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Is there an “imperative of responsibility” toward the future? How is human interest measured in relation to the environment?

Humans are inherently selfish creatures. We have a need to satisfy what we feel are our own essentials first and foremost. We have very little care or caution for things that do not immediately affect us. But as we begin to see that our lack of restraint affects us, or will affect us in the future, we begin to be more careful and attentive to our surroundings. Humans have a responsibility towards the future and should care about the environment, if only in relation to themselves and their interests. In the past, we have been too reckless with our use of nature and the waste we have created. Humans have a parasitic relationship with the environment, in which we take from nature without regard to the significance of our actions. In the past, our needs were more important than the potential effect we could have had on nature. But we are now at a point where we are using up resources for pleasure, and wasting just as many resources as we are using. We have caused (and are still causing) so much damage to nature that it will never return to the way it was. But there is a chance that we can at least limit the damage we are causing now so we can find an answer in the future.

Many people have already realized that we need to make changes immediately, and so there have been some attempts at improving our situation. Large tree planting programs have started in countries like India, China and the United States. These projects have added about 17 million acres of new forests every year and nations have also introduced new legislations and policies to try to help solve the issue. There have been attempts at electronic cars, limiting the use of scarce resources, and projects like recycling and reducing consumption. Although the efforts are late, they might make difference in the long run.

We all have a moral obligation to take care of our environment for the future generations. How can it be moral to be selfish just because it does not affect us in the short run? The world is now at a point where we need to make critical decisions. We should use caution, if only because our children will have to face the consequences of our selfishness. Nature is already irreversibly changed but also at a point where we still have a chance to preserve what is left of it. It is becoming vital that we realize the importance of our actions at this turning point and make the right choices for the future.

Humanity owes a debt to nature for all the harm we have caused. It is our responsibility to help the future generations by doing what we can for the environment now. We can no longer claim to be oblivious to the damage we have caused, and without the excuse of ignorance, we have an obligation to try to fix the damage we produced.

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