Do Individual Acts Help Save the Planet?
Re: “Going Green but Getting Nowhere,” by Gernot Wagner (Op-Ed, Sept. 8)
To the Editor:
Global warming is one problem with thousands of causes and thousands of solutions.
Activists once believed we had to "get the ball rolling" with personal actions before we could gain public support for the tougher political solutions. Industry and politicians read the mood correctly and hopped aboard the "individual action" train. It was the perfect public relations solution: an endless diversion from real transformative change. And there is always a ribbon to cut, a new scheme to announce or an award to hand out.
But most important, it would be business as usual with no changes to the bottom line for the fossil fuel industry.
Individual action is important, but it requires a regulatory framework to drive real change. Those of us outside the United States look to the sole remaining superpower to do something "super" that's in its own best interest and rest of the world's, too.
All Americans have to lose is dependence on foreign oil, trillions in health care costs and a lot of unnecessary climate-related suffering.
John Bennett, Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada