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Environmental Issues and Personal Actions

Defining effective personal actions that have meaningful effects on environmental issues and problems is a question for every responsible citizen. Nobody wants to spend time, money and energy doing things that have few meaningful outcomes. How can one consider current and potential future actions in the context of the complex and sometimes obscure social, economic and political systems that affect environmental outcomes?

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Individuals generally identify specific one or more environmental issues they personally find most important. Is it the ocean? Is it air quality? Perhaps they care about increasing temperatures and the health issues from heat exposure or the drought? Some larger issues and associated activities could and do affect any environmental issue concern. First, consider some aspects of the environment one might want to address, and some of the priorities.

In our analytical world, scientists, politicians and citizens tend to compartmentalize things that cannot truly be separated in accurately addressing the composite, very real and interlinked problems associated with the environment. Following preparatory meetings for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, the following official statement was released: "Among remaining sticking points are the focus areas of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals and how to ensure these goals integrate the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainable development." In light of such global inability to limit the decisions to a single area ...