That’s Debatable

By Will Moriarty | Webmaster
I recently watched a documentary called “180° South,” which followed a young man going on a trip down to Patagonia, Chile. The film began making an impact on me when he stopped at Easter Island, off the coast of Chile, where he observed the large number of fallen statues. They served as reminders of the early native’s self-destructive exploitation of the island’s resources. This led to a reminder of our own exploitation of nature. People all across the world are still living with a dangerous tendency to completely rob nature of its resources for unnecessary growth.

Many people think we are starting to move in the right direction in healing our relationship with the environment; however, we are still continuing very damaging trends. Our destructive habits are overwhelming any progress being made. The combination of global warming and deforestation is damaging the Amazon rainforest so much that half of it will be destroyed in less than 20 years. Our president also just decided not to update Environmental Protection Agency smog regulations, a move that could have prevented thousands of illnesses or deaths.

How much of the energy we use is necessary? Definitely not all of it. Two percent of total U.S. energy is being spent on food that nobody eats. We have the lowest energy productivity of any first world country. For example, 80 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings in California, one of the most efficient states, is wasted. The film points out that the amount of energy spent on video games each year equals the amount of energy used by San Diego.

As they mention at the end of “180° South,” what we need to do is completely turn around and start moving in the other direction. We should not reduce the amount of pollution and exploitation we are partaking in just so that we can continue to pollute and exploit. We need to take a look at our lives and try to fundamentally reshape them in a way that gets rid of what is obviously unnecessary or unbeneficial.