The speaker David Orr introduced to me many new ideas on environmental commitment. Personally, when thinking about improving the environment, I tend to dwell on personal responsibilities such as recycling and using public transportation. Mr. Orr spoke of the problems of the food system, the necessary political nature of environmentalism, and ways of changing the "big picture"ÃÂ, three ideas I had never considered.
The food industry, in an attempt to be efficient and environmentally conscious, had become a virtual system, which manufactures fat in a to-go bag. Fast food is one of the main reasons why twenty percent of children under 20 in our country are fat or obese. This food is easy for parents to supply, and in this age of two working parents, almost a necessity. But why not begin to alter this? More health conscious, yet still "low time factor"ÃÂ establishments might help. The country and the environment both need ways that work both ecologically and with human needs.
Environmentalism, to me, has seemed a largely personal choice. Orr believes we need to move the issue into the political realm. I believe that this would work. Environmental issues tend to take a back seat in the world of politics. If more legislation is implemented, the average citizen may be more inclined to participate in the process of improving our world. Orr also believes that "We don't pay full cost for the things we use"ÃÂ and that the economy is 3.2 billion dollars from where it should be due to government subsidizing of things we should be paying for, such as too many roads.
David Orr has come up with plans to change our current environmental state. He suggests replacing carbon with hydrogen, protecting sources of wealth, and re-thinking the idea of "growth"ÃÂ and instead think "development...