It’s the day after Earth Day 2015. Well, what was I supposed to have seen on this great day as I chip away at my educational world record plans for the year ahead? I recall seeing precisely the same yesterday as I see every day: heavy traffic squabbling for space on narrow roads, jets streaming through the skies carrying entrepreneurs and their briefcases, and hundreds of people making love to their computer screens for 8 hours or longer.
Earth Day is meant to be an awareness day; one to make people stop and think about how mankind’s ruthless destruction of the natural environment for profiteering is ruining future prospects for our own species and many others. But the reality seems far from that. Overall, from the media reports I read, it appears that those most aware of Earth Day are the educated businesspeople racing from meeting to appointment and more. Are they the ones who should take note of the inherent message in this day’s symbolism? Sure they are, but they’re not the only ones who need to.
The fastest growing sector of the population by far is the poor; those from disadvantaged – or at least, so-so backgrounds. This group is emerging as the world’s largest consumer market by number. When combined, their buying power is tremendous, and so is their aggregate ecological footprint. Where were these people on Earth Day this year?
Here in Borneo they had undoubtedly mostly never heard it was a named day. Like every other day, street traders and taxi drivers amidst thousands of swirling pedestrians of all career paths and disciplines, swarmed the local town’s public areas, on the prowl for money. That’s the bottom line for these people: the accumulation of money. Not that it’s their fault; the system we live in nags and picks at them constantly, forcing them to partake in the money-go-round without end. Therefore, giving much consideration to what happens in the environment across 220+ nations would, I’m certain of it, be an after-thought for this social bracket, the financially needy.
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