Hantu cleared of ghost net, thoughts arise for Earth Day

Date April 21, 2008

While most people are waiting for April 22, Earth Day to do their bit for the environment, nature enthusiast, educator, poet, and naturalist in his own right, Joseph Lai, has already swung into action to help save local reefs a tangle at a time.

Whilst I was at ADEX on Saturday, Joseph was leading a group of young people concerned about the environment and eager to do their bit, into the intertidal reefs of Pulau Hantu to remove a discarded fishing net that had become tangled in the reef. More at Joseph’s Blog.

When fishing nets are discarded they are referred to as ghost nets, so called because they drift carelessly in the ocean, snaring all sorts of wildlife from corals to pelagic and reef animals. Because they are not degradable, these nets continue to harm marine and coastal life throughout their indefinite “lifetimes”.

Remember, you don’t have to wait for an event to do your bit for the environment. It’s way more effective to work little bits of positive acts for the environment into your daily life. But in order to amplify your actions, not only should you passively try to reduce your consumption and try to live sustainably, but you should actively reach out to others and encourage them to live the way you do.

George Monbiot is the author of the best selling books The Age of Consent: a manifesto for a new world order, Captive State: the corporate takeover of Britain, and Heat: How to stop the Planet Burning. In an interview with New Consumer he suggests…

“There is absolutely one cast iron rule and that is that you don’t [make a difference] by yourself. You have to work with other people and in nearly all cases there are already groups which you can join. Never try to precipitate political change by yourself, it’s just not going to work. The lone voice might sound romantic but it’s not effective. For this to work you will have to work with others.”

Before you get all depressed thinking about how many plastic bags you have refused at the supermarket and how this doesn’t make a difference on a global scale, remember, that BEFORE you get to convincing others or working with others, you have to begin by working with yourself. When you’re convinced of your actions, and it’s roll-on effect, only then can you convincingly incur that same belief in others. It really depends on how far along you are, but it’s good to keep Monbiot’s philosophy in mind. If you’re already in the habit of making a difference, why not expand on it and have others make that same difference? But if you’re still getting used to it, go easy on yourself and keep on working at getting that spark to transform into an endearing flame.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>