Is it Disbelief, or Just Fatalism?

I’ll bet you’ve encountered them like I have. Folks who, for whatever reason, are just plain not “buying in” to the whole “eco/green” thing.

There used to be way more than there are now, and that’s encouraging. But so many people still refuse to believe in the whole environmental movement. If they acknowledge climate change at all, they aren't convinced human activity is the cause of it. “It's just natural cycles,” they say.

And as far as energy goes, how disheartening is it to hear “Drill, Baby, Drill” from people who would aspire to lead our country? Like T. Boone says, this not only “misses the point,” it steers us in the wrong direction, given the consequences that lie ahead on that path.

It’s also so frustrating to watch all the folks putting recyclable items, especially water bottles, in the trash, both at home and at work. If we can recycle them, why wouldn’t we? I’m not sure if it’s disbelief that we can fix our environmental problems, or simply thinking that things have gone so far that there’s just no hope of fixing it now.

Either way, we eco-crusaders have a lot more work to do. Thankfully, there are millions more of us than there were, and many are using their celebrity or visibility to convince those still not on board to come along.

But what do we regular folks do to get things turned around and going the right direction? How do we stop the water bottles from going into the recycle bin instead of the trash?

I think it’s going to happen (and is already happening) when others see us setting the example by “walking the talk.” Making it obvious, through our actions, that it’s important to us to recycle instead of throwing away – and verbalizing it with our friends, family and everybody else. Not like some wild-eyed fanatic, more like a trendsetter – a leader.

We need to be leaders. We’ve studied the map, you and I, and we know the direction we all need to go to get ourselves out of this mess – and there’s no time to lose. So whether it’s disbelief, or fatalism, or just plain indifference, we need to set up and be leaders for those who haven’t yet found the way. I am excited about the future, and delighted and very proud to be participating in this crusade with you.


  1. Thanks for a rallying article. I'm like you. I know that change must happen, because the
    only constant in life is change.

    Unfortunately, most people don't think about more than one thing at a time, so they can not see the natural progression of events that lead from driving an SUV to people dying of floods and hurricanes on beaches where the coral reefs that once protected them have died. (Excessive rates of CO2 in the atmosphere can not be handled by our worlds oceans and the oceans become acidic. This acidity causes corals and shell fish to die.)

    This is just one example of thousands in ref. to how our individual actions impact humans. I always say that environmentalism is not about saving the planet. The planet will spin on with our without us. Environmentalism is about saving ourselves. Until over-consumers stop seeing us as tree hugger hippies who care more about the toads than people, we can never win.

    We need to figure out ways to get them to see us professionals with family's, lives, mortgages and jobs, who care about the planet because without it, we all die.

    Awesome Post, Thanks

    Adam Shake

  2. JP...your post was incredible..We in Seattle are leading the way with recycling..we are actually increasing the recycle effort and extending it to businesses as well as private citizens..we now get credits on our trash bills when we talks they say..and it seems to be well as imposing fines that are easily avoidable by putting the recycle items in their proper place...I go out of my way to make sure the businesses around my office are also following the guidelines...don't put your trash in the cardboard bin..or the paper is pretty simple when you have the bins all labeled for what should go where..Thank you for your posting..
    Penny Bingham (EmC)