Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Urgency of Now

“We’ve got maybe ten years, some say less, in which to turn things around. That’s damn little time… I think we can change very, very, quickly. We’ve shown historically that we’re capable of it… if people really understand the imperative for change.” --Dennis Wilde, Principal, Gerding Edlen Development, from the film, Deep Green

With the growing focus on environmental issues in the news, we may find ourselves overwhelmed with the range of problems facing us and our planet: climate is changing at an alarming rate, the quality and quantity of water resources is decreasing, forests are being destroyed, problems with air pollution and toxic emissions march on, and the number of animal species facing extinction continues to mushroom.

With all these massive problems, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. The key is to recognize the problems without becoming overwhelmed—maybe easier said than done, but I’ve found the key is to do something—none of us can fix the whole thing in a day (or two or three), but we all have an opportunity to do something. It could be as little as changing a habit to use less water, or weather seal your home, or change to a less impactful way of eating or get your workplace to incentivize employees to not drive, or starting an organization or company that will help make systematic positive changes in your community.  

The point is, we all need to do something—ideally many things and encourage others to do what they can too.  

Then the question is, “when?”. We can’t do anything yesterday or last year, or last decade that we didn’t already do. And if we wait until next decade, next year or even next month, it may be too late.

The only choice (do you like my logic here?) is to seize the urgency of the moment and act NOW. Our children will be glad we did what we could.

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