We all dream of a positive future. A future where we graduate from university, achieve our career goals, buy our first house etc. Lately, I’ve been thinking that my optimistic view of the future may not be what our future will look like. I know you might think that I’m being negative in my thinking, but to me I’m thinking realistically.
Perhaps everyone in this course, our instructor and other university students are concerned about sustainability and leaving our planet in a better state than we received it. However, not everyone in our society shares the same concerns and priorities and this will effect our futures.
In high school, my Social Studies teacher was a huge environmentalist and had a large position in our school district where he was responsible for implementing sustainable measures across schools in Delta. He achieved many accomplishments, but through each of his projects he always engaged youth.
Through his efforts, we were able to build two rain gardens on our school property and students played an active role in the construction and weekly maintenance. He also lobbied for new water stations to encourage students to stop using plastic bottles.
In one instance, he showed us a virtual 3D animation of what Delta (where I live) would look like in 20 or so years. Everything was underwater and parts of my neighbourhood were no longer visible. That hit me hard and whenever someone asks me to consider the future, that animation comes to mind. It’s like it’s instilled in my mind.
We are all aware that Earth’s climate is rapidly changing and this change is detrimental to our future lives. What angers me the most is the lack of pressure on leaders, politicians and individuals that belong to higher social classes to make larger changes in their lifestyles.
For example, celebrities and other notable figures often make use of private planes. I’ve seen people on Instagram showing their frustration as celebrities like Kylie Jenner use private planes to travel short distances. This article shows how she took a 17 minute flight on her private jet and it was equivalent to releasing 1 ton of CO2 emissions. There are some really interesting statistics in this article so I would encourage you to check it out!
I can understand that such people are beyond wealthy, but what impact are their investments having on our and Earth’s future? I believe this is an important question that should be brought up more during public policy development.