Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dia Mirza and Adrian Grenier have a message for you: It’s easy to beat plastic. They’re part of a bunch of celebrities staring in a new video for World Environment Day-encouraging you, the consumer, to swap out your single-use Plastic staples to combat the plastic crisis.
If only I’d realized that we can buy our way out of the problem except we can’t.
The key messages that have been put together for World Environment Day do include a call for governments to enact legislation to curb single-us plastics. But the overarching message is directed at individuals: Lead with your wallets.
The problem of perpetuating this individualistic narrative is that it's not going to get us very far and the plastics crisis we face is immense. Our oceans are blighted by the stuff. It's in our drinking water (including bottled water), and we could even be breathing it in.
I'm not dismissing individual actions like ordering straw-free drinks at bars, or opting for a reusable water bottle over a cup that's going in the trash as soon as you've used it. I can't imagine not at least trying to minimize my own plastics footprint, whether it's lugging home my newly-refilled gallon bottle of washing-up liquid every few months, or buying packaging-free food, clothing and toiletries where possible.
On their own, however, none of these things is enough.
Part of my worry about leaving it up to the individual is that we're all just guessing at what's going on out there-and that's if we haven't been scared off from doing anything to start with in the face of such a huge challenge. As consumers, we have little idea about how much plastic has been used and discarded along the supply chain, for example. It's also hard to compare, say, going to a bulk store that sells plastic-free products but requires you to drive some distance versus a more Iccal shop where you may end up taking home some packaged items.
There’s also a time and cost issue. Realistically, I'm not going to start making my own laundry detergents so I can avoid the plastic bottles they come in, and there can be extra costs associated with environmentally friendly products.
My biggest concern with leaving it up to the individual, however, is our limited sense of what needs to be achieved On their own, taking our own bags to the grocery store or quitting plastic straws, for example, will accomplish little and require very little of us. They could even be detrimental, satisfying a need to have "done our bit" without ever progressing onto bigger, bolder, more effective actions---a kind of "moral licensing" that allays our concerns and stops us doing more and asking more of those in charge.
While the conversation around our environment and our responsibility toward it remains centered on shopping bags and straws, we're ignoring the balance of power that implies that as "consumers" we must shop sustainably, rather than as "citizens" hold our governments and industries to account to push for real systemic change. Nowhere in World Environment Day 2018's key messages is there anything about voting for environmentally progressive politicians, for example. Why not?
It’s important to acknowledge that the environment isn’t everyone’s priority-or even most people’s. We shouldn’t expect it to be .In her latest book, Why Could People Do Bad Environmental Things, Wellesley College professor Elizabeth R. De Sombre argue that the best way to collectively change the behavior of large numbers of people is for the change to be structural.
This might mean implementing policy such as a plastic tax that adds a cost to environmentally problematic action, or banning single-use plastics altogether. India has just announced it will” eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022.” There are also incentive-based ways of making better environmental choices easier, such as ensuring recycling is at least as easy as trash disposal.
De Sombre isn’t saying people should stop caring about the environment. It’s just that individual actions are too slow, she says, for that to be only, or even primary, approach to changing widespread behavior.
None of this is about writing off the individual. It’s just about putting things into perspective. We don’t have time to wait. We need progressive policies that shape collective action (and rein in polluting business), alongside engaged citizens pushing for change. That’s not something we can buy.
36. Some celebrities star in a new video to
A. demand new laws on the use of plastics
B. urge consumers to cut the use of plastics
C. invite public opinion on the plastics crisis
D. disclose the causes of the plastics crisis
37. The author is concerned that “moral licensing” may
A. mislead us into doing worthless things
B. prevent us from making further efforts
C. weaken our sense of accomplishment
D. suppress our desire for success
38. By pointing out our identity as “citizens,” the author indicates that
A. our focus should be shifted to community welfare
B. our relationship with local industries is improving
C. we have been actively exercising our civil rights
D. We should press our governments to lead the combat
39. De Sombre argues that the best way for a collective change should be
A. a win-win arrangement
B. a self-driven mechanism
C. a cost- effective approach
D. a top down process
40. The author concludes that individual efforts
A. can be too aggressive
B. are far from sufficient
C. can be too inconsistent
D. are far from rational
36. 答案【B】 urge consumers to cut the use of plastics
解析：根据题干的关键词celebrities, star, in a new video,我们可以回文定位到第一段第二句话“They are part of a bunch of celebrities staring in a new video for ...”出现此事的目的是“encouraging you, the consumer, to swap out your single-use plastic staples to combat the plastic crisis.”由此可见第二个选项和原文属于统一置换，得答案。
37. 答案【B】prevent us from making further efforts
解析：此题干是作者concerned，还有一个关键词“moral licensing”回文定位到第九段，段首my biggest concern定位;“without ever progressive onto bigger, bolder, more effective actions”即moral licensing。Without的内容就是作者最担忧的内容，此题得解。
38. 答案【D】we should press our governments to lead the combat
解析：通过题干关键词“citizens”定位到第十段一句话。词句中是一个比较结构rather than citizens hold our governments and industries to account to push to real systemic change,这句话的主语是我们忽视的内容是这样子的，那由rather than进行转折，作者的观点就是我们不应忽略的内容，所以，和第三个答案异曲同工，都是希望政府起到主导作用。
39. 答案【D】 a top-down process
解析：通过题干人名，最好的方式，collective change定位到倒数第四段最后一句;最好的方式是直接定位到for the change to be structural.由此可见是结构性的变革，再加上下面两段的例证，得此题答案彻底性的变革。
40. 答案【B】 are far from sufficient