Respecting Yourself Saves the Planet

Me society is here. We’re all individuals loving ourselves and consuming ourselves stupid, but maybe this me society can just kick start a green evolution. We need to start buying, living and working green. We need to kick our carbon habit and build a sustainable society.

Our problem is that we do not currently respect ourselves and therefore we cannot possibly respect our neighbour, let alone the natural world. When we learn to love ourselves we learn that ourselves are something that cannot be ring-fenced. People encroach on ourselves and the environment that we live in decides a great deal of whom we are and what we stand for.

We all have different levels of respect and different beliefs of what is good and bad, but something most of us can agree on: we want our children to have it better than we did. The current generation that is being born will probably be also the first in the modern world to see decreasing wealth, extending hunger and worse violence.

Start Thinking

The father wants to protect his family so he buys a big car that will protect his family from other SUVs.  At the same time he endangers another father’s children and increases the risk that his child will grow up in an increasingly chaotic climate.

Courtesy of Treehugger.com

Through respect for himself, true respect, he would see that that a big car is actually damaging him by increasing the chance that his child will suffer (either through the hands of another SUV driver i.e. through the vicious cycle of one SUV means other people buy  SUVs to protect themselves from the child killer or through climate change).

Humans are animals. Animals always respond to short term threats quicker than to long term threats. We believe that through consumption we become a better person. The reality, in my opinion, is actually the opposite. Someone who rejects consumption has found something much more valuable: comfortableness in who they are and what they have.

Now you’re probably thinking god what a hippy, but just think about it. If we learnt to love ourselves we would reduce the amount we drove, we would spend more time with loved ones, bike more, eat less. We would benefit, our social contacts would benefit and thus our society and our environment would improve.

What about the economy?

Ok it’s time to talk robots. Yes maybe I sound like a crackpot, but wasn’t the computer age meant to revolutionise the way we worked, basically meaning we could work less?

Now if you cut your hours by 50%, you would be poorer, but not if you also changed your lifestyle: sold the SUV, stopped the expensive weekend trips. I am not saying stop living I am just saying turn down a gear. If we all started to do it yes the economy probably would cool, but what has really improved in the last ten years? We’re working more and more and unemployment still exists.

I am not against growth, but we could slow the growth or redirect it so that it could be managed better, so that it could be used to really propel us forward. Focusing on electric cars, renewable energy could eventually lead to almost endless mobility and energy. Imagine if we had renewable energy in abundance: we could build desalinisation plants to supply water to the parched land to halt the encroaching deserts; we could use it to power massive farms so that we could reduce international shipping and we could finally provide everybody with cheap energy and heat.

So how do we learn to respect ourselves?

We need to analyse our lives. I stopped eating meat because of the awful conditions in industrial farming but also because I learnt about its effects on global warming and the negative health affect too much meat can have on me. I am happier now, because as a vegetarian I can afford to stuff a bit more chocolate in my mouth and it has had a snowball effect. I feel healthier and therefore I start to look at other places where I can improve my life. What is my money up to? Fossil fuels: I’ll move it! Is that heating really necessary? I can put a jumper on. Why did I learn to drive? I can bike.

Most of my environmental actions are selfish. Me Society can work if we all really think about me and that me does not end at the tip of our noses.

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