29 Sep 2022 5 min read
by Koala Life Research Manager, Dr Ian Hough
To badly change the quote from JRR Tolkien, “What can men do against such reckless hate?” Change men for you and hate for environmental degradation and you get the picture. It is so easy to feel powerless and overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of man’s degradation of our planet home. But does it need to be this way? Again, using Tolkien “But even now there is hope left”.
The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. In environmental terms this is a call to arms, you can make a difference, you just have to start.
While Gandhi never actually said, be the change you wish to see in the world, his full quote amounts to the same sentiment. If you want a better, happier and nicer world, be better, happier and nicer yourself. Don’t wait for others to change or make the changes you see as necessary.
The Scottish conservationist Patrick Geddes coined the phrase, ‘think globally, act locally’ and this gives those of us feeling overwhelmed a mechanism to help us cope and to see a way forward.
So, what can we as individuals do locally that can hope to have an impact globally, in the face of such reckless environmental degradation? Make no mistake, to do nothing is a conscious decision to accept ever increasing environmental damage, the extinction of thousands of animals, plants and invertebrates, and eventually ourselves.
Options surround us, and while not everyone can do everything there are many simple things we can do.