The eco-craze has reached its height. Ad campaigns urge the average citizen to ban SU.V. s, utilize the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle), and "FLICK OFF". The message has found its way into your friendly neighbourhood grocery store.
The new eco-friendly canvas grocery bags at Loblaw's seem like a good buy. They're made from 100% recycleable materials and ensure that less plastic is spewed into our environment. What's not to appreciate? But noone notices the fine print- it reads a familiar line; made in China. So keen on being green, it seems we have over-looked other important global issues. Not to push aside global warming and environmental concerns, but there are situations in the world that are not being focused on. They should be. This duty for inquisition doesn't lie with only citizens, but moreso the governments. We can strive towards energy efficient perfection but the earth would still be a mess.
You know what they are- the American war in the Middle East, the genocide in Darfur, workforce abuses in Asia. And what about problems closer to home: child prostitution, poverty, street violence? The number of people living with AIDS is only growing. It would seem unfair to push all of these important issues aside to focus our sole attention on global warming. I know what you're thinking, " If we don't stop poisoning the earth now, we'll all die and all of the above things become irrelevent".
To disregard the threat of our extinction is ludicrous. It is possible, however, to devote attention and demand change on more than one critical topic at a time.
Statistics say that even if all individuals pitched in to lower gas emissions, reduce energy use and conserve water, it would hardly make a dent in reaching the goal amount of reduced pollution. The main reason for this is that our main source of energy is from burning fossil fuels. This accounts for more of the carbon dioxide in the air than any other human act- exactly 80% of the contaminents that cause air pollution. And if that wasn't scary enough, it contributes to more than 88% of the greenhouse gas emmisions that cause global warming.
Factories and oil rigs account for too much of the gunk that's driving temperatures up. Who is in charge of these monster corporations? The governments of the world. Whether it's Stephen Harper allowing the earth destroying oil drilling in Calgary or Hu Jintao opening doors for even more fur farms in China (which ooze harmful chemicals into land, air, and water), people are responsible for becoming informed and involved if they want to make a difference.
You've heard it before- do all that you can locally, but think globally. If we want to make progress on anything, the decision makers need to hear the concerns loud and clear. The last time I checked, Canada was a democracy.

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