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Environmental productivity key to future

By Shamsa Mangalji     3/31/11 7:00pm

Productivity. We all strive for it. Students inhale Red Bulls and lock themselves into their rooms to be productive. Athletes, doctors, lawyers, farmers, workers in every profession, you name it, want to be productive. And why not? In our society, productivity is rewarded handsomely. You can't get an A+ or a stack of Benjamins if you're not a productive worker.

Interestingly enough, it's that mindset which is stymieing us in our quest to stop environmental degradation. We prioritize productivity over environmental responsibility.  Put it this way – As much as I like to scream about our need to decrease demand for fossil fuels, I'll never ride my bike to my office 25 miles away. Because I know I won't be so productive during that day. Threatening my receiving of those aforementioned Benjamins.

EPA documents show that the only way we can make a dent in our greenhouse gas output is to decrease our demand for energy. But what does that mean? Right now, decreasing demand for energy will entail cutting our electricity usage, limiting our car and flight travel, and (alas) sacrificing purchases of those aluminum RedBull cans. Even the most eco-savvy working citizens will grudgingly admit the significant loss of profit/productivity of all sectors if we embark on these initiatives.



 Investing in renewable energy initiatives will not instantaneously fix all of our problems. Even if we proudly unveil our spanking-new wind-powered power plants, there's no guarantee that our energy supply will be perfect; mistakes are bound to happen, power's going to go out from time to time when these plants are first introduced, compromising productivity of every person in every professional sector.

In order to stop global warming, Americans need to chill out. We need to be willing to take some time to change our habits. We need to adjust our standards for ‘productivity' in a way that will help conserve our environment.

So let's start now. Next time your paper is docked off tell them you had to switch off your computer to save the world.

We need to take time to save the environment. Be OK with mistakes made in our quests to switch our gaskets.

We just keep trying to do things that will let us continue this cycle--carbon offsets and downcycling.

Everything's built to be trashed so people can consume more, where else could our productive time have gone? Into making a better society?

When we save something in already manufactured form, we conserve material and the energy it took to produce item.

We have to be more patient, and slow down a little, like other countries do. They may not be more productive, but they have the wherewithal to be more environmentally friendly. We have to redefine enviormental productivity.

Furthermore, we need to downsize our demand for energy, meat consumption, even if it's not convenient for us in our quest for productivity.

I'll only know that we're making steps when we shut off the air conditioning in a concerted effort to save energy, and no one

makes a peep.

We shouldn't think of enviroment conservation as a practice only for profit, but one for our future.

Shamsa Mangalji is a Martel College junior.



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