Fear of Climate Change Causing End of the World
I spend a lot of time reading blogs about waste and climate change and I especially enjoy any site where the readers get involved to comment and leave their opinions. My two favourite waste-related blogs, My Zero Waste and My Plastic Free Life have active communities and loyal followings. These sites regularly produce engaging, specialised content and I regularly discover new information while visiting.
My Zero Waste is a site about the Green family’s effort to live their life without producing waste of any kind. They go to great lengths to recycle whatever they use, for example by posting their empty toothpaste tubes to the Phillipines. Similarly Beth Terry at My Plastic Free Life leads a modern lifestyle made challenging by her refusal to buy new plastic products. Like Mrs Green and Beth Terry I strongly believe that too much is wasted in our disposable society and that as individuals there are positive steps we can all take to waste less.
Now, in some ways I accept that I’m just as fanatical about waste as many readers of these sites. I have weighed and photographed my rubbish to measure and record my recycling rate. I get upset if disposable cutlery, plastic straws or stirrers, and polystyrene cups are used when I’ve bought something. My housemates drive me crazy by chucking everything in the bin.
Eco Bloggers Think Climate Change will Cause the End of the World
However, spending a lot of time on these sites I have been surprised to discover how fearful many of my fellow blog fans are about impending environmental Armageddon. Many of them believe the world has reached its tipping point and that the ongoing population explosion will spell catastrophe within our lifetimes.
Stephen’s comment left at My Zero Waste onMay 3rd is typical of the eco Armageddonists:
We need to […] reduce some of this waste, and to stop polluting the environment [and] quell our insatiable appetite for procreation at any cost, because it’s totally unsustainable, ‘it may be to [sic] late even now’ .
Fatalistic Stephen and many others like him believe that the world is perilously overpopulated. In this case, Stephen the enlightened is urging people to wake up and join his cause to possible salvation. He is like a prophet, using the language of the Old Testament – ‘insatiable [bodily] appetite’ – to scare people into reforming their wicked and wasteful ways.
We Can Prevent Dangerous Climate Change
I can’t agree with Stephen because I am positive about the future and feel that the world has the capacity to bear and nourish its burgeoning population of billions and this means we can prevent dangerous climate change and the end of the world. I don’t fear environmental Armageddon because I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m excited about renewable energy opportunities and new technologies that will enable us to cut carbon emissions. I think much of the Western world will be poorer in the future, however this could help people lead more fulfilled lifestyles which aren’t dependent on how much more we can acquire and consume.
Do you think I’m hopelessly optimistic? What do you think most threatens human survival on earth? Are you worried about humans causing the end of the world?