Saving the World

by Rie

I

You probably already know that I’m a proficient navel gazer. There’s also the fact that I probably spend fifty percent of my energy thinking. Which is awful. I get so sleepy and I end up doing nothing.

And the problem with doing nothing is that its opposite is doing something. Unlike most other decisions, doing something is always preferred to being idle.

It irks me, though, that ‘doing something’ can be so cost prohibitive. It irks me even more when there are movements demanding that you choose one thing over another because it’s good for you and the worlddd.

The problem comes with the word ‘demand’. As if you are purposefully choosing to destroy another chunk of the ozone layer singlehandedly.

And Google, for all its searching powers, can’t help you choose between reliable and unreliable sources, so you don’t actually know if it’s true.

Also, what you could count as a reliable source (such as original scientific text) can be expensive and for a specific target audience (that doesn’t include you). And those conspiracy theories – they must take so much time.

It also sucks when people brand you ignorant because you didn’t know something they knew. And then they judge you for it.

Granted, I’m on a bit of a high horse when it comes to the anti-vaccine movement. (Vaccinate!) But I hope that when I do meet an anti-vaccine person (anti-vaxxer? Anti-vaccinator? What?), I’d realise that I probably come off just as ignorant.

II

I feel as if the notions of ‘saving the world’ and ‘going back to nature’ are particularly relevant to the hipsters of Sydney. This means they do many good things, of course. They buy local and recycle and are generally quite progressive and – I honestly can’t think of anything else. Maybe it’s because I’m sleepy. Based on the hipster neighbourhoods, I’m guessing they like gluten-free produce, indulge in an occasional meatless day, and have gobs of money. Their idea of charity seems to be a tax-deductible donation and Fairtrade coffee. Also, clothes and the choice to sometimes forgo shoes. I suck at fashion, so I’ll leave it there.

It’s not a bad thing. It just seems like they have trapped themselves in a bubble – demanding that they be observed and put in this box because it is how they find acceptance. And from their bubble, they observe you and wonder why you are not trying to find their acceptance. These pockets seem like anaerobic niches that can be quickly overwhelmed by foul bacteria.

I remember an article about how you could pressure people into saving the environment by telling them their friends were judging them or do better than them or something like that.

I wonder if that’s actually right. Are humans really so simple? (Yes?)

III

The real question I’m trying to get to is: How would you save the world if you had no money?

There are the typical cliche responses. Do what you can. Organise a movement (to raise lots of money?). Take small steps and you would have eventually walked the circumference of the earth.

Yet, an undercurrent seems to pull me at the ankles as I stand in those waters. An undercurrent of, “It’s not enough.”

It’s either because it’s just me or if my efforts alone are not enough.

Does it seem to you as something that is more prevalent in the West? Is it because they have more money than the rest of the world (and, therefore, expect you to spend the same amount of money)? Or is it just because Western voices are so much louder than anyone else’s that I can’t hear any other perspectives?

There is a disclaimer that I should add, though. I like the environment. Very much. And I do actually do what I can. If public transport is one of those small steps, I am totally there.

Oh, also, hi from Darwin. I am being the opposite of an intrepid traveller and instead have found a comfortable spot with WiFi. Apparently, if you ever come to Darwin, go in the dry season (unlike me). Also, wear sunblock.

That’s all I’ve got.

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