地球日的反思

4月22日是地球日,今年已经是第39个地球日了。记得两年前我曾看过Alex Steffen 写的一篇关于地球日的文章,当时看了感觉那文章简直是字字切中要点。今天重新翻出这文章来看,其意义不减当年:

在西方,人们会把地球日当成是集中宣传环保的一个大日子,商家也趁此机会拉拢顾客,且看Alex的描述:

The biggest problem with Earth Day is that it has become a ritual of sympathy for the idea of environmental sanity. Small steps, we’re told, ignoring the fact that most of the steps most frequently promoted (returning your bottles, bringing your own bag, turning off the water while you brush your teeth) are of such minor impact (compared to our ecological footprints) that they are essentially meaningless without larger, systemic action as well. The strategy of recycling as a gateway drug — get them hooked on it and we can move them on to harder stuff — has failed miserably. We can do better.

It is, essentially, the politics of gesture, little different than wearing a rubber wrist band or a pink ribbon, and, such a politics is primarily a means of raising money for large NGOs while making regular folks feel a little better about their relationship to a terribly flawed system. It’s a broken model, and we can do better.

大意如下:人们已经开始把地球日当成是一种仪式,通过这样一种仪式达到环境上的纯洁。环保人士经常说要做到瓶子回收利用、自带购物袋、注意节约用水等,但是,假如我们没有大系统的调整,那么相比起我们留下来的生态足迹,这样的小行动是没有什么重要价值了。商人则恰恰是看中了消费者的这种愿意参与环保的心理,大打环保牌,引消费者上钩,而后再来硬的,这样的策略已经证明是行不通的。我们可以做得更好。

这实质上只是一种姿势,与人们跟随潮流戴上腕带并无二致,也经常被那些大型的NGO用来做宣传的手法,普通的民众也能感觉好过一点。但是,这是一种已经失败的模式,我们可以做得更好。

Alex接下来指出了一个问题:

This point is worth pausing on, because so much of the green marketing BS around us tells us that the planetary crises we face are our fault, that it is our responsibility to fix them and that buying products which are marketed as “green” will fix that problem. The myth of individual lifestyle responsibility is so strong, most of us don’t even comment on it anymore. But in many ways, it’s a lie. What most needs to be changed in the world are the systems in which we are all enmeshed, and we ourselves, acting alone, are almost powerless to change those systems. To do that, we need better information, stronger connections and new ways of thinking.

就是说,现在人们在强调的往往是绿色消费,进而走向绿色环保。但是,以为单凭个人生活习惯之改变就能解决问题,这个想法是不现实的,从很多个方面来说,这仅仅是一个谎言。世界上最需要改变的是我们共同生活于其间的种种系统/制度,而零散分布的个人行动,在本质上是难以对整个系统带来改变的。要做出改变,我们需要更好的信息、更强的联系以及新式的思维。

讲到信息,Alex写道:

Which is exactly why transparency is so important. If we’re serious about dramatically reducing our footprints, we need to know the true impacts of our actions. We need to know the backstories of all the objects and services in our lives. We need the flows of energy and resources and money that once were hidden from our sight to be made visible. We need complete transparency in public life, so we know our governments (which are ultimately the most important shared levers for action we own) are working (and on who’s behalf). And we need all this information revealed in ways that interest and delight and outrage and inform us, through projects like Background Stories and FarmSubsidy.Org and reHOUSE/bath. Knowing the true backstories of our lives is not only the first step to changing our own behaviors intelligently (through strategic consumption, for instance), it’s also the best way to make clear the need for combined, collective action.

他在此提出要让信息走向透明,让那些隐藏在能源、资源供应链条表面之下信息公开,让政府走向透明,并且要让工业产品背后的故事公诸于世,目前在这样的方向努力的有Background Stories, FarmSubsidy.org, reHOUSE/bath等。

说到人与人之间的联系,Alex接着指出:

What we need now are much stronger connections between the various camps of people who are all charging forward determined to build a future that works. We need an explosion in information sharing and mutual education, across borders and across disciplines — almost a second Enlightenment, where through open debate and fresh thinking and artistic brilliance, we join together to banish ecological ignorance and transcend social irresponsibility.

我们现在需要在那些共同致力于建设一个更美好的未来的人群之间建立更强的联系,这些人虽然来自不同的领域,但他们的愿景是一致的。在信息共享以及相互教育这方面,我们需要有爆炸性的突破,要实现跨学科跨专业 的交流,或者说我们需要第二次文艺复兴运动,通过公开辩论、新式思维以及艺术的启迪,我们能够走在一起,消除我们对于生态的无知,并且重拾我们的社会责任。

最后讲到的是新式思维,Alex这么说:

We know now that one planet lives, conceived properly, will be better lives. Many products that are more sustainable are also better made and beautifully durable. Green homes — with natural light and fresh air and good insulation — are more comfortable than McMansions. Vibrant neighborhoods with nice streets and parks and a strong community offer a better quality of every day life. Fewer toxic chemicals in the air means less asthma and cancer; better food and more walking means less heart disease and diabetes; less driving means fewer people killed and injured in accidents. Waste is expensive, bad design is expensive, and the money we save eliminating both can leave us better off than we were. We can build lives which are bright green and prosperous.

绿色产品、绿色家居都将会成为时尚生活的代名词,这样的物品更有利于环保,并且还能有助于提升人们的生活质量;开放式的社区以及街道公园则为社区交流提供了很好的平台;空气中的有毒化学品数量减少了;人们患哮喘与癌症的几率也会下降;吃的更有质量、多走路,则能减少心脏病以及糖尿病的发病频率。制造垃圾是成本极高的、劣质设计也会带来高昂的成本,一旦我们消灭了这两者,我们就有可能过得更好。我们有能力去建设一种生活,使之既有利于环保又能使人安康富足。

Bright green economies will be the drivers of 21st Century business. The future belongs to those enterprises and agencies that capture the markets for wind power and other clean energy, water purification, clean tech, advanced vehicles, and the sorts of appropriate technologies (like rainwater harvesting and LED lights) needed for sustainable urban living at the bottom of the pyramid. That path leads to the future, and the wreckage of companies and countries that can’t learn to think differently will line the way.

创意绿色经济将会成为21世纪商业的主要推动力。那些懂得利用风能和其他清洁能源、懂得水净化、清洁科技、以及其他有利于改善金字塔底端人群生活质量的的企业将会占领未来的市场。这样做才能真正走向未来,缺乏这样的思维的企业和国家,都将被历史所抛弃。

(编者注:Alex Steffen写的这一文章主要是针对美国社会而谈的,文中的一些做法可能不一定适用于中国,但是其思想方法与看问题的视角确实值得我们反思。)

相关阅读:

TED中国粉丝团» 2009TED大会专题» 娜利尼·纳德卡妮:救救树冠

Worldchanging.com 中文简介

《地球日的反思》有3个想法

  1. “What we need now are much stronger connections between the various camps of people who are all charging forward determined to build a future that works. We need an explosion in information sharing and mutual education, across borders and across disciplines — almost a second Enlightenment, where through open debate and fresh thinking and artistic brilliance, we join together to banish ecological ignorance and transcend social irresponsibility.”非常欣赏和赞同他这个部分。
    感觉现在有一个现象,Sustianability本身是环境、社会、经济三方面因素共同的融合考虑,在谈论可持续发展的时候,企业方面容易更多的只强调了绿色环保方面,环保更多的成为产品/服务的一个特征之一,而容易忽略social方面和人的直接关联(虽然这些新的特质的确也是很重要的改善)

    collaborative effort is essential to bring forward a sustainable social, ecological and economy environment

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