As someone deeply concerned about the environmental degradation that could render the planet uninhabitable for human life by the turn of the next century and all the potential horrors that might occur between now and then, I am struck by the messaging that is peppered toward we, the common folks.
Give up our straws. Drive less. Use less water. Eat less meat. Turn off your lights.
Personal responsibility will forever be a myth if it is not a follow-on to corporate and governmental responsibility. If it comes first, no amount of individual actions we who choose to live more environmentally conscious do is competition for carbon dioxide spewed into the air by a single factory or corporation. And the time for change is now.
We need more governmental regulation of emissions. We need to rein in the big polluters and make them pay for the degradation they’ve caused. We need to engage legally with the oil companies, such as Exxon, who obfuscated for years, disgustingly funding fake “think tanks” and false science, all the while knowing the truth about their direct impact on climate change. These companies need to be made to pay for their intentional malfeasance, all so they could earn a dirty buck.
Their responsibility needs to come first, because I cannot give up enough straws to fix the problem.
And on and on. We didn’t kill the electric car at the turn of the century. Automakers dictate our transportation. No amount of staying home is going to make up for their refusal to ramp up true change in their industry. Industrial agriculture harms the air, water, and land. There is a lot of information out there to make better choices. But not everyone can afford those changes and those who profit from the harmful practices don’t seem ready for wholesale changes.
That’s where government needs to come in and force the change, because we don’t have much more time to waste on allowing big business to destroy our ability to thrive on this planet. Enough is enough.
I’ve been reading about how Ford and GM (among other companies) aided the rise of Nazi Germany and their war effort. About how they then had the audacity to sue for reparations when their German plants were destroyed in World War II. And how they got rid of documents that detailed their traitorous efforts. This is the lineage the planet-harming industries are holding. They profit off of doing the wrong thing, putting forth efforts many agree are harmful, and then, as usual, figure out how to get away with it.
This got me to thinking, as well, about how nudists and naturists are often vilified as being untoward because we flout the conventions of the prevailing culture. This is one of the wedge issues, a part of the “culture wars” designed to distract us from the true wrongdoers out there. Nudism and naturism, the art of non-sexual nude recreation, has a 90-year track record in the United States as being a safe place for families and has self-policed to great success. Yet, authorities will disproportionately single out the human body for distraction. For instance, Free the Nipple is commonsensical, but is turned into an amplified battle. Meanwhile, Exxon’s crimes against nature and their documented knowledge of it, have barely raised an eyebrow, let alone any ire that would affect real change.
So, while we’re all engaging in debate over whether a Utah stepmom should be facing jailtime for going topless in her own home, the big polluters, those who could affect change, are continuing to profit, unabated, off of our misery and potential destruction.
If you ask me, that’s what’s truly disgusting.
As naturists, it is practically within our definition to be stewards of the planet. We can and do lead by example. But our small actions don’t hold a candle to the corporations that can offset our collective advances in the flip of a switch. We need change if we’re going to continue to enjoy this beautiful planet the way nature intended. We can no longer let them set the agenda to have us fighting among ourselves about cultural issues. We must unite for accountability from those who owe us that.
I have no idea.
But we have to flip the script on who sets the rules. We can’t afford any other path.