But just as water dripping on rock will eventually cut through the stone, persistence pays off. Two cases have recently brought some results, if only partial ones at this point, that offer hope that each individual getting off the couch and doing something will in fact make a difference.
In one case, Disney was confronted with a barrage of complaints from environmentalists about Disney's plan to serve shark fin soup at their soon to be opened theme park in Hong Kong. Shark Fin soup is a traditional way for Hong Kong families to show off their wealth by serving the expensive dish ($400 a bowl) at wedding receptions.
Disney hopes to placate the dissenters by promising to pass out brochures on the subject to visitors and is considering the use of only those fins from suppliers who use the entire shark. Pressure still needs to be put on Disney to stop them from participating in this cruel and ecologically disastrous practice in the name of profit.
A larger victory has been scored with Coca-Cola. Coke machines are ubiquitous in our world, of course, as are its bottling facitlities. In the run up to the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Coke, McDonalds and Unilever (think Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Bird's Eye foods) , were brought under pressure by groups such as Greenpeace and Adbusters for using HFCs as a refrigerant. HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) are powerful greenhouse agents.
To their credit, industry worked with Greenpeace on a solution called "Greenfreeze" and Coke tested non-HFC machines in Europe, Japan, and Australia. COCA-COLA IS NOW REPLACING ALL THEIR VENDING MACHINES IN JAPAN with the new technology. McDonalds, Unilever, and others are following suit.
The change will prevent 70,000 tons of carbon from entering our atmosphere by the year 2010.
These cases illustrate that if enough people get off the couch (or the tatami mats) and do something, good changes are possible. If you have an issue that concerns you, do not sit and complain or worse, ignore what is going on with the world. Write letters or send emails to newspapers, congress, companies involved, even governments other than your own. Contribute to an organization that is active on that issue. We also pays our money and makes our choice, so you can choose not to buy products from irresponisble corporations. Together, not only can we change the future, hopefully we can make sure we all have a future.
"One salt water", you know.