Society is educated about environmental issues now more than ever before. Yet all we keep hearing is that the world is ending and we’re all going to die. Of course we will all die; welcome to Human Existence 101, thanks for stopping by. But while you’re here, why not try to shape the world in your own image? In five easy steps, you can become the eco-warrior that no one ever wanted you to be.
Contrary to popular belief, we do not live in an age of relativism. Moderation is for the undecided. There is only one correct view of reality and that is yours. A position of tolerance will not get your message across, as people truly appreciate a hard sell. Need further convincing? Look at how successful religious zealots, militia militants and cult leaders are. Exactly.
Westerners waste a lot of food. Whether this is due to oversized portions, entitlement issues or capitalist generated insatiability is irrelevant. The only way to stop this behaviour is through intervention. Try sitting with a stranger who has a large portion of food. Look warily at the food and ask, “Are you going to eat ALL of that?” Stare until you get an answer, or the person leaves. You may find yourself with an incredibly tolerant new friend or get a free meal, and isn’t that a win either way?
Productivity = excess. The problem is not that we’re doing too little; it’s that we’re doing too much. Productivity is what got us into this mess, so reverse the trend by doing as little as possible. If this leaves you feeling useless or dissatisfied, always remember – there’s medication for that.
Nature is Beauty
Reframe your thinking and learn to see beauty where others do not. If your dog defecates on the sidewalk, do not clean it up. This is an unnecessary use of carcinogenic plastic (and your valuable time and effort) to dispose of a perfectly natural and biodegradable process. If a bystander gives you grief, stare at them compassionately while sadly shaking your head.
Embrace Life’s Contradictions
People who point out inconsistencies are being petty just for the sake of hearing their own voice. Complain about smokers as you’re driving your car or pulling on a spliff. Lecture people on vegetarianism while chewing gum and wearing leather shoes. Ignore inconsistencies, at least in your own behaviour. You know your own heart is pure, but what about the rest of humanity?
Life as an eco warrior isn’t always easy but it has its rewards, such as basking in the glow of self satisfaction and righteous indignation while doing very little to actually resolve the issue. Maximum results for minimum effort. Isn’t that what saving the planet is really about?
Slightly edited version published in the March 2013 edition of The Voice.