People are ubiquitously using religion as a subconscious excuse for the effects that climate change is having on the earth. Religion seeks to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown. It attempts to provide the answers to life’s most difficult questions. It should be praised for these reasons. However, in recent times, we have made discoveries regarding global warming and the effect that it is having on our planet. In moments of spiritual doubt, people often question how God could allow bad things happen to good people. How could an almighty, supernatural being allow for natural disasters to cause so much destruction? However, climate change has emerged from the unknown into the known. It is time to acknowledge this. The onus is on us to change our actions, not to sit around and wait for God to do it.
Hurricane Katrina, a natural disaster, which could have been used as a catalyst to trigger a reaction from the wealthiest economy in the world turning its attention towards climate change. It was claimed to be an ‘Act of God’ that we have no control over. The President of the US doesn’t believe in climate change. He pulled the world’s largest economy and consumer of non – renewable energy out of the Paris Agreement. Nonetheless, God is not the only one we should blame for climate change. Governments and corporations also stand in the dock of the accused.
Businesses utilize the power of advertising to distract the masses. The fashion and oil industries are major players in the marketing industry and are the two highest industries that contribute to climate change. We need to ensure that we do not become victims of powerful marketing strategies. Advertising achieves results through repetition to drill brands and products into your brain. I remember I watched Leonardo Di Caprio’s the flood documentary. Immediately afterward I was inspired to make a change. A week later, I was considerably less inspired. A few months later, the documentary and climate change barely passed my mind. We must keep repeating and repeating the message of making a difference and of climate change’s adverse impact on our planet.
Let’s look at why governments are ignoring climate change. The melting of Arctic ice will revolutionize shipping routes, hence why there is so much controversy currently surrounding the ownership of Arctic ice, many a punter want to have a stake in the disappearing land so that they can receive a slice of the pie when such shipping routes are opened. The influence that oil companies and other major industries have over the Presidential candidates and consequently the political powers in the US is well documented. As well as this, many other countries, especially in the Middle East, have economies that depend on oil and other non-renewable energy resources.
On a recent trip to Oman, a wealthy country which thrives off the oil industry, I discovered mountains containing natural resources like gold in abundance are not mined due to the adverse effect that it would have on the country’s underground water systems. This example represents the inherent inability of people and governments to comprehend how affecting the earth through climate change will have an adverse effect on us all. Countries have a self-centered outlook, they only seek to look after their own country’s direct and immediate needs. They are unable to consider their long-term impact on the earth.
But the real reason why oil and other non-renewable energy sources are still in constant use today is that we don’t care about this issue. The masses are not bothered about climate change enough to demand that our political and corporate leaders do something about it. The large companies influence the masses through marketing to create a society of consumption, not a society of sustainability. It’s time for us, the people to wake up and smell the daisies (whilst we still have daisies). Companies react to consumer’s demand. We shape how businesses conduct themselves. Governments are elected into power by the people. We are responsible for their actions. We are at fault for allowing climate change to continue to have irreparable damage. While we point the finger of blame at God, at governments and at large corporations for this issue, we are the ones responsible.
During the snow that we experienced in Ireland last winter, which caused the country to come to a complete standstill, a friend of mine commented on how despite all humanities of developments and advancements, we were still powerless in the awe of Mother Nature. The feelings of powerlessness that we associate with the everlasting battle against Mother Nature should be replaced with a resonating acknowledgment that it is us that is causing the weather to become more extreme.
It can be very hard to quantify one’s actual contribution to climate change. The world is so vast, that we find it difficult to comprehend that one person can have an effect on the entire planet. We are like fleas living on an elephant. Imagine an elephant with seven billion flies on it. These flies are now sucking the life out of the elephant. It would be extremely hard for one fly to comprehend their effect on the elephant but that does not mean they are not having an effect. You can only take responsibility for your own actions. But as well as reducing your contribution to climate change, you should inspire those around you to perform similarly. Inspire your fellow fleas to live in harmony with the elephant!
By Peter Hoy – Politics CoEditor