We all need the Earth
Why the environment is the biggest issue we face
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 15:08
First off, I have to say that it feels great to get a keyboard beneath my fingertips once again. I am over-the-top excited to start turning out material for my column this year. How lucky are we to be exchanging opinions on what is sure to be the most hotly contested Presidential races since the infamous 2000 election? It is shaping up to be a great year for opinions.
Politically active citizens take a great variety of shapes and forms. Some people have opinions about everything from abortion to austerity. Others are single-issue types: voting for a candidate based on their stance over one issue. And then there are people like me who have a few issues that we will hotly contest with all comers, and other issues that, though we may have opinions about them, don’t generally get us fired up.
For me, environmental issues are what get my fire going. If I am fortunate enough to gather even a small following of readers this year, they will soon learn that the outdoors are near and dear to my heart, and that I place the well-being of the environment above all other political issues.
Though it is not yet at the forefront of the political discussion this election season, I firmly believe that the environment deserves a place right between healthcare reform and budget overhaul. As the politics of the day focus on refining our society’s intricacies in health insurance and government spending, our nation’s natural resources continue to be exploited and destroyed under our very noses.
We can only turn the other cheek on the environment for so long. Sooner or later we will have mined and drilled out all of the fossil fuels upon which our society stands, right from under our feet. And as our economy crumbles and society reels, the environmentalists will only stand by and sadly shake their heads. Have you read Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax?” The story is far less fantastic than it may seem.
“That’s nothing but a bunch of hippie nonsense!” I hear you scream. But why would I spout nonsense for no reason? To what end would I be striving by telling lies and spreading fear? How could I possibly benefit from lying about environmental destruction?
Though humans are essentially selfish beings, environmentalism is one of the most selfless causes fought for today. The petroleum industry fights environmentalism to an extreme extent, but their goals are centered only upon increasing their own already over-inflated profit margins. Seeking the truth in the environmental debate is all too easy if we look not at the means each side is using, but at the end towards which they are moving.
Nathan is a junior majoring in landscape architecture. Follow him on twitter @nwstottler.