Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Impact of Living

I regularly read no impact man. I think that you should too. I once wrote an email to Colin (no impact man's real name). I simply wanted to let him know that I appreciated how his blog had a similar topic that I wanted mine to have, but he had a way of ALWAYS putting a positive spin on everything he writes. I fear that I often come across as bitter and upset. I'm not really. It just seems to be my writing style. Colin, on the other hand, will sometimes apologize for a post that he felt was too negative, when in reality it would not have even compared in negativity to my more positive posts. That may be a slight exageration, but I really feel that my writing poorly reflects my actual feelings, whereas his blogs accurately reflect his feelings. OK, I don't know what his feelings are, but his posts accurately reflect my feelings.

He posted the other day about whether it would be better if everyone committed suicide because it would drastically reduce human impact on the earth. Of course I feel that is not what the world is about, but I think that the concept is thought provoking.

Environmentally, no matter what we do, we will have an impact. Breathing consumes oxygen and produces carbon dioxide, which is classified by the EPA as a pollutant. Most of us in life will make a greater impact than just the carbon dioxide that we produce. Let's start at birth. How much energy is in a hospital to deliver a baby? Don't get me wrong, I understand and believe that a birth is worth a little extra energy to help assure the life of the newborn, but is a hospital really necessary? Sometimes, sure, but always? Likewise, C-sections are amazing procedures that save babies and mothers. That's great. They are necessary in about 1-2% of births. They are used in some hospitals in more than 40% of births. That is waste. It's a waste of energy, a waste of resources and a waste of health. Sorry, that was a tangent I didn't intend to follow.

What other impacts can we make in life? Life is about a lot more than environmental impact. If that is all that life was about suicide would be a viable option. Fortunately life is about making impacts. When it really comes down to the purpose of life, environmental impact is of a minimal importance. The impact that we have on others is huge. What do we do to lift those around us? What do we do to make the world a better place? How can we improve the lives of everyone on this earth.

While I don't think that environmental impact is the basis for evaluating our lives, I think it is telling. What does it say about a person if they are concerned about the state of the earth for generations to come? I would say that person is caring about others and trying to improve the condition of the earth for future generations. That's a positive impact on others and is good.

Contrarily, what does it say about a person when they 'don't care' about the mass quantities of resources that he is using and the impact that it has on those around him and those who will come in the future? Is that a person that is making a positive impact?

I want to make some clarifications. I do think that some negative environmental impacts are well worth it when they contribute to greater positive impacts of a different nature. However, I think that those impacts need to be considered and compared with what is being gained when doing good.

Make an impact in life. Do something to help others. Sure, helping prevent the degredation of the environment is a good impact, but making others smile and helping individuals do things they couldn't do themselves are also important impacts. Make your impact on earth worth the environmental costs.

1 comment:

Heather said...

One thing that has been getting on my nerves, sorry for venting, is the environmentalist who put the environment above humanity. So thanks for talking a little about humanity. I do agree that we should weigh the costs of our decisions, I agree that we should be good stewards of what we are given, but I also believe that we should put humanity before the environment.