"We have met the enemy and he is us."
|Pogo's wise words (via Walt Kelly) have been repeated
often in environmental circles, but have "people" been
listening?? I hope so.
It did offer some bright spots—such as progress on protecting the high seas from pollution, overfishing and acidification—although it left other dire threats unaddressed. Chief among these was failing to negotiate a treaty to protect ocean biodiversity. But what we must remember is this: Rio+20 is not just about a document. Rio+20 is a catalyst. It is the starting point for change, not the finish line. It is a call to action for all of us who now realize that we can’t just rely on government negotiators or verbose and hyper-compromised documents to save our planet.
We must do it ourselves
What Rio+20 did was shine a spotlight on the environmental and sustainable development issues we all know we must address. For at least a few days, it forced us all to pause, take stock and think about the legacy we’re leaving our children.
Now that the speeches are done and the negotiations are over, and the world’s leaders are heading home, it’s time for the rest of us to take action.
Individually, we must be efficient with the energy and the natural resources we consume and be ever cognizant of what the decisions we make today will mean for our children’s planet tomorrow.