I mean, C'mon. This thread including your post is mostly about ranting and pointing fingers at everyone but oneself. "Grade humanity's respect for the Earth" starts with "grade MY respect for the Earth" because that's where responsibility starts. For me, I've devoted my career to clean energy, and our household is trying to achieve carbon neutrality so I think I'm doing pretty good. What about you? What have you been doing to improve on that collective D?
I didn't rant or point fingers; I noted the fact, and it is a fact, that people in general are notoriously bad at self-evaluation in areas like this. You've got a point here, but it's not one or the other: Accepting the reality and significance of collective impacts is, if anything, a necessary precusor to accepting the reality of one's own contribution and responsibility to that problem. On their own, the sort of impacts most individuals contribute would be negligible and wide open to an "I'm not doing anything wrong" attitude... as @Questerr
has suggested even having acknowledged the collective problem.
In a post last month
I raised a few general pointers about living sustainably, specifically with regard to our fellow humans but pretty much all applying to environmental issues too. It seems that the first three of those suggestions have not featured in your posts so far. Conversely some of your pointers (specifically working in an environmentally positive career) is absent from my lifestyle. Some similarly straightforward things which neither of us have mentioned include vacation habits - flying? cruising? resorts? - political advocacy, home gardening/locally sourced foods, how many new consumers we've decided to bring into the world, and stuff like freeganism or dumpster diving.
If average/DGAF lifestyle habits were a D, what's an A? The lowest target which could be even remotely reasonable would be 'not being part of the problem': Just living within what would be a sustainable average/normal, if everyone on the planet lived that way. Not actually contributing much if anything towards solutions per se, and indeed still contributing a bit, albeit a sustainable amount, towards what are actual problems at the unsustainable levels commonly seen. A comparatively easy target (if difficult to actually assess) though it's not clear whether either one of us would make it. As folk in wealthy countries, we're utterly surrounded by consumption of material resources so far above global averages (and even that abstract global average at present is wildly unsustainable) that even reducing, reusing etc., as much as seems feasible while maintaining a fairly 'normal' life seems unlikely to be good enough. Maybe if our discretionary spending (besides necessary food and housing) were below ~$10,000 per year? Why? It's a fair generalization to say that all economic activity has an ecological cost; even growing food or lumber uses land which in almost all cases would have been a richer natural habitat, likewise with mining or quarrying, and pretty much everything we do including even service industries ultimately require these primary industries plus
transport and electricity. Since global average GDP per capita PPP is somewhere in the order of $16-20k, with an estimated ecological footprint of 1.7 earths, a sustainable average for all people would be around $10k. Of course $10k of economic activity will be much less impactful with environmentally-conscious consumer choices; but on the other hand, that's offset by the probability that $10k may be far too generous for a baseline figure since the contribution from actual individual
incomes/consumption tends to be well under half of GDP per capita... and removing the necessary and potentially
low impact expenses of locally-sourced(?) food and high-density(?) housing makes it an even more generous estimate.
Pretty sure I don't get an A even by that lowest possible standard of 'not being part of the problem,' of keeping my economic activity even vaguely within the ballpark for a possibly-sustainable human average... a standard which realistically should be more of a B than an A to begin with. So yeah, I might be doing 'better' than eight or ninety percent of folk in this country
, one of the worst countries in the world for environmental impacts, but that ain't saying much! I'd give myself a well-earned C.