The Most Effective way to Initiate Global Environmental Change is Through Policy

From the BroadCAST

My love for environmental policy is no secret. I think the most effective way to initiate change on a large scale is through policy — the kind of change that improves our quality of living, reduces environmental impact, and ensures each person’s health, safety and well being.

Spending 38 years in Newfoundland and Labrador formed my love for the environment. How could you spend so much time here and not be inspired by our beautiful, rugged and vastly untouched landscape? You could say I am a product of my environment in that way, and luckily for me the philosophy of sustainability just happens to form the foundation of our natural resources industry, creating a demand for environmental professionals in our province.

In the 80s and 90s, the greenhouse gas effect was a hot topic and a relatively undisputed scientific term that described the effect that greenhouse gases were having on the planet. This concept was easy to understand because it took a difficult scientific concept and put it in terms that everyone could envision. Because of the simplicity of this concept, we were collectively able to reverse damage to the ozone layer. An individual’s concern was able to initiate global change.

There have been numerous examples in recent history which have also demonstrated how individuals can have a global impact through policy. Lead became a banned substance due to associated health concerns and mounting public pressure. If you are old enough you will remember leaded paint and gasoline; it is hard to believe that it was permissible to have lead in common products at one point. Other examples of how policy initiated global environmental change include the banning of CFCs, PCBs, asbestos, and DEET.

Let’s continue the individual fight to have a global impact!

Dawn is an environmental entrepreneur, writer, and keynote speaker based in Newfoundland and Labrador.