“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi
There are several generations of people who have been taught about recycling and conservation. My grandmother recycles her newspapers and cans, and conserves everything she uses, including water, heat, and electricity. The ‘Millennials’ as they are sometimes referred to, have also been taught about this – often called “sustainability”, and unfortunately often focusing on using the force of government to “make” people behave in ways that conserve our resources.
Of course, government force in itself is unsustainable for free people, because force stops independence, liberty, and taking personal responsibility – all of which make a free market work, and allows for people to be liberated enough to make movements in their own lives and in their communities and countries.
I studied political science in college, and even participated in a Model United Nations program that educated me about the U.N. (in a candid way), where the participation was interesting and enjoyable, mostly because of the incredible students I got to meet from around the State. It was a learning experience with my peers, yet an event far from the actual ineffectiveness and dangers of this international organization.
It is silly to divide people – right and left – on issues of the environment. People desire to live in a clean environment, drink clean water, breathe clean air, etc. That is not arguable. What is up for debate is how those ends are accomplished. And, after many years of having something called the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at a national/federal level of government, I think we can all rest assured that a federal government agency (much less an INTERNATIONAL AGENCY) are capable or competent enough of carrying out a program that works and actually protects the environment. Maybe we would be better off doing this ourselves.
There are local and State agencies – in both the public and private sector – that are closer to the idiosyncratic differences among environments and people – that are far better off at creating rules and regulations for their resources. I do believe that more free-market approaches to giving people options to participate are the most effective long-term because if people consciously make decisions for themselves, then those critically-thinking citizens are more apt to participate and be stakeholders of their environment. It is not up to me, to decide though – it is up to the people who are directly affected in their own homes and areas. It is up to each individual to decide how to take actionable steps in each individual’s life – to conserve resources, to responsibly use resources, and to protect resources.
Individuals are more powerful than governments IF individuals have the liberty to make their own choices. Unfortunately, there is a stranglehold with the environmentalism movement that seeks to have a “power-over”, “top-down” approach to creating rules and using government force. This is not sustainable. What needs to be done, is to have individuals at the grass-roots level who are consciously participating, creating, and working together to use resources responsibly.
We must protect the rights of the individual, and the property rights of the individual, as this is the basis for being able to protect not only the environment, but our own lives and bodies. This is the new Environmentalism movement – this is you and me, and no federal or international agency telling us how to protect our pristine environment and resources – we – as individuals, can do a better job.
Tisha Casida is running as an Independent for U.S. House in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. You can read more of her writing and about her platform at: www.casida2012.com.