Take responsibility for eco-impact

Re: “Individuals green impact insignificant,” Sept. 16, 2009

“Found at the heart of the Laurier’s Mission Statement, “we are citizens of an increasingly complex world”. Therefore, we must seek multi-faceted solutions to our challenges, go beyond depending on corporations and governments to take the lead, and recognize the potential that exists in each and every one of us. Our roles in this world must be defined by our own actions for which we must take full responsibility.

Change can be made on even the smallest of levels by making daily, deliberate choices that reduce our impact on the earth. We “common people” are the ones who initiate change, who have bright ideas and who influence and educate our friends and family every day.

Indicating otherwise disrespects and ignores the hard work carried out by community organizations, grassroots groups and private citizens. Of all the inspirational messaging that has been born out of our increasingly complex world, Gandhi’s adage, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” remains relevant. Unplugging unused appliances, carrying your own coffee mug, composting, recycling or using alternative transportation are not harsh compromises or inconveniences.

I encourage the Laurier community to please continue being leaders on campus by using the programs available to you and by becoming more conscious of your own consumption behaviors, in order to lessen your individual and our collective footprint.

The results truly are tangible.”

–Lauren McNiven

“For the environmental movement to succeed, it needs to abandon certain misdirected platforms, particularly the idea that regular people […] need to pay the price for cleaning up the earth.”

We are directly responsible Mr. Popkie and corporations and government are not going to voluntarily change their practices. The above statement in last week’s opinion piece is indicative of so-called ‘progressive’ opinion in this country, that: we are powerless in the face of power and are not responsible.

The reverse is true and we need to start taking ourselves more seriously or else this reckless abandonment of citizen responsibility will continue.  

We must resist our government and the corporations who are actively participating in ecocide on a mass scale. It is your responsibility to do this. Government and corporations exist because of us, the citizenry, and not the other way around. Government require our votes and corporations our money.

I speak from experience. There is a new Ecological Sustainability Office on campus this year. This was not because the administration or the Students’ Union thought it was the right thing to do, excuses were the norm! It took a group of committed students to run a campaign to pass a referendum to establish the funds for the office, instead of five years from now.

Had these students not taken themselves seriously and understood their responsibility, and consequences, we would just have to wait for ‘better economic times.’ We need to create alternatives from those who are in power. Resist Now!”

–Luke Stewart