Environmental Think Space

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing – Albert Einstein

About

As a graduate of International Development Studies and Environment and Resource Management I have put myself into a position where I cannot go back.

Some of you might be wondering, ‘back to what?,’ while others may fully recognise this sentiment within yourselves.

Both of these programmes required studying the world we live in, i.e. social, political, and economic power relations and structures, and their implications on citizens of “developing countries” and the natural environment. In essence these studies criticise the system that we currently live in and try to come up with solutions for a better world.

Before starting the IDS degree, when I was young and less jaded, I thought that by obtaining the degree I would be given the knowledge on how to solve the world’s problems. Oops.

But given that I chose to undertake that degree at the age of 18 in order to “solve the world’s problems,” it is clear that I had a sense of the injustices taking place. And over the years of reading and reading and more reading, I began to see injustices taking place that I would never have noticed before. My education has continuously changed the lenses through which I see the world. And in choosing to pursue an educational path which attempts to understand and resolve these injustices, the world can often seem like a constant battleground in which you feel a very heavy responsibility.

But it’s not all doom and gloom my friends!

Even though I cannot go back to a life of ignorance where I could shop endlessly, create loads of waste, and work for companies that pay well and have great benefits, but infringe upon the rights and livelihoods of millions of people, I refuse to feel guilty or responsible (okay, I’m trying my hardest not to). I refuse to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Indeed, we all must do what we can on a daily basis to contribute to the betterment of the world. But it will be small things, multiple and many small things that will lead to change.

Like in nature, an outcome or change is the result of a number of  interrelated causes, none of which by themselves are the sole cause of said outcome or change. It is the workings of a whole system and its sub-systems. And so I hope that this blog, put out into the world, is one very small thing I can do to inspire and affect the change I hope to see.

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