By Rory P. Mondshein*
Mahatma Gandhi once said that the “earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs,
but [it does] not provide enough to satisfy every man’s greed.”
Our earth is bountiful, its resources are plenty,
but we live in a society where some have all the power, and others do not have any.
The rich continue to usurp the natural resources to increase their wealth,
while the poor live in destitution as they beg for help.
In an increasingly globalized world, politicians focus on economic prosperity
even if their people’s safety is compromised in the wake of their temerity.
In the 21st century, politics has become a global game of chess,
and governments neglect the environment in their pursuit of (relative) economic success.
Unfortunately, many believe that focusing on the environment will stunt economic growth,
which is why they fail to think about the ways that they can have both.
In China, local governments dump all of their industrial waste in the water,
ignoring the effect that this practice will have on their sons and daughters.
On the Niger Delta, politicians continue to fumble,
leaving their ecosystems to crash and crumble.
In Chile, desalination is destroying their crops and soil,
while the ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico have been destroyed by oil.
In the Third World, many politicians fail to think
about the consequences of polluting the water that their poorest are forced to drink.
Instead, we are driven by selfishness and a desire to compete,
which is why our crops have been destroyed and our children have nothing to eat.
Thanks to capitalistic selfishness, many populations have been neglected,
and many more will face the music if the environment is not protected.
Although some countries, like Canada, have stringent environmental regulations,
it is imperative for us to have a global conversation.
Consequently, the UN General Assembly has worked to create global objectives
to protect the environment in the name of the collective.
It is time for introspection, it is time to conserve,
it is time to give our planet the attention it deserves.
It is time for corporations, like Monsanto, to be less cruel,
it is time for nations to decrease their dependence on fossil fuels.
It is time for nations to work together, and, instead of focusing on economic competition,
governments must collectively commit to reducing greenhouse emissions.
It is time for all of us to wake up, and tackle the problem at its core,
and it is time for us to realize that the environment is actually worth fighting for.
*Rory Mondshein received her B.A. in Political Studies and Social Policy from Bard College in 2014. Currently, Rory is the founder of Make It Appn, and serves as the Chief Community Officer of the Political Student. She is pursuing her MSc in Human Rights at the London School of Economics.