1970 was a time of hope and beginnings. A year when the world woke up. The first Earth Day was celebrated. Greenpeace the first major environmental organisation was formed.
Color television was bring the true beauty of the world@s natural surroundings into our living rooms. Backpacker travel was enabling many of us to experience radically different cultures.
Around about this time mass destruction of our environment began. Many blame globalization and the increase in trade and manufacturing. Then about 10 years ago social media and mass use of computers and phones for digital communication brought new hop that we would all get together and take action about issues vital for our survival on this planet. Freshwater species population down 76% from 1970 to 2010. 52 percent of the world’s mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish in total have vanished between 1970 and 2010 and you have to know that it has gotten much worse since then.
I for one held massive optimism that when the majority of people found that we had barely any more sharks, bees, forests, ice, dragonflies and various other vital things then we would all take and demand of other massive action to preserve both our own future and the future of our children and their children. However things seem to be getting much much worse. We have to accept now that simply hearing and reading about things will not make one iota of difference to the behavior of the average human being. So social media has proved pretty much useless in this respect. “People power” is a dream. “Global consciousness” may (and will have to if we are to survive) come but it will not be digital messages that do it. They have had their airing and been found wanting. Rock stars and other celebrities are still flying blindly around in private jets producing the carbon footprints of whole villages. China and India did not even bother sending delegates to a 193 nation climate day organized by the United nations last week. Brazil refuses to sign any kind of agreement restricting felling of Amazon rainforest and stepped up destruction by 42% in 2013 from the previous year.
My friend Kat Haber made this comment just now on Facebook
“Clictivism must now transition to activism. Greed is gaining control and people must stand up/speak up now for the integrity of their local communities and passions. In places where climate change is impacting wildlife environment and that would be about everywhere today, locals must improve their governance. In places where poaching and capturing wildlife for survival other systems must be deigned to support those communities separate from devouring the wildlife that once called that place home.”
I am not a pessimist as I truly believe that we will all wake up just in time. I do not have any answers but what I do know is that it is going to take more than just social media.