Thank you to Frank Rizzo for his celebration of Earth Day, and his call to action. Individual lifestyle changes are so important, and actions such as refusing plastic straws, shopping with reusable totes or installing solar panels make a difference. However, we also need to acknowledge the role that powerful corporations play in our climate.
Seventy-one percent of our greenhouse gas emissions are created by a group of just 100 companies. This number indicates not only a deep inequality in the use of our planetary resources, but also inequality in the economy. It points to monopoly on an international level and it is important that average citizens do not lose sight of the power these massive companies have.
I applaud all who work to shrink their own personal carbon footprint. I am working to decrease my own as well. However, with individual acts we must combine activism. By lobbying government officials on the local, state and national levels, we can ensure that proper regulation controls the carbon emissions of big businesses.
Conscious consumerism is also vital. Buying from responsible and sustainable companies demonstrates that there is money to be made in the protection of the planet. This Earth Day, continue doing your part. But remember that we have not yet repaired what Rachel Carson referred to as “an era dominated by industry, in which the right to make a dollar at whatever cost is seldom challenged.”
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