Commentary | Get involved already!

Re: “Where have all the activists gone?” and “Sustainability enlightenment” | November 30

“Where have all the activists gone?” The world needs students to stop, look, and listen, and become “sustainability enlightened.” Press your leaders to act in a positive, sustainable manner.

We were given paradise, and now we are scrambling to save the shreds. Although not a Catholic, I was impressed by Pope Benedict’s New Year’s Day message for humans to be responsible caretakers of the environment and sustain life as we know it:  we cannot “remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions.”  Earth is not “a heap of scattered refuse.”

Our “autocentric” society has encouraged sprawl and malignant development, destroyed vast tracts of farmland and natural spaces, raised several generations of unfit people, and encouraged soulless neighbourhoods where no one talks to each other.

A major flawed conception exists that unbridled development is rational. Unchecked, the earth’s landscape will inevitably invite more concrete, asphalt, heat, and corrosive particulates, and a less diverse mix of flora and fauna.

Sustainability is not a slogan for glossy publications warning us of present dangers and promising us a responsible future.  It does not happen automatically or by wishful thinking.

If you are interested in securing the environment and conserving natural spaces, I encourage you to get involved in a grassroots movement. Speak out for yourself and your fellow sentients in this, the Year of Biodiversity.

Avrom David ShternBA ‘83, MLIS ‘87Green Coalition Transportation Critic