Author Archives: James F.

Raising Awareness Without Preaching

The human condition is constantly evolving, which may be news to those who believe it to be shallow and self-obsessed. As time goes on, the way we look at things is influenced both by the past and by the needs of the present. So while the 80s were considered to be a cynical time, and the 90s were about activism, the last decade became something in between the two – keen to do right, but terrified of appearing earnest and preachy. This can be seen in a […]

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It’s Not A Competition!

Doing the right things to protect the environment is something that is not unlike charity. It is often a compromise on our behalf, and something that calls on us to go above and beyond what is naturally required of us. And like charity, environmental concern can sometimes become something that it should never be – competitive. No-one should ever be made to feel guilty because their efforts do not amount to as much actual achievement as someone else’s. The fact that people have gone to the extent […]

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Turn Off The Light

When we are asked what we, ourselves, do to protect the environment, it is easy to become embarrassed under questioning and feel that what we are actually doing is nothing much. Compared to the size of the problems we can come to the conclusion that our contribution is either to small to really be worthwhile and quit altogether, or potentially that we are being lazy and should be ashamed of our pitiful contribution. It is usually not true that either of these is the case, but we […]

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Climate vs. Economy – A Battle That Cannot Be Won?

Many supporters of environmentalist causes will have winced when the extent of the global economic crisis of recent years was revealed. Just as environmental causes were gaining the attention and the purpose of the people in control of the levers of power, something came along that presented a very real problem – where environmental causes needed investment, could they hope to compete for a decreasing pot of money with other issues, the life-or-death matters like health and security? As time has gone on there have been numerous […]

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Are The Skeptics Right?

There is a clear and obvious difference of opinion in society with regard to the importance of the issues facing our environment, and in some cases there is a difference of opinion as to the existence of some of these issues. It is only natural that – as questioning, naturally curious beings – we might start to wonder whether the skeptical people are the ones who have got it right. Have we been working on environmental issues for nothing? Are we the fools for believing propaganda? It […]

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Environmental Education – Acceptable Brainwashing?

As time goes on, we see more examples of environmental issues being raised in the classroom, and younger children being exposed to environmental subjects. Most schools now will have a policy of getting children involved in environmental projects, and this has led to accusations of brainwashing from some sources. While brainwashing is something that we have come to associate with totalitarian states, is it something we should be prepared to accept when it is for a cause we believe in? Arguably, it can be said that education […]

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It’s Easy To Be Cynical

When we see celebrities getting behind a cause, there are many of us – maybe even most of us – who will have the identical thought. “It must be good for publicity, their agent must have told them to do it“. And in many cases this may well be true – a celebrity who warns us in song or through film about the damage that we do to our environment, and then drives away from the studio in a gas-guzzling sports car certainly needs to look at […]

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Helping In The Community

Most communities in this day and age have at least some initiatives to aid green living, and your community is most likely no different. If you are interested in making a difference beyond your household, then this is usually the best place to start. Looking in the local newspaper and online you can find ways of helping that you never knew existed – and it is a way of meeting like-minded people and perhaps increasing the amount you do from there. Helping create a greener town or […]

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Is Green Living Expensive?

The importance of being good to the environment is one that is often balanced against the expense. Many families, especially in the current financial climate, will find that they can afford either food or principles, and in such a situation the latter is always going to lose out. However, the truth is that you can be green and live affordably if you know how, although you may not be able to do everything that someone with more disposable income might. Having little money often means you cannot […]

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Am I A Hypocrite?

In life, we must compromise from time to time. Even the principles that we hold so dear sometimes come under pressure when the situation becomes grave. And for an environmentalist the concern about compromising arises on a regular basis. If you get in the car to drive somewhere are you junking your principles? If you buy food that is not locally sourced, are you a traitor to the planet? If you let a glass jar fall into the wrong garbage bin, are you sticking your tongue out […]

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