Just stumbled across a good post about how that if all of us that really care about the future could just live a little more ethically - we'd still be doomed.
So many organizations put the focus on changing lightbulbs, recycling and other helpful, sensible things like that. Here at Greenpeace we also want you to change your lightbulbs, that's step 1... Then we want you to help us outlaw energy wasting lightbulbs, shut down coal plants and be part of a total energy revolution.
Over at WorldChanging, Alex explains why:
Why do good people keep advocating lifestyle change? Well, the hope is that small steps will lead to a big change of heart: that a tipping point will occur when the crucial can falls into the critical recycling bin, and people all around the world will awaken to the sustainability imperative, and then that, in some vague-but-direly-hoped-for way, this awakening will change everything and all will be well (and everyone gets a pony!). I think of this theory as betting the farm on the arrival of a Mythological Universal Conversion Event.
Here's the biggest problem with this theory of social change: we've been at it for decades, it hasn't worked and it probably never will. Things are demonstrably worse than they were when we began advocating recycling and such, and they're getting much worse far faster than any lifestyle choices can make them better. In the absence of an unlikely change in the nature of humanity, buying bamboo shirts or sustainable furniture is like spitting at a forest fire.
Regular people get this. Edward Abbey wrote that "Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." And almost every day we ask those around us engage in the ruination of their souls. We tell them the truth -- that an ecological collapse is on its way, and that avoiding it demands widespread transformation -- and then we suggest that they take some small steps whose meaninglessness in the face of massive crisis is self-evident. We ask them to care about everything, and do almost nothing.
We ought instead to ask from them, and demand from ourselves, action commensurate to the crisis, which is to say heroic action. The world has never more needed a generation of heroes, and, in the absence of a better generation, we'd better step up and fight like hell for the future we want.