How Sunita Narain Points to a Shift in Lifestyle as Fundamental to Combatting Climate Change

On Saturday, April 22nd, was a day known around the world as Earth Day. It is an annual event created to celebrate the planet’s environment and to raise public awareness about pollution. When thinking about a day that is essentially about reflection and gaining knowledge, it is important to think about how the things we do daily (negatively) impacts our environment. Earth Day is an opportunity for many environmentalists around the world to use their platform and knowledge to help educate the public on climate change. Sunita Narain, born in 1961, has been with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) from 1982. She is currently the director of the Centre and the director of the Society for Environmental Communications and publisher of the fortnightly magazine, Down to Earth. Narain has spent most of her career trying to showcase how our lifestyles should be under criticism with regards to Climate Change.

Sunita Narain released a scholarly journal article, in 2015, titled “Captain America” in which she shines a light on the American lifestyle: “the US lifestyle and consumption patterns are aspirational and addictive. Quite simply, everybody wants to be an American. Every citizen of the developing world wants to either live in America or live like an American. If it were possible to attain such a lifestyle and yet combat climate change, our concern would be unfounded.” The lifestyle of Americans, as well as Western societies as a whole, is incredibly influential. Developing countries look towards the countries in the west as a blueprint for the way in which they hope to develop. If all they see is consumption and a fossil addicted system, they will adopt those practices, which will then of course lead to greater environmental problems as more and more countries begin to develop.

When thinking about combatting climate change, we often look towards preventative actions as opposed to changing our lifestyles. Criticism is placed on developing countries for adopting our lifestyles as opposed to looking at our own lifestyles and how we can change it. Countries that are already economically stable and developed must take massive action and shift towards renewables. Thus, many developed countries around the world are shifting towards renewable energy. From Sweden, to Costa Rica, Uruguay, Germany, Nicaragua, and many more, these countries are paving their path towards renewables. They are showcasing that it is possible to completely shift your lifestyle from one that favors fossil fuels to one that helps preserve the environment.

Earth Day is about educating the public about the environment. It is a day that celebrates the one thing that unites every human being to one another, which is the planet we live on. From all races, genders, nationalities, and religions, the one thing we all share in common is the planet we call home. It is what connects us to those that have helped shape our past, to those that will one-day construct our future. It is a day that reminds us to use the resources around us to help educate ourselves about our environment and what we can do to help preserve our home.


Author Bio: Idil Dahir

Idil Dahir is a freelance writer and editor living in Toronto, Ontario. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto in which she completed a specialist program in English. Idil enjoys everything from Films, TV Shows, Sports, Novels, and Comic Books. She is currently working on her fantasy novel as well as her freelance work. If you would like to contact Idil you can reach her at: idilmdahir@gmail.com


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