“What I do doesn’t matter,” people say. “We shouldn’t get distracted from changing systems by focusing on individual actions. BP is tricking us.”
Another reason for individual action.
Asking if there’s any point in it to solve our environmental problems is like saying “if we want to lower infant mortality. Should I change my child’s diaper?” Helping all babies live sounds vaguely like helping an individual child feel better. If you didn’t think too much about them, you might consider them related.
They are in the same field of helping babies, but you don’t change your baby’s diaper to help all babies live. You do it because you do what you think is right.
Separately from helping your baby, you also influence others to help decrease child mortality, but you don’t confuse one act with the other.
Moreover, even if you think working on child mortality takes work, changing a diaper doesn’t degrade or devalue the rest of life. If you think polluting less than the average American is deprivation, I suspect you may need to get a grip on what’s valuable in life.
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