It is time to begin to waste. We have been taking care of this green and breathable planet for a long time now. So much production efficiency is going to make my soul sick. Like this, we are not getting anywhere… if we don’t make any arrangements and all of us, all together, don’t start polluting this place, we are not going to profit from life.

This could be an alternative introduction to the Canadian film Upside Down (Un monde à l’envers). I mean, because it is clear that reality is nothing like the former paragraph; on the contrary. Of course, how much we care about the environment varies with each people and culture. How deep we believe in the real impact of the climate change depends also of each personality and surroundings. How aware we are, yet, of the effects that our own life has on this Earth is independent of the society: we are little aware.

Yes, I can already hear the environmentalists yelling “I AM VERY MUCH!” through the screen. Or the skeptics questioning “and so, why does this matter anyway?”

Without a doubt, there a people more conscious than others. But, are we conscious enough? And yes, without a doubt, there are reasons to believe in the real need to worry about this things. But, do we even go around them?

I would like to share with you, dear reader – environmentalist or inveterate pollutant, worried to the top or extremely nihilistic, scientist or artist, believer or atheist – the next short animated video, 2011 Oscar nominee.

Man is a complex being: he makes deserts bloom and lakes die.

  • Gil Scot-Heron*

With this ironic and over-exaggerated speech, the author calls us to ponder over the limit case – extreme, yes – of our behaviour as consumers and of our environmental awareness level.

In my particular case, since I’ve had the chance to get to know a first-world culture and a third-world one (why do we even continue to call them like this?), I believe that my awareness level of my actioning is limited, and independent of the country I live in. What really changes dramatically, is the behaviour that I present as a consumer in one country or another. The European societies encourage an “ecological” behaviour in its citizens much more efficiently than the American ones (at least the South-Americans!). And this is not because a french knows more or better than an argentinian how much damage he is causing to the environment… but because his city (little town or grand capitolium) has been prepared with the basic resources to stimulate this kind of action: recycling centres, garbage separation at origin campaigns, efficient public transport incentives, clean energies at home and at work, a conscious urban planification… The menu is well-assorted and the options are (more or less) well managed.

From the other side of the water, in the same planet, my actioning seems more discouraged. This mechanisms are less stimulated in these lands. But, wait a minute… I’m still equally conscious! How can this be?

I don’t aim to discuss the political reasons of the environmental conditions in one place or another. But to understand* how we go around* this issue in our heads. I believe our level of awareness on these issues lays dormant. We know that some of our actions help this planet and other don’t (please don’t tell me that “separating garbage” seems a Jules Verne idea!). But, to what point? If we know that there are things that we shouldn’t be doing, wouldn’t it be logical to stop them right away, as a society? Or find an alternative, regardless where we live?

One thing is sure: let’s pollute NOW! But let’s pollute correctly… let’s pollute with ideas that can help us wake up.