We Americans are a peculiar bunch. We comprise only 5 percent of the world's population, yet we consume 20 percent of its oil. Add to that the frivolous consumption of cheap, imported junk from China and elsewhere, and you have anthropocentric excess on an unprecedented scale. As our materialism becomes the envy of undeveloped countries (at the worst possible time in history), we are setting a poor example for the rest of the world to follow.

Theodore Roosevelt said, "The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others."

Each of us needs to find ways to drive less, buy less and spend less. It is the easiest way to give something back. A selfish, disposable society hurts not only itself but the entire planet as well.

David E. Jensen