03 Oct #Frustrated with Apathy
It is something that challenges all of us climate activists in our work, in our communication with those outside of our community.
It is our greatest enemy, so incredibly difficult to overcome.
How does one get others to care about our planet? Our future? Our lives?
When all they are thinking about is their next paper?
Or getting drunk Monday night after the paper is due?
University is a new world. People are free from the constraints of parental supervision and take that freedom to mean that it is time for some DRASTIC action. For most, that means parties, that does not mean banding together to overcome our capitalistic and consumer society in hopes of a better future for ourselves and anyone who comes after us. For me, it means facing a new crew of apathetic young adults who don’t care about the climate crisis. Or, if they do, not caring enough to abandon their late night party habits in exchange for rallies and advocacy for action on climate change.
Apathy is not new. It’s not like I didn’t have to deal with in in high-school. But, it’s different here. We spend our time studying ancient Greek philosophy and contemplating life’s greatest questions, picking apart the text for meaning that will illuminate us to the wonders of Western civilization, yet people don’t apply their critical thinking to the challenges facing us in the world today. In high-school there was the greater public of the school who was apathetic. Here, even those in the sustainability society are stuck in the mindset of “cute little environmental projects” like residence gardens and crafts. While those serve a purpose and are great for getting people excited about nature and the environment, they will NOT create real change.
I am not alone. There are other few who feel the same and are ready to take break down the university’s constructs of un-environmentally friendly actions and advocate for REAL change both in the school and the city. But, the large majority do not feel the same.
I mean who can blame them? When they are breaking the bank paying for this education that may not lead them to a job to sustain their lives after university? People cannot fail, cannot waste their time when they are paying thousands of dollars for this education.
However, what is this education worth, if we no longer have a planet that will sustain life?