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Jordi Puig i Baguer, Professor at Degree of Environmental Biology and Master's Degree in Biodiversity, Landscapes and Sustainable management

Urgent need for environmental awareness and commitment promote


Wed, 09 Dec 2015 10:43:00 +0000 Published in Sur, Hoy Extremadura, Ideal of Granada and Ideal of Jaén

The natural and human wealth of the environment and the magnitude of the problems it faces do not make it easy to suggest what lines of action a government should focus on with regard to the environment. Perhaps the least practical and most effective thing to do is to ask it to focus on Education and to examine its own exemplarity in every area of government action.

Our society is impregnated with an urban uprooting, made culture, which distances us from perceiving to what extent we are nature and belong to it. We neither recognize what we owe to the natural world we receive, nor are we aware of how we devalue it with our way of life. We should learn both to find ourselves in the beauty of nature and to discover ourselves as humans through our commitment to respect it.

But how can we ensure that these principles do not remain mere general statements? After all, a government is expected to make concrete decisions. Perhaps it should be asked to promote, in the Education, the central aspects already mentioned: environmental awareness and commitment. It will be up to the government to design the incentives that will transform behavior. The mobility may well be a field and an example.

To respect what is natural, it is necessary to discover its value to the conscience. And to open the eyes to see which own conducts mistreat it. If consumerist unsustainability and lack of solidarity are to be overcome, it will be necessary to awaken in those who must free themselves from their oppression the enjoyment of greater riches than the seduction of purchase for purchase's sake. Are we capable of teaching that it enriches us more to share the enjoyment of natural beauty and moderation than its consumption? If we do not achieve this, there will be no effective environmental policy. Hence the importance of Education.

With respect to commitment, to the voluntary adaptation of one's own conduct to a value discovered, perhaps it is necessary to learn that in it resides the human wealth. Any government action that tends to promote it financial aid to recover the lost ground of humanity that consumerism erodes. In particular, it is urgent to teach that the unfair distribution of the earth's goods is fed by our consumerism. And that, whether we see it or not, every consumption is a moral act. Because it can feed the model of society that coexists, allows or causes the poverty of other people or peoples of the Earth at the same time as the environmental impact. As Francis reminded us, everything is connected.