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“Even if the earth was to heat to such an extent that every last vestige of humankind disappears, there may still exist living systems, just not ones that can sustain us.” – From Break Through by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus

Ever wondered why you are doing what you are doing every day yet you pass your death anniversary every year without knowing when it is?

When you are an environmentalist, you always know where you are is because of those who came before you and what you do today determines how tomorrow will be like. Whether on the positive side or on the negative side. So, even if this one planet we know will burn up some day in future (if evolution is your standing), wherever that time will be, you cannot decide to just sit down and do nothing when everything is not going as it should (or as you think it should). Especially not when a country is burning itself through scandals and never-ending corruption incidences. What would happen if our forefathers choose to do nothing? If they decided, let colonialists rule over our country. Where would we be right now? Would we even know freedom? Where would Africa be now? Then again, where would we be if colonialist left as alone in the first place?

It doesn’t matter whether your impact will be known or not. You do not need to become world famous because you did something that shaped the entire human race. See, Wangari Maathai might have been exceptional in so many ways, but there must have been someone who also was exceptional in their own ways and made a difference no matter how small. Doing something for recognition and money are two of the first steps to failure. The reasoning behind maybe you will become happier, maybe. Regardless of this, where passion is not in it, you will probably go nowhere. If you do, it will be short lived.

Greed is one other issue killing the human race slowly by slowly. It started when a person or people, discovered resources that they could take and use whether considering those who lived there first knew about them. Consider the Red Indians. When Christopher Columbus discovered the ‘new’ mass piece of ‘inhabited’ land during his travel adventures, the native Red Indians were not in any way, even today, recognized as the sole owners of the vast continent. Nor were Africans (and other colonialized countries) when the colonialists came only to discover the continent has vast resources and Africans had to suffer and still do because of the bounty that is within.

Let’s not forget us, humans thinking we are superior that every other being on this planet. We seem to think that the planet would be better off when it is only humans residing in it. We have even thought and studied if we could inhabit other planets. Yet, Planet Earth that is today, is meant to inhabit every living organism that needs oxygen (and carbon dioxide) to survive. When we push animals to extinction, human-caused extinction, because of our ways, in most cases greed driven, who are we fooling? The animal and plant species we are driving into extinction do not require any saving, we do. We need to save ourselves from the wrath of Mother Nature. From the fate we will face when we harm entire forests that provide us with most of our basic needs, the air we breathe, clean drinking water, and food, not to forget to mention our psychological well-being.

“What needs to die is a particular conception of what environmentalism is and how environmental advocacy and campaigns are organized and run.” – Michael Shellenberger

We are crippling our natural resources. Many may not see it but when you do, when you see the damage that is happening every day, be brave enough to call it out. We should also not forget to ask for accountability from our fellow beings when something goes wrong. We should not be quiet. We cannot afford to be quiet. When 10 black rhinos die, we should shout. We should demand to know what happened in plain and simple statements. When illegal trafficking of wildlife is on the rise, we should question individual change of lifestyles and demand for openness. When non – renewable resources are being proposed by governments, we should question their main agenda in such options. When roads, bridges, railways and building are being constructed in green zones, we need to question and by all means, participate in decision making even by force.

“We need to start winning even when we lose. Right now, the environmental movement loses when it loses and even loses when it wins.” – Ted Nordhaus

We should not forget any incidence that happens. When anything goes wrong, we should call it what it is and not give it sweet, ear-pleasing words. The same way we call single issue movements such as women’s rights, anti-war, pro-choice, criminal justice, anti – FGM, labour rights is the same way we should call environmental issues.

Every individual will first feed their own need before they can tend to another person, but greed should not be the baseline for unjust actions on the human race and the entire planet. Before the human race disappears, what are you willing to speak up for today?

“To not think of dying is to not think of living.” – Jann Arden

Add to your online reading list:

An interview with authors of the controversial essay “The Death of Environmentalism”

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Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui is a believer in all things beautiful. A believer in spreading information in regards to environmental awareness. A believer in sharing all that is good in Kenya's natural world. A believer in speaking truth with no boundaries. Do you have a story, photo, experience or message you need to share? Send your work to vicki@nyikasilika.org or vickiwangui26@gmail.com.

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