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Environmental Issues: The Cynicism Paradox

Joined: 7/31/2015
Posts: 4
I live in New York City, and let me tell you, people here like to think the best of themselves, just like people anywhere like to think the best of themselves. There’s a psychological term for that, too: situational and dispositional attribution. Together, the two describe how human beings have a tendency to attribute their successes to their dispositional characteristics (perceived character traits) and their failures to situational characteristics (what was going on around them).

When we think about the environment, we whine “Oh, there’s no point. My one trashed bottle isn’t going to matter because it’s just the one, and it’s not like it would be legitimately recycled,” like we have a right to discard responsibility like that. This can be summed up in a little something I like to call “faith-based cynicism.” We would rather pat ourselves on the back for being “informed” and “justifiably mistrustful” about the situation than let ourselves understand that we have a duty to the environment.

We’re cynical, yes, but that doesn’t only mean that we don’t have faith that things will work out. When we sit on our hands and judge how half of recycled materials are dumped into the garbage truck during the transport between the blue container and the plant because sanitation workers have to completely empty the bins regardless of the truck, we choose to have faith that the system will work better when we are hands-off. We choose to think that it will work out better if we don’t do anything, and that takes faith, faith that was never deserved.

Being eco-friendly in an urban center is hard. I know that intimately. It means making all those tough decisions and trying to compromise between yourself and yourself: paper or plastic, organic or local, carpool or public transportation. It means making those decisions while fighting to work up the motivation to do assignments and finding time to do the things that make life worth living. But guess what? That applies to everybody. Being eco-friendly isn’t about saying, “I live in a major city: I can’t garden,” or “I don’t live in a major city: I don’t have as many options for assistance.” The truth is, being eco-friendly is making those small steps. It’s looking at ourselves, and not flinching from the ugliness inside. The situation is not the problem. We’re the problem.

The first change is in ourselves. Teenagers are lazy. But so is everyone else. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as exceptions to the rule, because the rule is we don’t have to save the environment. The earth will be fine without us. It will keep rotating on its axis, keep revolving around the sun. What we really mean when we say “save the environment,” is “save ourselves.” We are selfish: it’s the lowest common denominator and evolution programmed us that way. See? Another excuse. Jokes aside, repeat after me: the earth will be fine without us. But we won’t be fine without the earth.
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Comment by DanielCook

Joined: 11/3/2015
Posts: 1
Environment pollution is a great problem not only in the USA but in the whole world. And I like your essay about this. I think it can help to change people's attitude to environment. I am pleased that to you wrote this essay by yourself without a writing service. But if you are interested in it you can check essay writing services review.
Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 10:10:39 AM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Environmental Issues essay being chosen as one of our finalists in the running for 1st place for our October 2015 teen writing competition. Be proud of your accomplishment!

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field.

We will post all winning essay results by November 30th. You can check this page for the results after November 30th:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2015 6:53:51 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your October Environmental Issues essay being selected as our third place teen essay.

You can check this page after November 30th 2015 for all the writing contest results::

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Friday, November 20, 2015 8:55:09 PM
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Comment by Jake Jones

Joined: 4/24/2017
Posts: 1
Thanks a lot for the awesome post here!
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Posted: Monday, April 24, 2017 11:48:34 AM
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Comment by Preston Felix

Joined: 4/27/2018
Posts: 1
The problem of our society is that no one wants to take responsibility. Not everyone even understands the seriousness of the situation. What's sad. I wrote about this several articles for rewarded essays. I hope that with time the situation will improve and at last people start to think.
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 4:25:06 PM
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Comment by Jonathan87

Joined: 5/4/2018
Posts: 1
yes, this is the big problem of our society and peoples do not understand the problem of society they don't take responsibilities and also take over responsibilities to others and think that they are a good person in society this type of activities also impact the society environment and peoples also disturbed. Essay Help
Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 7:59:20 AM
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Comment by elianahermione

Joined: 6/26/2018
Posts: 1
The environmental issues include pollution climate changes threats to biodiversity. The main reason for all these issues is the effect of human on the environment. The pollution can be categorized as air pollution, soil pollution, and water pollution. The climate changes are the result of global warming which is the result of increased amount of greenhouse gases in the earth atmosphere Cheap essay help.
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 8:23:53 AM
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Comment by rebeccahickshq

Joined: 7/3/2018
Posts: 1
Let this life come and go the natural way it wants. I have no reason to lament about this life because I was the first destination and was chosen to be born on this earth.bloons tower defense 5
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Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2018 2:29:36 AM
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