Opinion: Saving The World

It is a bit late for complaints about us killing the Earth to still be taken seriously. As one without the advocate’s ulterior motive, I felt the need to address this issue, one that has been and still affects daily life based on a few recent observations.

This issue is none other than the slow, but existing, deterioration of our environment. Here we go again, another tree-hugger commanding the rest of the population to embrace her pro-environment actions and participate in them too? Not quite. I don’t feel as if promotion of environmentalism is necessary, as a few strolls through the mall and realization that it is plastered on the shirts of practically every clothing store proved to me.

Bright, $15 tees with comical representation of global warming are fairly popular, as are the ones with witty (or sometimes unbearably cheesy) one-liners making this severe crisis seem like Free Slushie Day. (Example: “Global Warming Is So Not Hot,” quoting the great activist of consumerism, Paris Hilton herself) It’s unmistakably evident that whoever first thought up of promoting environmentalism through material goods had the welfare of the Earth in mind.

It started out doing a decent job of raising awareness for global warming, but as time passed, advocate became indistinguishable from fashion-slave. Gradually, the general public became so used to the cute melting Earths on the shirts of people who didn’t think twice before tossing a Coke can on the lawn of the city park, that the next time the issue is addressed, they would turn a blind eye to it, thinking, “Not again.”

Before the assumption is made that I’m bashing the commercialization of environmentalism, let me assure you that I’m most definitely not. In fact, based on present day circumstances, it’s probably the most effective way of actually getting people to care.

If one contributes to a cause, it is expected that the person remain dedicated to that cause, rather than just advertise how good of a person they are by plastering it across their chests, like a “I Survived The Superman” tee. In other words, if you have the courage to slip on a superhero outfit, Halloween aside, please do at least attempt to save the world.


This opinion was written by Sophia Chang. It was published in the Temple City Voice on August 6, 2008. The views of this author do not represent the views of the Temple City Voice or its staff.


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