Monkey see, monkey do
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

June 8, 2014

Many people will recently note the EPA’s decision to curb US power plant emissions under the administration’s directive. Although championed by most and criticized by the select few, most agree it will do little if not met by similar efforts from other major powers. This line of thinking has then been applied to the position various media outlets hold on the matter, with the two sides stating the effort is either futile or a waste of time.

What people may not realize is the Chinese response that came the day after the US announcement was made. In an article by the BBC, “the chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change indicated that the country would limit its emissions for the first time.” The remainder of the article discusses more uncertain commitments, but what is remarkable is the fact the Chinese are finally at the table. What it took for them to get there was for the US to move on the issue, or as Obama stated, “lead by example.” I would not go so far as to say the US is leading, but following a long list of countries well on their way to reducing emissions. Still, countries like Denmark have defined our initial movement and in turn, our movement will be followed by China and hopefully other major players like India.

I would argue that this movement or domino effect, points to the foundation of human interaction. We are a social species and as trends rise and fall, we follow what we believe makes others happy. This is currently most visible in the tech industry and the urge to have the latest smart phone, computer, or television.

When we place value on something, others pay attention. The space race is a great example, as is elemental gold! Perhaps a large part is due to advertising and the idea of selling these goods and services to a population, but at the end of the day, what “we” value, will turn into what others want and demand.

For 9 bucks a month I get to text and call! I save mad bank each month and it guarantees me no extra costs on fake farm animals. Best of all... I totally get lost from time to time.

For 9 bucks a month I get to text and call! I save mad bank each month and it guarantees me no extra costs on fake farm animals. Best of all… I totally get lost from time to time.

Increasingly, people are valuing fresh and healthy produce, along with national parks and clean air. Although, we may be only scratching the surface of dealing with climate change, that initial value is responsible for the first movement by government. So as we move forward, and as I often try to put things into local context, the question then becomes, what do you and I value? Because showing my friends my newest smart phone and how happy I am with it or the pictures of my amazing trek through a national park matters… for it guides the interest of others and their future purchases and investments; all of which our collective future will come to depend on.

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