Why do people apologize to me when they pollute?

October 14, 2022 by Joshua
in Nature

Often when someone tells me about flying somewhere, buying doof, or other polluting they apologize to me. I’m not being hurt, or not nearly as much as poor people, people in poor countries where we dump our waste and extract resources from, kids forced into child labor sometimes slavery, future generations, and wildlife.

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There’s no question they’re paying to accelerate these problems. They barely affect me. Why don’t they apologize to the people they hurt? If they apologize to me, not them, I don’t think they’re really sorry.

How can they confuse the messenger with their hurting others so much? I’m not promoting sustainability for personal gain. I can make a lot more money with a PhD in physics and an MBA than trying to restore our culture’s abandonment of Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You (the Golden Rule), Leave It Better Than You Found It (Stewardship), and Live and Let Live (Common Decency), at least regarding our interactions through the environment. I’m pretty sure people will prefer a culture with the Golden Rule, Stewardship, and Common Decency even if they forfeit takeout delivery and seeing Macchu Pichu whenever they feel like it.

Why do people personalize sustainability to me? I know I’m delivering the message, but nature is the one where all the plastic and other pollution ends up, which ricochets back to all life, including humans.

Apologize to the people you hurt, not me.

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