We Need to Educate Ourselves About How to Live More Sustainably; Our Lives (Literally) Depend On It

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

We have 12 years to reverse the damage caused by the incessant greed of big corporations that have been killing the planet since the industrial revolution began in the 1700s. The fact that that is our reality is infuriating.

According to the United Nations, our planet will be 1.5 centigrades warmer by the year 2030. Since the 1700s, the earth’s surface has been warming up at a detrimental rate. This is due to the concentration of greenhouse gases such as methane and CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere that has caused our planet to keep hold of heat from the sun. Trees and oceans can absorb these gases but cannot handle the large amounts building up in the earth’s atmosphere and, because of deforestation, even less CO is being absorbed. The high levels of CO2 are already acidifying oceans, killing off coral reefs.

This is a massive issue because for the past 10,000 years, Earth’s temperature has been relatively stable. But now with big corporations pumping the air with ozone-killer, it is readily apparent that they are clearly responsible for the damage being done to our planet.

Chevron, for example, has contributed 3.52 percent to global warming emissions. After merging with Texaco in 2001, Chevron dumped millions of gallons of toxic waste in Ecuador, spreading toxins throughout the Amazonian rivers and unlined pits. The company was fined $9.5 million which is a pathetic price to pay in comparison to the enormous cost to the environment.

Not only are these corporations destroying the planet with their factories and sweatshops, but they are also either funding or own these massive farms that hold millions of cows. What do cows have to do with our disintegrating ecosystem? Cow farts. It is estimated that livestock has pushed about 119.1 million tons of methane into the air in 2011 alone which is terrifying.

But the sad reality is that we are living a paradox. Americans are keenly suspicious of big corporations and yet are ever more reliant on them. We are slaves to capitalism. We know that forced child labor is making cheap Forever 21 clothes but we choose to look the other away simply because the designs are cute.

So how are we supposed to stop The Man from killing of the planet with products that we will buy nonetheless? The harsh truth is: not much. However, the best thing thing people can do is to educate themselves, be aware that time is running out to save the planet, and spread awareness. We must realize that the issues we are facing have astronomical consequences that eclipse our microscopic needs. We must also remove meat from our diets, rely on more sustainable energy sources, and support companies who are eco friendly and have biodegradable products. One person can’t make a difference, but 7 billion can.