The WALL-E Scenario
We finally caved in yesterday at home and turned on the air conditioning, seeing as the temperatures have started hitting the 90s. I used the air conditioning on my drive home as well and I’ve also felt it kicking on in the DDA building this week too. Temperatures can get really high in the heatwaves and this heat can be deadly for those with poor home ventilation and no air conditioning. While air conditioning is a modern convenience, I wonder if we would even need it if we hadn’t invented and started relying on so many other modern conveniences. Maybe we’d be fine with relaxing in the shade with a hand fan. Electricity, cars, trains, planes, modern meat processing, etc. are all modern conveniences that have also had a large effect on the planet because they are all in one way or another contributing significant CO2 levels to the atmosphere. Unsightly smog, poorer breathing, quality of air, increased asthma rates, and higher temperatures are all side effects of these conveniences.
The sad truth though is that it is incredibly difficult to thrive in our society without using these conveniences. Most people have to travel many miles to get to work and couldn’t make it by bike or walking and still have time in the day to sleep. It’s a problem that people are somewhat taking more note of as of recent years. The whole “green” fad has taken hold and hopefully it sticks around so that our environment doesn’t get into too much disrepair like the somewhat frightening vision of Earth in the future depicted in WALL-E. WALL-E showed what convenience, consumerism, and waste can do to our people and to the Earth. We saw an Earth full of trash with no plant life left and plump humans living on a spaceship being carted around by little floating scooter things with their faces glued to screens. No movement was needed from them and robots did all the work.
Fortunately some things seem to be taking place to reverse the negative trends. Electric cars are in full development and their adoption rate is ever increasing. Energy-efficient LED light bulbs are coming down in price and will soon be very attractive for consumers to purchase. Organic and local farming is getting a resurgence. More businesses toting their green practices means more saving across the board, and as long as consumers want it, the businesses will do it. So things are looking up and we should hopefully avoid the desolate Earth full of garbage that WALL-E showed. I still think the ever-increasing dependence on technology and gadgets like computers, iPads, and iPhones could still lead future humanity into a WALL-E like state. I mean we did recently invent the Segway to replace walking. That’s pretty lazy.
At DDA, we’d like to consider ourselves a green advertising agency. Our 4-day work week saves on carbon emissions from cars with less trips needed along with lower heating and cooling needs. We have environmentally-friendly cleaning products in the kitchen. Our emails about website design, custom programming, videography, and whatever else have reminders to think if you really need a hard copy before printing it out to encourage less paper use. We added insulation to the new building to lessen heating and cooling needs as well. We recycle our bottles and soda cans everyday. So we are doing our part to avoid the WALL-E scenario of Earth and you should too.