During the trip I was constantly contemplating the lack of concern for our planet.
Pondering the ecological footprint of that powerful city is frightening. The ecological footprint is basically the amount of the environment necessary to produce the goods and services necessary to support a particular lifestyle. DC’s impact is enormous daily.
Sen. Donnelly flies back to Indiana every weekend. I know he’s thinking about the importance of family and his constituents but that alone uses an enormous amount of fuel. According to Blueskymodel.org, “A plane produces about 244 pounds of carbon dioxide each mile it flies. An average plane carries 218 passengers, so that’s about 1 pound of carbon dioxide per passenger per mile in the air.” From South Bend to Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport is around 600 miles, which then equals 1,200 pounds of CO2 each weekend for Sen. Donnelly’s home visit.
We were told by Chitra Kumar, environment protection specialist from the CEQ (who is from Granger, Ind.) that the word “environment” is only used in two federal offices — the Environmental Protection Agency and the Council of Environmental Quality. Personally it feels like a dirty word at times, which is so ironic since the environment keeps us alive.
I cannot eat, drink or breathe money.
Why do we as citizens allow this insensitivity?
The why is listed in the paper “Mind Gap”: individuality, responsibility and practicality.
Individuality — This lies within the person, their attitude and temperament.
Responsibility — People do not feel they can influence the situation or should not have to take the responsibility for it.
Practicality — Social and institutional constraints prevent people from acting pro-environmentally regardless of their attitudes or intentions. Lack of time, lack of money, lack of information, lack of support from organizations a person is part of, and prioritization of the long list of things that muddy our day to day life.