Why Promoting Individual Sustainable Living Might do More Harm Than Good
There’s no doubt we are living in a climate crisis. Our media outlets are flooded with messages and mantras about what we can do to protect our homes. Even Amazon – one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis – has an advert out that uses young people as a tool to make adults think more consciously about their choices. But have you ever thought that all of this pedalling to get individuals to take action might actually be doing more harm than good?
Whilst there are steps we can take to protect the planet, like recycling, reducing our meat consumption, cutting down on plastic use and limiting the number of flights we take, there are big corporations producing huge amounts of carbon emissions and they’re getting away with it.
Despite being fully aware of the danger they are putting us in, fossil fuel companies have driven the climate crisis for years. A cohort of state-owned and multi-international firms are the driving force behind the climate crisis, and they have continued to expand their operations despite possessing full knowledge of the devastating impact this has on the planet. Just twenty companies have contributed to thirty-five per cent of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide. The top twenty list was released in 2019 and includes Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell. You can read the full list here: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-10-biggest-carbon-dioxide-emitting-firms-in-the-world.html
Politicians, the media, companies and advertisers like to place responsibility on individuals. We are constantly being told about small actions we can take, and whilst it is important that we all do our bit, convincing individuals they have full control and power over the climate crisis is dangerous and misleading. Furthermore, it allows these big companies to repeatedly get away with polluting our planet.
From this, it’s evident that our government value profit over people. By taking the attention off these big polluters and placing the blame on us, they’re gaslighting the population into thinking we can continue to survive in the world’s current state, and that simply isn’t true. So, until these big corporations stop emitting carbon emissions at the rate they are, this planet will not survive.
And, while this might sound all doom and gloom, there are positive steps we can take. As Mary Heglar stated recently, climate change isn’t the first existential threat. We have overcome and overthrown dangerous political ideologies before and we can do it again. Not only do you have the power to act sustainably and consciously in small ways, but you also have the power to do it in big ways.
Climate Change is political, it always has been. Oil companies and big corporations are getting away with murder, literally, and now is the time for us to say no more. Join a local action group, inform yourself, vote thoughtfully in your local and general elections – let’s put people over profit and stop these companies from destroying our home.