Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Smallest Footprint

Image: 'We've come this far.' - www.flickr.com/photos/79105258@N00/737263197

Sustainability has become a very relevant issue in many of our lives today. With the exponential growth evident in all aspects of society today, there is an increasing need to take stock of the effect our species is having on the environment.

The threat that we are depleting our natural resources is not new. The fact that we are wasting many of our 'renewable' resources has been evident for decades. Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth shed much light on this issue a couple of years ago. More recently, The Story of Stuff opened our eyes to the amount of waste we create and showed us some of the errors of our ways. But the fact remains that the destruction of our planet is still continuing at an alarming rate and little is being done to stop it.

Last Friday, my school division had the insight to invite Dr. David Suzuki to speak to us via video-conference from British Columbia. Dr. Suzuki has long been an advocate of the environment and he has fought hard for many years to preserve our natural surroundings. According to Suzuki, the peril of the environment is imminent and we must act now to save the environment. We must all strive to do our bit to protect and preserve nature in it's truest form. And right now, the key to having a voice on this matter is to raise the issue of environmental activism with our political candidates. The fate of our nation rests in our hands and on October 14th, that fate will be determined for the next several years. What happens to the environment really isn't our problem. It's a problem that we're passing on to our kids and our grandkids. It's not enough to simply teach our kids about these problems and offer solutions. We must act on behalf of our children. They don't have a voice when it comes to voting - our children need us to act on their behalf.

As we move forward as a country and look to the future of our government, we must ensure that the party that's voted into power in Canada will do their part. Rather than passively observing and documenting all of the ill-effects that our planet is suffering, they must take a stand and act now. We must all take it upon ourselves to raise the issue of the environment and question our candidates in this regard. How are they prepared to act if they get elected?

We've heard all of this before, but what have we done about it?

What have you, personally, done about it?

I feel very strongly that technology holds the key to solving a lot of our sustainability issues. Technology is responsible for giving us the big picture in terms of what's happening on a global level. Rather than focusing on smaller community challenges and solutions, we can act on a much larger scale. Technology brings us together in such a way that we really can work collaboratively and find solutions to the problems that are affecting us the world over.

For the benefit of our planet, we must focus on reducing our 'footprint' on the earth. We have to move towards more sustainable practices, and we must help others to do the same.

As one person, what are you prepared to do in order to leave the smallest footprint?

For those of you who would like to hear Dr. David Suzuki share some of his views of what he would do if he were elected as our Prime Minister, check out this audio podcast, recorded at Queen's University last year:

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