In a world that is constantly denying that it’s on the verge of environmental collapse, it is very difficult to talk about environmental justice, environmental protection and preservation of nature, while at the same time to use the benefits of technological development.
Many look for the answer in global solutions instead of looking for an answer in a narrower circle of the individual, the community or the nation, each with their own limitations and resources.
However, the same language is used in solving conflict situations. Conflict of interests always leads towards profit for few, and we all want to survive. For this we need at least clean air, water, greenery and healthy eating.
And that is not the case. What is upsetting is that we all know, but just don’t have the will, desire nor need to undertake anything. Because there is always someone else that will take care of things for us.
From elementary (inherited) attempts to take care for the environment, such as caring for our own home, up to highly developed strategies and ways of dealing with environmental crisis, it’s always someone’s awareness that is an obstacle.
Creating public opinion and strengthening public awareness that individual decisions have an impact on collective behavior, as a whole in a society, requires work and time.
There may be a will, but there is increasingly less time. In order to achieve that level of awareness in that we depend mostly on nature, and to put it mildly, there is increasingly less nature, it is obvious that we need to finally start acting like conscious beings.
It’s true that our parents, teachers, professors start teaching us as children where to throw the garbage, how to store it, why trees need to be planted, that green areas need to by nurtured, that we should not walk over the grass, that it’s nice to go to the mountains, why it’s better to ride a bicycle than a car…But, when in our development we come to the lessons on what freedom, equality, dignity mean, how much health and happiness cost, how love is manifested, we come to a situation of forgetting one values at the expense of others.
And it’s not anything new, not something made up nowadays, but in the world green alternatives are a determining factor for continuing life on the planet Earth, and thus for all living creatures. Even though the human race is aware, it is the greatest polluter and destroyer of the nature. Another fact that everyone knows and nobody denies.
Then why is it (unconsciously in or conscious) that we are persistently and destructively contributing towards the killing of, primarily, ourselves?
In a country such as, for example, Macedonia, it is hardly possible to overcome the abstract values as opposed to the primary and real ones. If a society values statues and construction caricatures more as
an element of self-determination, if it builds a cult of traditions that destroys instead of unites, then even placing a garbage can on a street will encounter conflict. And soon that garbage can will disappear, will have competition or, just out of spite, will not even be placed, so instead of no one, everyone will be drowning in miniature landfills.
We all know the answer – it’s our own fault for such devastated behavior. But, what influences such behavior?
I will return to environmental justice. If by definition it means fair attitude towards the environment and nature, and every unfair step is subject to sanctions and punishments regulated by laws, then why does it figure vaguely as a word and a thought, but not as action?
There are many answers. However, the dependence and chain reaction in the chain of life, the civilized one, is much greater than what we ourselves can admit…And here social justice has the first word, so in that context, poverty, which contributes to destroying human dignity, and not to mention happiness at all, economic well-being as a dream that is out of reach, and on top of all this the inaccessibility to understanding, humanity, solidarity and assistance…Personal freedom? An expensive toy for those who with money can buy it.
And all this needs to be overcome, in a society such as, for example, Macedonia, so that we can come to a level not only to talk and act locally, but also to consistently convey the knowledge and practice about the significance of environmental justice, and then green values, environmental protection and then also the global awareness and need for caring for planet earth. All this – starting from our own backyard, to our own street, city and state, first neighbor, continent and the entire world, up to the universe.
There is will, education in an advanced phase…Time, increasingly less.