the age of globalization waits for no man, living on a dead planet isn’t good for anyone’s health.