Highway to Success: Resource Depletion
We’re more than seven billion people alive on Earth. Each one of us is responsible for a ton of carbon dioxide billowing its way into the atmosphere per day. It has been scientifically proven that we, humans, are the bane of our mother planet. And if there’s any other threat to the breeding ground that nurtured our existence, it is our creation. But, where should we point the finger at when the Day of Reckoning comes? Mainstream media point it at big developing countries. Nonetheless, my question is “How much of the blame can be ascribed to the developed world?” And after all, will it be helpful at all?
Crank up the volume of the TV; all news channels are currently blaring the environmental sins the behemoth countries of the developing world are committing. China, for instance, is the bellwether nation that’s besmirching our reputation, and polluting our world; just like its GDP forecasts, life expectations in China are constantly lowered as years pass. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, in South America, specifically Brazil and Peru, the Amazon rain forest is being cut down bit by bit, thus balking at our pleas for clean air around the globe. Moreover, Indonesia is toppling overwhelming swaths of rain forest trees to plant palm oil trees in order to meet international demand.
On the other hand, developed countries spend a lot of time on their endeavors to remind us, the developing world, what we should not do. Super power nations, such as the U.S. and some European countries, claim to be at the lead of the environmentalist movement, surfing the Green Wave from its very formation, implementing new, unconventional and sometimes arcane systems for green resources harnessing and optimization. Nevertheless, the advanced economies of today, yesterday used to be part of the developing world as well. Indeed, they paved their (high)way to success through resource depletion and what we now acknowledge to be “the contamination of our planet.” Although these memories now seem antediluvian, they’re not. Let’s not forget the U.S. was one of the two developed countries that did not sign the Kyoto Protocol. The other developed countries that did sign the truce in the war against nature, and Australia, are now struggling to preserve what has been left over after their massive assails on Earth.
We could continue to dwell on the blunders many of the countries committed. However, is it really helpful? Studying history is valuable for sure, but bemoaning the fact that we’ve dropped the ball won’t solve anything. History has provided us with a starting point; perhaps, dear reader, you’ll think this is a hackneyed phrase but “We can learn from the mistakes of others.” Today, it’s our moment to decide whether to wend our way out of the Dark Ages through nature preservation, or to vanish in time as so many other species have already done. It’s our choice.