I WAS supposed to write a stand-up comedy script about the environment but then along the way it got serious.
On a related note, a discussion I read online came up with a scenario. It is about an observing alien race admiring our intelligence, especially the development of sophisticated weapons. But they are astounded why we are pointing those advanced weapons of mass destruction at each other. Looking closer, they are seriously debating and questioning our collective sanity, why we are purging each other with petty matters of the ego. They are analyzing further if such behavior is necessary for the survival of the human kind but that would make it paradoxical and counter-evolutionary for the survival of an “intelligent” species.
It is one of the reasons why my faith in humanity needs some kind of restoration. It looks like the human race, our race, is gearing for self-destruction.
The other disheartening reason, which is still related to the destructive behavior, is our total disregard of the environment. We consume and obliterate everything natural in our path with no care or respect whatsoever. Not content with the utter destruction, we produce and accumulate unnatural things at an unprecedented rate creating so much waste in the process. Waste that affects our safety, health and wellbeing.
We are talking about our wastes that are currently polluting the land, sea, and air. Dishonorable mention is the ubiquitous plastics that we discard everywhere in great numbers suffocating fragile habitats. They are everywhere as near or as far our eyes can see. There is so much plastic around that we are now ingesting it in its microplastic form as it got into the food chain.
We poisoned the air we breathe with carbon emissions and other toxic discharge from the cars we drive and machineries that we use. We are making it worse as we fell trees to widen highways and bulldoze more forests for new roads to accommodate more vehicles and for construction of factories. We kill the very trees that can help mitigate the effects of air pollution.
In doing so, we destroy natural habitats, hasten climate change and drive wildlife to extinction. Then with self-evident contradiction, we audaciously preach for nature's protection. We brag about it even with our blatant deflagration of nature in many forms. We are even commercializing it just to promote a greedy self serving agenda. It might not be hard to conclude that humanity is just like a big club composed of hypocrites who are bent on destroying the very place they live in.
We have not slowed down. We created big and mighty corporations with legal persona and used it in the forefront of hypocrisy but with broader reach. You might have heard of a big conglomerate with a social responsibility program of planting millions of trees to “preserve and protect” the environment. The travesty was announced with big fanfare everywhere; in print ads, TV advertising and social media. But it is the same corporation that is massively converting lands, actively destroying forests, clearing mountains and natural formations and shredding the water sheds for the construction of their plush subdivisions. The sad reality is that these big corporations can get away with it with impunity. They can get away with it because we are cuddling their hypocrisy with our own.
Adding insult to the whole protecting the environment pretense and scheme is the designation of an earth day by turning off lights as a symbolism that we care. But then after just a couple of hours we doubled energy consumption and pushed up the corresponding carbon emission by having concerts and parties celebrating it. Not to mention the plastic trash left behind by these farce celebrations.
Now comes the pandemic, which somehow gave the environment a breather. Because of restrictions of human activities, global pollution has decreased significantly. In the absence of people, wild animals are able to roam freely in the streets and walk through massive housings that used to be their foraging ground. While dolphins and other fish can be observed at the once tourists infested beaches and sea fronts. As restrictions started to loosen up, we are eagerly discussing the things to do once we get back to our old destructive ways. We just gave nature a quick rest and then we spin again back into the addictive hyper consumerism loop with its calamitous consequences.
Once the pandemic is gone, incessant throwing of plastics will definitely continue. We will still be choking up the rivers with it and then complain about flooding. We would keep on polluting the seas with more indestructible thrash and then grumble about the decreasing fish supply.
Public service reminders in social and traditional media about pollution have not made a dent in convincing us to stop our destructive behaviour. We are not disciplined enough. We could not even follow a simple rule on social distancing much more on proper disposal or picking up plastic thrash to somehow help the environment recover.
We are proud of our education but the country’s high literacy rate has not made us more caring nor responsible enough for the preservation of our natural surroundings. We keep on buying, consuming and disposing with no end in sight. This hyper consumerist behaviour has emboldened manufacturers to produce more. Accumulation of material things seems to be our indicator of progress, a behaviour that makes us more entangled and locks us into this endless cycle. We consume voraciously even with the obvious and expected destructive effects.
On the global scale, highly developed nations spent more on weapons for our mutual destruction instead of collaborating to solve common problems. The trillions spent on armaments could have been used to protect and preserve the waning Amazon forests, the lungs of the earth.The amount spent by nations for military build up is more than enough to solve the root cause of environmental destruction. But world leaders bicker more on issues that can be dealt with understanding and compromise. Adding to this is the profit driven and war mongering media that is feeding the masses with narratives of fear and cynicism while enthralling us with flashy hyper consumerist programming.
One of my purposes in writing this is obviously to raise awareness but the rate of pollution generated in doing so is more than the percentage of the message getting across the populace.
Simply reading this article increases one's contribution to the pollution. As you might have noticed from the tone of this write-up, I am very passionate about the environment. But as a member of this big club, all I have done is rant by making this slow, long and winding article which I doubt will move minds or make a difference.
So why are we all keen on destroying earth when it is the very place we live in and keep all our stuff? Well, I don’t know and I am still looking for the answer. What is clear is that the joke is on all of us who belong to this big club of humanity. Perhaps Groucho Marx was right in saying “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” It is maybe a bold statement about humanity's hypocrisy in general. And I guess, it is our very nature. I will now continue writing a stand up comedy script about the environment and naturally this time it won’t be serious.