I'm curious when, if ever, we will reach a threshold and take serious action. Rampant environmental destruction seems to typically be greeted with a shrug of the shoulders and hands in pockets. Everyone seems to acknowledge it, but few seem willing to do anything. Very few seem to know where to even start; that's where we get meager pleas to screw in a better lightbulb, buy "green" dish soap, and shop local...all in the face of a behemoth.
I'm not sure anyone even knows what "taking serious action" looks like, but I'm fairly certain that whatever we are currently doing isn't serious enough. Otherwise we wouldn't be casually reading and debating articles about the death of our oceans. If we, collectively, are capable of doing anything at all.
Which leads me to believe that, as a culture, our alienation from the environment is so profound that our collective threshold for its destruction is nearly infinite.
Layman's terms: We seem perfectly willing to go down with the ship rather than right its course and give up our way of life in the process.
If somebody destroyed or encroached upon your property (as in your house, car, television, etc.) you'd fight to stop them; legally, possibly physically. How far would you be willing to extend this circle of responsibility?
Would you fight to save a forest, a lake, a stretch of ocean? How hard? How close would the destruction have to come to home before it became worthy of your struggle against it? I ask these questions of myself as well.
It comes back to alienation, a disconnect systemically created and encouraged (I'd argue our economic system and culture as a whole thrive on alienation) and unconsciously manifested. We don't live off the land. We don't even have land anymore. Not land in the conventional ownership sense, but land in an ancestral, personal, grounding sense; "Our Land" in the sense of a deep symbiotic relationship with one's environment that fosters love, respect, and defense of it. I think "Our Land" is long gone. It's been replaced by "My Stuff".
I guarantee that if somebody intentionally scratched your car today you'd react with greater outrage than when you read the article Tom linked above. Why?
When our connection to the Earth occurs in an abstract, alienated, and primarily recreational way (wax philosophical all you want about the beauty of Sierra sunsets, it's still purely recreational for most), I fear we won't go far enough, if we even muster the strength to act at all, to defend the land.