In our last blog, we discussed the lack of leadership being provided by our elected officials when it comes to implementing measures that would protect our planet from further environmental damage, or fixing the damage that’s already been done. It’s been said that we get the political leaders we deserve. There’s a good deal of truth in this hard-edged observation. As citizens, we need to do a lot more than vote for the right candidates every few years, then sit back and expect them to take care of us and/or the environment. As long as we remain passive, we will continue to get bad leadership, and our environmental situation (and a lot of other issues as well) will only continue to deteriorate.
Despite what candidates might say in an election campaign, their overwhelming incentive once they take office is to maintain the status quo by avoiding change. Change leads to uncertainty—uncertainty means taking chances—and the overwhelming majority of politicians are hard-wired against anything that even hints at taking chances. Of course, the unwillingness to take chances is diametrically opposed to one of the most important requirements of leadership.
We always hear it said that we need to hold our politicians accountable, but this never works, in part because it is so difficult to accomplish. As it now exists, our government is too distant to be held accountable. Even worse, politicians aren’t even accountable to us, but to the special interests that have in most cases provided the financial resources required for them to win—and stay in—their offices.
So how can we leapfrog beyond this seemingly insoluble situation? Simple—we need to provide the leadership ourselves. We need to take matters into our own hands through grassroots approaches that engage individuals and communities in making change. This is at the core of everything we are doing at PPN. Please join us, so together we can motivate real, meaningful, and long-lasting change.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.