What Are We Willing To Compromise?
by Apoorva Shrivastava (12)
Our whole lives we have lived under the impression that if we try hard enough and appease our duties we will be able to haul Earth out of the destitute pit we pushed it into. People all around the world have put in a vast amount of time and effort into recycling, making compost pits, mini gardens, etc. They spend so much time making fancy ads and slogans demanding their peer to ameliorate their ways and do their ‘part’ in keeping the planet safe. It is not something new. The mission to save Mother Earth has made its way into everyone’s lives since at least the beginning of this century. But how effective has it been? Are all these endeavors worth it?
Try to remember everything you have been told about saving Earth. Great, now throw all of that out the window. The Earth has existed for a tremendous amount of time and has encountered multiple major disasters. If a volcano were to erupt or an asteroid was to crash into the planet, we humans would be utterly incapable of preventing it or the harm it would bring. What humans really need to work on is preserving the planet to maintain a state where humankind can survive. According to the mayor of San Ramon Bill Clarkson, we need to revive our environmental policies. “If you cut down trees, you need to plant the same amount of trees back for future use, and use the trees for something justifiable.” He encourages people to focus on the sustainability of our resources and the risks of taking them away.
Most of us believe that if we simply throw away our trash into the right bins, we’ve accomplished something great and have saved the environment from extreme decay. This method of thinking is extremely flawed. During our interview, Mayor Clarkson revealed that multiple trash recycling companies dump all the plastic (that is to be recycled) into landfills. “We need to ask ourselves where our trash is going,” he said, “and if that is really where we want it to go.” Mayor Clarkson switched to a new trash regulating company which recycles 90% of the waste it receives. It was expensive and faced resistance; however, “it is a leader’s job to do what is best for everyone” (Clarkson).
When asked what the people can do to preserve the environment, Clarkson explained that the only thing they can do is accept change. “Electric cars are incredibly good for the environment. The don’t use gas or emit fumes. However, in order to create these cars, we need to make electricity. We can use hydraulic dams, but some people don’t like dams; we can build nuclear power plants that can make the process cheap and easy, but people don’t want to build a power plant.” he said. The mayor shed light on the idea of doubling bills for less energy. He believes it is a collective decision that should be taken by society.
We can create all the slogans, and posters in the world, but no matter how noble they seem, they will do little for this world. We need to stop looking for answers and start asking the right questions. We must ask ourselves: do we know where our trash is going? Are we ready to pay for someone else in order for them to use more reliable trash removal services? What we are willing to compromise for a better future?