We love the television advertising campaigns the WWF comes up with, and their latest is no exception.
The ad does provoke some important questions, however, about the ability (or lack thereof) of individual action to create adequate change without government intervention. The first panel at yesterday’s GreenTOpia launch dealt with this extensively. Keith Stewart (coincidentally, a campaigner with WWF) explained that even though he’s taken extensive personal action (he has solar panels on his house, doesn’t own a car, eats local food), if everyone lived like he does we’d only be halfway towards where we need to be to avert climate catastrophe.
Watching the above video, it’s interesting to note that a good chunk of the societal changes they point to—not smoking in public places, wearing seatbelts, etc—came about due to government intervention.
How then, the question was asked over and over again yesterday by an engaged audience desperate for answers, do we get our political leaders to do what’s necessary? The panel’s response: it’s not rocket science. If a politician says or does something you don’t approve of, let them know and don’t vote for them. Conversely (and even more importantly), if a politician says or does something you support, make sure you’re there to defend and support them.
Engagement with democracy is a responsibility of living in one. When we’re informed and involved, we get the government we need. When we become distracted by political games or we cynically disengage from the political process altogether, we get the government we deserve.