Sometimes it’s hard to see the positive in environmental news. Like this article from the BBC:
Northern white rhino: Last male Sudan dies in Kenya
Jan Stejskal, an official at Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic, where Sudan had lived until 2009 puts it as clearly as anyone could:
“His death is a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature and it saddened everyone who knew him.”
What can be good about that piece of news?
I feel sad when I hear stories like this. How could I not? But maybe this will stir us into more action. Am I doing the best I can to reduce my footprint on the Earth? The more the awareness, the higher the priority it’s going to be.
In the same week researchers have found that 93% of bottled water sold contains at least some tiny plastic particles. That presents a major PR challenge for the companies that sell them. [https://www.ecowatch.com/bottled-water-plastic-contamination-2547834868.html]
But alarming as this story sounds it’s good that such research is taking place, because as people become more aware of the situation we find more ways to deal with it.
Technology to help clean up plastic is being developed by scientists and also enterprising individuals like Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project [see http://fruganomics.net/2018/02/20/is-it-all-bad-inspirationalise-earth-news-roundup/]
I know it’s not perfect, but it’s progress.
More and more people are questioning the use of plastic. I myself am starting to question everything I buy, and saying to myself “do I need this?” and “is there a way I can do this without using plastic?” Even though I’m far from perfect and I don’t expect to ever be. No one is!
We should never lose hope, we should always keep trying. Positive change happens with a growing awareness of the issues. People – like Rodriguez Mugaruka Katembo (see photo) are putting their lives on the line to protect animals like Sudan [see https://www.goldmanprize.org/prize-recipients/current-recipients/]. The least I can do is try to be part of the solution.
The solution is to change our priorities. Just a little.
We cannot change the past. What we can change is the future, by making a change now, today. Right now. Everything we do can have a small effect in the future. But when millions of people are making just a small change – suddenly you’ve got big change!
It’s not about governments, big business, poachers of elephants and rhinos. It’s about us, you and I. If everyone stopped buying bottled water tomorrow the companies that supply it would close immediately – or find another type of bottle. So who holds the keys? We do.
Let’s take Sudan’s death as a lesson. And a lesson is something we learn from.