In recent years I’ve come to believe that most people share some of my goals. Most people want our species to have a great place to live healthy lives. Most people want to contribute to a positive future. But their intention is often obstructed by the things they perceive that they cannot do. They can’t afford to install a solar system or buy a new car. They can’t effectively insulate an old house or acquire a new one. They are conscious that our environmental problems may be serious. A sense of frustration sets in.
In frustration, they stop thinking about it. When we stop thinking about it, we feel a sense of relief. That sense of relief is, perhaps, the biggest threat to the world’s natural environment today.
I think we need ways of thinking about our responsibilities that don’t lead us to frustration. That relief we sometimes feel when we stop thinking about the environment can be replaced by the satisfaction of doing something about it. For most people their achievements are going to be small most of the time. We’ve been in the habit of comparing those small achievements to the big problems reported in the media. I think that’s a mistake.
Bryan Welch is the Publisher and Editorial Director of Ogden Publications, the parent company of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Connect with him on Google+.
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Photo by Bryan Welch