Informative Synthesis: Environmentalism

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Creating a Sustainable Environment
Every day our environment is ravaged by emissions, littered on by billions of people, and carelessly treated with unlimited sources. Environmentalists like Bill Mckibben, scholar at Middle berry College and author of the article “The Challenge to Environmentalism,” believe that “the relationship between people and the natural world has been largely taken for granted for most of human history” (500). Although environmentalism to some people mean driving less, establishing solar panels, recycling and more; Kate Zernike, reporter for the New York Times and author of “Green, Greener, Greenest,” informs us about college campus’s taking shortcuts in claiming they’re “environmentally friendly.” There are environmentalists and deans attempting to make a difference in our environment, but Michael Pollan – a professor of science and environmental journalism at the University of California – asks the question, why bother with trying to cure climate change? Our Environment is an important aspect of human lives, and should be taken care of like our own children. Our concepts of environmentalism, the way we conduct ourselves in everyday life, and our battle with climate change and environmentalism economically are all factors of a hazardous home we will soon live in.

Environmentalism is considered “a hollow concept,” argues Zernike, through the purchasing of offsets she believes it’s “the environmental equivalent of paying someone to eat broccoli so you can keep eating ice cream” (505). Offsets are credits sold by companies, specifically green companies to invest in planting trees or renewable energy. What Zernike means by this is it’s not ethically permissible to give someone money to help the environment while you personally continue to pollute it, especially when that money given to the company doesn’t always go towards funding the struggle for carbon neutrality. Pollan agrees with Zernike’s argument, the infinite cycle of repairing...
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