Jul 5, 2007
BlogHers Act: My Issue
As soon as I saw the BlogHers Acting, Canada Style, I knew what my issue would be. But I wanted to think about it for a couple of days. (INFP, we don't like decisions!) There are so many issues out there that deserve attention, so many ways in which we are fucked. Global warming. The rights, or lack thereof, of women across the world. Poverty, abroad and in our own backyard. Paris Hilton.
But the issue that's closest to my consciousness right now, the one that I want to pay the most attention to, is the environment. Our environment. The world we live in every day, the air we breathe, the water we drink. I don't just mean "being green". But really thinking, really realizing the impact that we have on ourselves, each other, and everything else alive on this planet every single day.
I believe that it is crucial for everyone to be more conscious of their impact on the planet every day. That plastic bag you just used to carry home your groceries? Will sit in the landfill for the next 1000 years, poisoning water and animals. That shampoo you're using? Has detergents and chemicals and additives that are bad for you, and bad for anything that's going to encounter it once you rinse it down the drain. Those 4 beef products you eat a week imported from Texas? The factory farm, the emissions from the belching cow and the emissions from transporting that thing across the continent make your steak a whole lot more expensive than you think it is.
My issue is that we need people to realize the true prices of what they're consuming. Gas may be cheap, compared to the other world, but the price we're paying and are going to pay from the emissions is far more expensive. That cheap garlic from China has a carbon and pesticide tally so high you should be afraid to touch it.
People don't realize the true cost, not unless they go and seek out the information, taking their own time to investigate. Why should they? People are busy. They just need groceries to get home to their kids and their home and their spouse and their job and their dog and their life. The garlic from Mexico is half the price of the garlic from Canada. The government wouldn't let them sell it if anything was wrong with it. Right?
I believe that people need to start paying attention to what it is they truly consume, and our governments should be forcing merchants and manufacturers to make it very plain what the goods truly contain. If that garlic from China was also marked with the pesticides it was sprayed with, with the emissions from the factory farm it was grown on, the number of months ago it was harvested, and with the amount of carbon emissions it took to get it from Pyongyang to Pickering, (not to mention the underpaid labour to grow and pack it), I bet people would speak with their feet. They'd make the effort to find the local garlic, grown in a field north of Newmarket, dug up three weeks ago, all of its nutritional value still intact and a whole lot less pesticide coating. In my nirvana, the market for the Chinese garlic would dry up, we'll get better, healthier garlic, and as a bonus, that local farmer would be a whole lot happier too, making money and putting it back in to the local economy.
Yeah, I'm starting to sound like a pinko hippie. Live with it.
So I'll boil this down: My issue is the environment, and more specifically, the true cost of all the goods and services we use. We need to be aware of exactly what it is we're using and consuming and supporting, because in many cases we're doing far more harm to the environment than we could have concieved, just by buying garlic. And we need to find ways to make the general public more aware, because I believe that people in general will do the "right" thing for the planet as long as they are informed.
And as long as it's easy. I'll get to that another day.