Opening Words from Sun. March 4 by Outreach Director James Croft

I’m James, Outreach Direct of the Ethical Society of St. Louis, and I have a confession to make: I don’t do nearly enough for the environment.

I’m a shopper. I like to buy things. I like to buy things from Amazon, where I can browse a huge database of stuff I don’t need, and have it delivered to my door, preferably the very next day, by drone. And when these things arrive they are covered in packaging. Boxes inside boxes inside boxes. A tiny gadget is packaged in a huge box, filled with plastic to make sure the box doesn’t get dinged – the box I’m going to throw away anyway.

This is just one of the many ways I contribute to environmental degradation and global climate change. Climate change is already affecting our lives. It’s not something that might happen in the future: it is something which is happening now. According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program:

“Climate change is already affecting human health and wellbeing through more extreme weather events and wildfires, decreased air quality, and a change in the diseases transmitted by insects, food, and water. Climate disruptions to agriculture have been increasing…Surface and groundwater supplies in some regions are already stressed, and water quality is diminishing in many areas…[We’re seeing] Larger wildfires and longer fire seasons…[and] coastal storms…extreme heat, sea level rise, and heavy downpours are affecting infrastructure like roads, rail lines, airports, port facilities, energy infrastructure, and military bases.”

Climate change is our responsibility. No one else will fix it for us. And it will require a huge cultural shift in how we think about our relationship to the environment. That’s why I’m so happy to have performers from That Uppity Theatre Company and Climate Change Theatre Action here today for our annual Arts Festival – because theatre and the arts is a major way we can change culture, moving people to action.

The other day I cancelled an Amazon order. I decided I could wait a few days until everything could come together in a single box. And If I can cut down on my Amazon sprees, there is hope.

NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.