Just because humans are the only species with the capacity for self-reflection does not mean we are dislocated from nature. On the contrary: we are intimately connected to the forces of life, and we realize it every day.
The rising tide of climate change is forcing collective and individual action like never before. Coastal cities and communities need to develop exit strategies if water levels continue to rise. People are cutting back on red meat, plastics, and driving only when necessary to mitigate the harm done to the environment.
The environment means something to us. Otherwise, these actions would not be taken out of free will. As part of nature, the health of the planet is directly linked to the health of each person. Being unhappy, we are likely to forget our responsibilities to mother earth. On a collective level, it is clear that something has changed in the human psyche that justifies treating the planet with disrespect. This attitude creates a feedback channel between humans and the earth, such that our adverse reaction spirals out of control. It begins to cause irreparable damage to nature on a scale that we can no longer comprehend.
How to ensure the sustainability of the environment?
The problem is: not everyone is on board with making environmental sustainability a priority. The dawn of social media has made it easier for people to live in silos, disconnected from the collective good of the species.
It is hard to point fingers at the individual level when our social structure promotes apathy. Urban societies are densely packed hubs of innovation, production, and distribution of goods on a mass scale. The globalization movement too - which has brought many people together and fostered cultural exchange - has also legitimated business transactions that do more harm to the planet.
With governments slow to heed the warning signs from scientists since the 1980s, it is clear that an alternative solution is required.
A consciousness-raising movement is needed - one that brings people together in nature and fosters collaboration, creativity, self-exploration, and collective problem-solving. If we continue to live in our self-created silos, it is only a matter of time before the ravaging impulses of business destroy the environment all around us. By remaining disconnected on a personal level, we are also drifting further away from nature. As one of nature’s many creatures, living in disharmony with the environment is detrimental to our physical and spiritual health.
The only way to rectify the current trend is to take part in a consciousness-raising movement that allows all of us to see the damage being done to our planet in the name of profit and greed. A collective action centered around the beauty of nature will change people’s lifestyles and attitudes faster than any government policy can.
As one of nature’s creatures, we all feel a level of dissonance in living a life that harms the environment. The planet's health is intimately connected to the happiness of each, and maintaining a healthy global ecosystem through a global initiative like Happytalism is the best way to extol the virtues of joy.