Drowning Coastal Cities…All in a Morning’s Work

I think this qualifies as a dilemma.

I just made myself a cup of hot chocolate (I don’t drink coffee). I mixed some fair trade, organic hot chocolate with some steaming hot water in my Unemployed Philosophers Guild Climate Change Mug, then dropped in a few marshmellows.

What I am wondering is, just how many contradictions can I pile on top of each other? I mean, fair trade coffee compared with a mug that was probably made in China. Organic chocolate alongside chemically synthesized marshmellows. And, of course the decadence of hot chocolate at night mixed with my mug depicting the end of the world if all the polar ice caps melted.

I think this is the root of the problem facing environmentalism these days. We live in a world where contradictions are inherent in existence. No matter how small you think your carbon footprint is and how many carbon offsets you buy, you can’t live without being a consumer. Every breath you take is worsening climate change.

So, what are you going to do, kill yourself for the planet?

Unless you are part of a Gaian cult that believes that humans are a cancer upon Eden, I would suspect this is the thing that really gets people. How can I make a difference for good, when I make such a difference for bad out of my very existence?

And, I don’t have the answer. Neither does Al Gore or David Suzuki. Or the Pope.

I think the people mentioned above present life as black or white, good or bad, carbon neutral or gas-guzzling. But, if you think of theology, the message is the same. All sins are the same in God’s eyes, so how can we ever hope to be “saved.”

Here’s my shot at the answer (I guess I lied two paragraphs earlier): forgiveness and understanding.

We all live in the world, and the world demands us to make allowances and mistakes. We have to offer each other forgiveness and understanding for our environmental infractions. If we become to all or nothing, then we will lose everything.

Of course, this could all just be a way for me to justify my continued enjoyment of marshmellows.


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