You already know that we face unprecedented environmental and health challenges in our world today. Our reliance on depleting fossil fuels not only contributes to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, but also contributes to the accumulation of toxic chemicals in our bodies. The victims of this unfolding calamity are our own children and grandchildren.
Many of us know the facts surrounding today’s crises well. But…in the absence of political change that responds to these challenges, we often feel helpless and often succumb to paralyzing despair.
Ms. Steingraber says that today’s notion that toxicity is “a consumer choice” that we cannot influence must soundly rejected. Ms. Steingraber’s article underscores our need to heroically work together to realign current environmental policies to safeguard the healthy development of children and sustain the planetary life-support systems on which their lives depend. This bold step requires our emancipation from our addition to fossil fuels, in all their toxic forms.
Is this realistic, you ask? Well here’s what she says:
- In the course of the next 20 years we could entirely meet our energy requirements with renewable, non-carbon-based sources PROVIDED we cut our energy consumption by 50%. IF we are willing to make deep cuts in consumption, the whole fossil-fuel freedom project may actually become doable.
- Until political changes are underway to move us toward non-carbon based energy sources, we can act now by making lifestyle choices that have measurable and immediate impact. Our homes and vehicles are responsible for 38% of our country’s carbon emissions. We don’t have to wait around for political change before making immediate and radical transformations in our own lives and spheres of influence, do we?
Steingraber’s article names our fossil fuel addiction as the culprit behind our environmental and health crises, but also creates a pathway that leads us from despair toward viable solutions that includes personal actions such as conservation and efficiency. If we act now, and act together, we just might be able to ensure planetary wholeness and a just future for our children and grandchildren.
Read Sandra Steingraber’s Despair Not: We must confront ‘well-informed futility syndrome’ to overcome our fossil fuel addiction published May 25, 2011, In These Times.