Depriving Oneself

Recently, I have found myself thinking of the sacrifices that I make for the “enviornment” (for lack of a better term).

As most people know, climate change is a serious problem for the world and the human influence is pretty undenaiable. The largest contributor being carbon dioxide. So, in that pretext, I try to minimize my ecological footprint as much as possible. The biggest thing that a single person can do is to reduce the amount of transportation-related fossile fuels they burn. Consequently, I refrain from flying. But sometimes I ask myself, “why?”

So many of my friends are flying around the world for 1-or-2-week vacations and are really enjoying them. I, on the other hand, cannot really justify dumping all of that pollution into the atmosphere that would result to fly myself around the world for just a few days. Recently, I have been asking myself the question : What is the point of denying myself these pleasures that so many otheres enjoy? To be honest, I don’t have an answer to that question.

It is my failure to be able to answer that question that has had me quaivering recently. Additionally, I know that since the availability of fossil fuels is at its all time peak (“Peak Oil”) starting within the next few years will start to decrease, air travel will become greatly more expensive and generally less available. So why shouldn’t I go flying around the world to my heart’s content? I have the disponsable income and the free time do to so? Since I love travelling, wouldn’t it be smarted to do all the flying around and travelling now, while airfares are still cheap.

Does not doing so make me stupid for not taking advantages of the opportunities in front of me? Or does it make me a model human being for restraining myself for the betterment of the Earth for future generations?

One thought on “Depriving Oneself”

  1. Look! I’m finally replying to this entry! Yay me! Too many exclamation marks!!!!!!1111

    OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let me try and compose a half-way lucid reply for you.

    I suppose that in one sense I admire your self-restraint, for lack of a better word. This would certainly be, if not a better world, than a more environmentally friendly one if everyone would limit themselves the way you are attempting to.

    However, another part of me — the more cynical Ian — has trouble seeing the point. Your actions and your actions alone will not save the planet, no matter how much you’d like that to be true. Mass social reaction to the state of the environment would, but, ignoring the chance that your actions will have that much of an impact on the general social conscious (because, let’s face it, that’s a pretty small chance), your actions will not lead to that result.

    So I guess a certain part of me says fuck it. Do what you want to do, since everyone else seems to be doing that as well. And yet, I can’t deny that one of the reasons I enjoy living in Japan is that I feel my environmental footprint is much smaller than it was when I was living back in the States.

    So, I guess, I don’t know what to tell you. That’s my sum-up of the above long-winded ramblings, anyway. Perhaps moderation, as in most things, is the key? Jetting across continents every week or even every month is patently ridiculous, but who will fault you for going home to see family and friends every half year or so? And besides, if your dire predictions regarding the state of the US’s economy — and by extension that of the world’s — turn out to be true, there will never be a better time to get in all your jumbo-jet flying than right now.

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