I know this is a tough topic, but I would genuinely like to debate it.
I will not respond to posts that put down the people of certain regions or religions.
As far as a recent post questioning my lifestyle choices, read the post I addressed to Victoria- she essentially asked the same question.
I get the impression that people are upset with me, personally, for stating that I do not believe industrial civilization is sustainable. Hence the amount of "you're just as much a part of the problem" posts directed towards me.
Please remember, I never stated I wasn't part of the problem. I am not taking a position of superiority in this debate. I am simply stating my belief that industrial civilization is not sustainable and trying to give examples of why. If someone says market forces will save us, I try to give an accurate response as to why I don't believe that's so. If someone claims we can go to space for resources, I have tried to pick apart that idea. Please give me reasons I am wrong or focus on reasons you believe industrial civilization is (or will become) sustainable.
But I have never said that I hold the moral high-ground on this. I have never stated that I live in a way that does not contribute to the problems. I have done many, many things in my life to attempt to lessen my impact, I have participated in many activist campaigns and organizations and still do.
But my intention in this thread was not to air a laundry list of what I'm doing for you all to read. Nor am I trying to attack people personally for what they are not doing. Starting a thread titled "What are things you are doing to lessen your impact on the environment?" would be a great start on that issue, probably very worthwhile. But that is not the thread I started.
One thing I would like to talk about here, because it has come up again, is the issue of "Who are you to complain if you drive a car, use electricity, eat food, etc., etc., etc."
The following was a very important realization for me when it comes to environmental activism:
We consume. All of life consumes. It is impossible to lead a life in which something, somewhere, is not consumed. And often you just have to take it- i.e. food: if you're hungry, you must eat. If that means (within context) killing a plant, so be it. If means (within context) you must kill an animal, so be it.
This used to bring me REALLY down. Until you realize that's just the way it is. Get over it.
Now let's extend this to our lifestyles.
I hate smog. no, I HATE smog. I live in Los Angeles, some of the worst air in the nation. I fear for my children (asthma studies in cities aren't encouraging).
I have to drive a car. Yes, I cycle as much as I can (over 100 miles in some weeks!), but I do have to drive.
So does that mean I have no right to demand a better system?
The fact that I drive, does that mean I have no right to be upset that this city favors the car, caters to the car, has destroyed itself for the car? Does that mean I have no right to fight for a better way?
Do not let your guilt stop you from action. Again, DO NOT let your guilt stop you from action.
We are complex beings. We can be part of a particular problem while SIMULTANEOUSLY working to end the system that creates the problem. Do not let your guilt stop you from action- KEEP THE GUILT PROPORTIONAL to your actions. It is too easy to hang your head and sulk away because you must ultimately consume/destroy.
Just because I use toilet paper DOES NOT mean I am responsible for the actions of every timber corporation on this planet. KEEP THE GUILT PROPORTIONAL and do not let it paralyze you. That extreme guilt is what prevents half the world from doing anything about our problems. Just because I use toilet paper does not mean I cannot demand and fight for a better way to get it.
Hell, I believe our entire way of life (industrial civilization) is ultimately doomed, but the guilt I carry for being part of it does not stop me from trying to do something.