An Indian guy named Soumyajit emailed me last night asking some information and help in organizing a youth centered environmental organization in India. Their country is leaning towards the consumerist lifestyle so it's more difficult to find people that will join his advocacy.
I don't know what to reply since a) I have a calf-skinned jacket in my closet and I love consumerism, and 2) the same trend outside the universities are happening - people (including the government) get less environmentally involved because there are more immediate concerns that need to be addressed.
If we are to dissect these immediate concerns, one thing we can point out is the lack of land areas for some highly industrialized and service centered countries like Singapore, Japan and Korea.
It's not the environment that will kill us by 2012. It takes a faster and more sinister agent to eradicate a thriving civilization. Ironically, we, through political frictions backed up by weapons of mass destruction, will cancel humanity before we know it.
If we fail to come up with solutions that will prevent further damage to our climate, marine and forest ecosystems, there will be lack of resources - food, water, land...
This will in turn cause international chaos since governments would want to protect their citizen's interests and if worst comes to worst, North Korea (considering it's an island with low sea level) will invade a country which is more elevated and has not been swallowed (yet) by the sea.
In case apocalyptic floods won't take place (since God mentioned he will not destroy the Earth through water), it's the famine and scarcity for potable water that will lead to wars. We will see major power plays between China and the USA (as predicted by Time magazine.)
Humanity always has a way of exponentially speeding everything - making hamburgers and human destruction more efficient.
I guess I can squeeze in traveling India and meeting Soumyajit before my senior year in college ends since we might never know how extreme political reactions may be. Let's not give Kim Jong Il any idea to bomb any country with his "nuclear weapons." He might one day get upset because his daily dose of shisha might not be delivered and the next thing we know, India is reduced to the size of Mumbai.