I have finished all the readings assigned for my internship and I was actually glad to have been forced (not by physical means) to read them. It always makes a difference to see things from a different perspective since it is often hard to recognize our own behaviors without an observer’s point of view.
I never really thought about the way I have treated the environment in the past, as a commodity, until I read a passage titled The Systems Thinker and it talked about the way we have always looked at the natural resources as money, profit and commodity to make our lives better, easier and more entertaining. We are now more than ever seeing the ramifications of our abusive ways. Heat indexes are rising and communities all over are seeing record breaking heat, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that are striking at an alarming rate. We have to change our way of thinking if we are to have any hope for survival as a species.
We cannot continue to use resources faster than they can replenish or we will have nothing left. The natural order of things has reached a tipping point and may already be on its way down the mountain and if we take no accountability and change nothing than the outcome is sure.
I very much admire the thinking of the Native American Indians. Their way of living was to coexist with nature and to only take what was necessary to survive. This way gave the natural resources time to replenish so both man and land could sustain them-selves forever. This sadly, is no longer and has not been the case since we invaded America and stole the land from the native Indians. I do believe though, that the general population is becoming more concerned with issues related to sustainability and the environment and I hope it is sparking a new way of thinking and seeing the errors in our ways.
Another article that really told the truth about current ways of thinking was “Bridging the Green Divide: Van Jones on Jobs, Jails, and Environmental Justice,” by David Kupfer. This was a very powerful read for me especially when Kupfer said, “It’s no surprise that the country that has the world’s biggest pollution problem also has the most prisons. We’ve got a disposable mindset: disposable products, disposable species, disposable people.” I think he is absolutely correct and I think this has to change or we simply will not survive.
These readings have made me realize how important what I am doing in my internship is. I am able to share my knowledge with the world and hope that it excites the soul and inspires change. We have a long way to go but if we continue to learn from our mistakes and have hope for the future the path will become brighter and brighter until we find our way to a sustainable world.