I almost never engage in political or social debate on the internet...and never here at BPL, which seems to be blessedly free of such traffic...but I feel compelled to press further in response to some posts made in this thread. If I can quote Mr. Maynard:
"I apoligize upfront for this small political rant: I would just like to comment on something brought up here that I hear alot- That the US uses more resources per capita than the rest of world and so on.
First this is a socialist/marxist attitude, the assumption being that the worlds resorces "should" be evenly divided by everyone and that the * insert anti-U.S. remark here * U.S. uses more than its fair share. Is it really suprising that a large industrial nation uses more resources than say, a farming culture with no tradition of industrialization"
It simply doesn't matter if this is a socialist comment or not. I doesn't matter if we are entitled to more of the world's resources or not. If the climate of the world and the environment of which we are a part is deteriorating as fast as almost the entire scientific community seems to finally be in agreement on, then this process must be reversed, by hook or crook. It is our duty as a nation of people who can make the choice (As opposed to those who have no other means of survival) to change our lifestyles. If not, then the consequences are possibly catastrophic. I don't really care what label is applied to this statement, and you shouldn't either. What needs to be driven home here is that there are a heck of a lot of people who are much more intelligent than I (and most likely you as well- no offense, please) who are telling us, point blank, that we are on a precipice.
If some want to look at this as another time in our history when the pleas of crying wolf came from the side of the conservationists than this is their prerogative as free-willed individuals. But I don't think we can ignore the mass consensus from the world scientific community, which to my knowledge, is unprecedented. For my own personal observations, the things I was told over the past decade or so seem largely to be coming to pass.
If we as backpackers, who profess to love the natural, unspoiled, unsullied world, cannot find it within our means to be the staunchest of advocates of those who are truly attempting to lead our society in a more sustainable direction, then who will? If we, as products of our jaded and suspecting society first and lovers of our deteriorating ecosystem second, continue to cast a cynical eye upon their efforts, then who can be expected to champion the cause of those who advocate change? Where will the inspiration come from?
It is my feeling that this massive problem will require more than just collecting litter. It will require new patriots; pioneers who can dislodge an inertial population who are resistant to change- especially if that change means discomfort. This country was up to a task such as this at one point. Are we now? If there is one truth here, it is that we are going to find out.
I also apologize if my statement is contributing to some serious thread drift. But I will not apologize for what some may see as preaching for I, like a previous poster, am frankly bewildered at the undercurrent of apathy being displayed, in a place where I would never expect to find it. This last comment is not intended as any form of insult. As I said earlier, everyone is entitled to his/her own. I simply expected more unity on this topic. Thanks.