Is Ignoring Our Environmental Problems Our Most Dangerous Problem?

| 1/29/2010 5:52:52 PM

Bryan and PavoIn 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 .

For further optimistic discussion about our future, read Beautiful and Abundant by Bryan Welch and connect with Beautiful and Abundant on Facebook. 

Photo by Bryan Welch 

3/29/2010 10:27:03 AM

I believe we all want to help. THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS ARE FINANCIAL. Most people struggle day to day just to put food on the table. When it comes to a choice of $.89 for a 1 lb pack of carrots or $1.98 for the same 1 lb of organic carrots, the choices become hard for people living on reduced or fixed incomes. I would love to solarize my home here in Texas, but am unable to afford the initial costs. So my contribution to "Green" lifestyle is limited to turning the thermostat to a more cost effective setting. My town/county offers rebates for adding insulation to the attic bringing it up to 16" deep, I cant even afford to do that. The soil here is more clay than dirt, so one has to BUY topsoil at terriable prices. Or buy lots of equipment to till the clay and leaves and grass trimmings. That sortta puts a garden out of reach.I have resortred to trying to grow in 5gal buckets which I can get ahold of, the soil is still a problem. 5gal buckets have their limits. I am trying a hanging system for tomatoes, but it is too early to tell if its going to work. In conclusion, I doubt people STOP thinking about the better things, it just is not attainable for the largest portion of us Humans.

K. Pinet_2
3/21/2010 9:20:51 AM

Just a post script. Did not intend to target Catholicism, just used it as an example for taking another look at belief systems and how they affect population. Lots of other societies could be used to fill-in here. The bush people keep a natural system. It is tough but it works. My point was, if we wish to make life more palatable by removing disease and suffering we will have to alter our natural breeding habits to make things balance.

K. Pinet_2
2/7/2010 6:07:55 PM

Hi Bryan, I'll try this again. Just wanted to thank-you for the great article about creating a sustainable society. I agree that we have become to dogmatic in our approaches and focus too much on what isn't working or what we "Can't" do as a society. This way of thinking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We must change the way we think and look at what we would like to see. Your four questions are great. Thanks for adding beauty and abundance to the list. I agree that our world would not be very pleasant to live in without them. Please continue the population Mantra. The herd mentallity can be changed it just takes a long time. I feel population control is just common sense. If we eliminate pestulance, disease and create ways to extend life then we need to control our rate of breading. Since we have eliminated our natural population controls we need to create new humane ones. If Catholicism wants only what "God wills" then they should accept disease as the natural course. Thanks again for the great read!

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