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Environmental Elevator Music

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Thoughts pre- and post U116.

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By: Marina Alenius (Community)

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After almost completing the U116 module, we are prompted to reflect on our journey through the module. When setting off on my OU journey, I was initially at a stage where fossil fuels and habitat loss were my main concerns amongst environmental issues. The loss of ice mass in the Arctic, which has been very present in the media, also aggravated me. I was at a loss as to why governments and local authorities do not act faster in response to the issues facing the global population and the environment in general. Although I was aware of socio-economic hindrances in these matters, I reckoned that all people should see the world through my eyes in terms of the environment and I thought that action should be taken although all I was doing was improving the energy rating for my own home. I thought recycling and energy efficiency were all I had to focus on. My views of issues surrounding the environment have changed. I now have a better understanding of the different aspects that have to be overcome for positive change to happen. Depending on how you use your environment and how close you live to it your outlook will vary greatly. Also, the issues we are facing are driven by economy and politics more than social influences, although they do affect the outcomes too. I find it frustrating that conflict is able to overshadow problems like water scarcity and habitat conservation. Greed, I would say, is the number one threat to our world, especially the natural world. But on the flipside, as they say, I also think that people are realising that ecosystem services are important. People want to feel more connected to nature. I also reckon I need to do more for the environment, although at times I am at a loss for what, apart from trying to change my consumer behaviour. I am more insistent on buying locally sourced meat, and I do try to eat less of it due to beef being a big contributor to global warming. After all, consumers do rule the economy. Looking forward into the next ten years, climate change is definitely number one on the 'pressing issues' list, which connects with the need for sustainable energy. This in turn links to the upcoming fossil fuel scarcity. In that sense, my views have not changed, but I understand the complexities of the issues at hand better. Returning to climate change, we will all be affected by it, but are too comfortable in our lifestyles to make drastic changes. It is not greatly encouraged by local governments either, which makes things even more difficult. Therefore, the ultimate environmental concern for me in the next ten years is government idleness and our political system. A government not afraid to lose its post may not be afraid to make drastic changes to take up the battle against global warming even though not popular when implemented. It is worth a thought. M



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