OPINION

Simplification, change are key to environment

Maria Katsounaki (Commentary, «All we have to do is care,» May 7) makes several good points on the issue of the environment in which we live. But I think she fails to answer the question she herself raised, namely: Why should you care? Admittedly, it would be wonderful if everyone were nice and did indeed care. Unfortunately, this will probably never be the case. And as long as we talk as if it is «morally or ethically necessary» to change and care, the pleas to care will mostly fall on deaf ears. I disagree with Katsounaki (and her reference writer Michael Pollan). We should not complicate things. Instead, we need to simplify as much as we can. Change in our consumption and pollution habits, if ever there is one, will be driven by economics, i.e. cost. The only reason why we do not change is that it is so cheap to keep going. By showing people that saving water saves money, turning off TVs saves money, improving insulation saves money etc, the message is simpler than when one tries to establish a nonexistent link between Greek or European water consumption and whether or not an Indian girl in a poor village gets fresh water. By feeling the direct impact of increasing prices, people start to reconsider and care – it is already happening in the transport sector and it will happen in others too. There may not be a magical silver bullet in communicating the need to change, but at least we could try to be a little bit more specific. Taking care of the environment makes economic sense – for individuals and business. It is really that simple. TEEMU LEHTINEN, Voula, Athens.