To be honest, before the last several weeks of class, sustainability was not something I thought all that much about. And I believe that that is the major fault of many people of the world. It is so easy to be wasteful of water and other nonrenewable resources and not think twice about it. To water your lawn several times a day, to drive vehicles that guzzle large amounts of gas, to not taking full advantage options like solar and hydropower. We have the options and opportunity to cut down on waste, yet we choose not to. But why is this? Simply put, the majority of the population sees this as an inconvenience and does not think of the impact it will have on future generations. However, as I looked further into this weeks readings, I found that the burden of our missteps is already effecting some already.
Although we think of this as a problem of the future, there are parts of the world that are already seeing the harmful effects of the environmental damage that’s already been done. The Inuit Right to Culture Based on Snow and Ice, by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, looks at the environmental strain from a perspective that I had never thought of before. The Inuit people are native to Canada, the United States, Greenland, and Russia and are about 155,000 in numbers today. Many to this day still live a life centered on hunting, living off of the land, and traveling via snow dog and sled. However, this life style is currently being threatened by the effects of global warming and environmental harm. For example, global warming has made what may be a gentle stream into an impassible powerful river, which can cause flooding and other environmental woes. Another issue that they face is the environmental change from global warming has negatively affected the animals they hunt in the region. Less animals and the increasing destruction of the ecosystem will make this way of life dwindle to the point of extinction. It was troublesome to read about the effects of global warming harming a group of people so soon. We have to consider that this damage we have done is already destroying a groups way of life. As it is put by Watt-Cloutier, “So you see, climate change is not just an environmental issue with unwelcome economic consequences. It really is a matter of livelihood, food, individual and cultural survival.”
As I looked at the website http://350.org/map/ , I searched for Morocco to see what they were doing to encourage a fight for a more sustainable future. To my surprise, Morocco was not listed on there for anything. As a fairly progressive North African country, I would have hoped that they were doing more to help. The fact that they are not on this website does not necessarily mean that they are doing nothing, I read a few articles that suggested that they were doing more to encourage water conservation, but it is a good indication that sustainability may not be on the top of their list.
This last several weeks in class have made me look at sustainable in a very different way. I went from thinking that it was a somewhat important initiative to an imperative step we all need to focus on. Its more than creating a better tomorrow, it’s about making a better, more sustainable, today.
“350 World Map.” 350.org. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
Moore, Kathleen Dean., Michael P. Nelson, and Sheila Watt-Cloutier,. Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. San Antonio, TX: Trinity UP, 2010. Print.