Personal Gain Actions — The Next Step of Environmental Activism?
After watching an interview with Greta Thunberg, I started to think about one of the questions asked by the reporter whether activists, like politicians, were also practicing just “blah, blah, blah”.
The Activism strategy has been practiced through rallies, speeches, and blocking activities, such as Green Peace, which in the past gained notoriety through its worldwide activity of denunciations and radical resistance movements, as well as the action of activists that started through individual efforts of oral or written manifestations, as is the case of Greta Thunberg and other activists.
Greta Thunberg, for being still very young when she started and having an eloquent speech, soon made headlines in all the newspapers.
These strategies belonged to the extremely important initial phase at the beginning of awareness of the need to preserve environmental balance, but now, like everything else, it needs to evolve.
ACTIVISM NEEDS TO EVOLVE AND WATCH ITS TIME
Time passes inexorably, and with it, our actions change the context.
It is necessary to rethink environmental activism, expanding its strategies so that it survives more for its effectiveness than for hope, through the pragmatism of the worldwide coordination of activities that direct the population to change habits and support political leaders and vice-versa.
One of the strategies is to raise awareness of the coordinated economic power of society and provide means of directing it.
Synergy and representation between people and politicians are necessary, as the latter often do not have the stimuli and support necessary to compete with the economic forces that support lobbies that make their gains from the establishment and therefore oppose the changes, eventually succumbing to their best offers.
There will always be two forces: the new one that wants change, and the old one that wants to maintain the status quo from which its profit or survival comes.
Expecting people to abandon their lives in favor of humanity without any compensation is beyond common sense. It would be demanding from others something that we would not be willing to do the same as consumers who don’t want to abandon the comforts of their current habits.
THE MEANS OF SOCIETY’S TRANSFORMATION OUTSIDE THE EXTREME SUFFERING
Survival cannot be relegated but must be guaranteed by its transformation through one of the most powerful forces — how do I profit from it now? The “now thing”. Not the future thing.
Profit cannot be abandoned, at the most reduced, because without the notion of gain there is no stimulus for the transition of the production chain for economic purposes.
There is also the challenge of the amenities we are used to and that need to find an alternative, if not better, at least bearable.
Thus, it is seen that the challenges are immense and numerous, and therefore, activism needs to evolve, assuming a posture of cooperation in the search for solutions rather than denunciations, making the latter a complementary activity.
In a previous analysis, detailed here, I remembered about the means of change that really bring about profound social changes — humanity is moved by the same force that brought it here: fear and ambition.
These are the human forces that need special attention and need to be worked on in favor of the preservation of the planet, instead of those of purely ideological origins that become mere theoretical concepts ignored in the face of so many other needs that occupy the immediate emotional space of the everyday life, becoming “blah, blah, blah”.
Human nature hardly accepts losing something, except when something has already been inevitably lost or is practically on its way out at the same time it makes you feel the pain of its absence and ends up imposing desperate measures.
Human beings are very efficient when exchanging for profit.
And the best stimulus for this exchange is to overcome fear and self-indulgence by offering a profit or a gaining alternative in some way.
Yes, I said “convenience” and not “self-preservation”.
The second term is weaker because the common sense of the individual values much more the present moment, the convenience of the now than any future or communal advantage.
In each exchange option, he first thinks about what he will lose immediately, and then accepts it or not. It is a natural part of our obvious sense of short-term self-preservation, the strongest and most instinctual feeling we have.
Thus, the most effective way to obtain practical results for changing habits that preserve the planetary environment needs to be born out of this principle of individual advantage.
ACTIVISM MUST SEDUCE HUMAN NATURE
Environmental activism needs to reform its strategies on two fronts.
One in order to become the great coordinator of this work of “taking the individual profit” so that the common citizen begins to adopt its ideas and strategies en masse.
And another front, together with politicians, using the strength of their popular representation acquired by the previous one.
That’s just what the moment asks for.
The stage of environmentalist speeches that in the past generated a sensation is now something like “raining in the wet”, they have become the routine of “blah, blah, blah” like the politicians themselves, that becomes a “blah, blah, blah” game from both sides.
Humanity has always been driven by basic instincts pressed by the need of the moment, and such behavior, in the short term, will not change.
First, it is necessary to change the strategy of those who guide their lives for a greater understanding of this objective.
In this case, activists are better options than politicians since politics is a “consequence” of the game of popular and economic interests while activism is an “ideological projection” that fights to redirect.
MULTIPLE STRATEGIES FOR ACTIVISM
Human beings are also prodigal in creating ideas, the creative and innovative instinct is part of their nature, and we will certainly have an immense flow of proposed solutions, and there is no doubt about that. All it takes is to channel, coordinate and provide.
There are commercial companies that come up with advanced concept projects, anticipating solutions, such as the food industry initiatives that seek to replace animal meat with vegetable meat, since extensive and intensive cattle raising contribute to the CO2 emission.
The automobile industry has made great strides in this regard and it is already starting to make electric vehicles available, concurrently with the creation of refueling infrastructure.
The scientific effort to make life on Mars viable despite all the extreme adversities will bring as a side effect a great diversity of technological solutions, as happened in World War II (WWII), where, pressed by the needs, we took a technological leap in several areas of the science.
The recycling industry, as well as all vital productive segments, needs popular support through preference at the time of consumption, honoring companies committed to sustainable solutions.
Startups can encourage consumption through green coupons that give discounts to those who consume green products.
What matters for the pocket, matters now!
Directing advertising funds to direct mass consumption in favor of industries based on self-sustainable production is the aspect that will be able to bring about the changes that environmentalists have been working for.
Legislation encouraging green proposals and penalizing those that have not yet adapted to new needs may come from the well-directed mass political force of global activism.
Sites that aggregate green activities would catalyze interaction with the population, laying the foundations for this interaction that enables the exchange of information and reciprocal influence.
It is necessary to hear and to be heard. This is the essence of the dialogue that activism needs and the information technology can provide.
It is necessary to show results to encourage skeptics and encourage all those who fight for a sustainable tomorrow.
If fake news have been so effective through the mass production and dissemination, then authentic news production must adopt the same strategy.
It is necessary to involve everyone, attract the people.
Only economic power changes the economy through the production/consumption relationship.
The economy is the result of consumption.
Who does consumption and politics is the attitude of the majority of the people in non-dictatorial regimes.
Today, we need more “marketer” activists than “ideologues”, because the space of ideology has already been extinguished by the obvious and has become “blah blah blah”.
IF WE LIVE BY PROFIT, THEN BY PROFIT WE WILL SURVIVE
Only the competition for profit sensitizes the industry to promote its effort to change its strategies.
Only ambition changes the course of ambition, only fear takes care of fear.
Just one habit changes another.
At least, for the time being, that’s how it is until one day our moral and intellectual evolution comes to define new behavioral patterns.
The exception does not count for changes.
Entrepreneurs only stop making something harmful to the planet if consumption plummets.
Loss and profit are the means to propagate the changes we need, and our strategies need to be guided by these stimuli.
Pure ideology and denunciation had their moments but today it’s more “blah, blah, blah”.
It occupies the space in the media for fleeting moments, but given the profusion of so many others, it is diluted, contributing only to increase the feeling of the impotence of the people, which is counterproductive.
It is again necessary to contextualize activism so that it makes a difference.
And activists who still imagine themselves doing the same thing they’ve been doing, the same kind of “blah, blah, blah” along the same lines as in the past, will be doomed to gradual oblivion.
The proposal is to materialize the important and necessary “blah, blah, blah” transforming it into actions that encourage not only political but also changes in the population’s habits through the strategy of individual gain, since only one habit changes another and only one advantage replaces another, so we need re-education through advertising that brings direct and personal gain that the individual can obtain in his daily life, on a massive scale.
The human being only changes when he gains from change or when it is too late through pain and despair.
It is necessary to bring immediate gain to the small world of individuality, whether through commercial competition or individual gains in consumption rules.
At this point, you might think about working on emotivity, just as the cinema does, but it works more as a marketing tool to garner empathy. Emotion is key, but even more important than that is the sense of acquisition, that is, what you get from it for yourself.
Awareness in “practical life” comes from profit, because as long as we have food and breathe, we go on crying and laughing while the fear of the future will always remain where it is, in the future.
Politicians live on “blah, blah, blah”.
The time has come for activists to prove themselves better than politicians, but not through violent protest, but through the means that trigger our change of habits.
Wasn’t that Gandhi’s strategy?