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Jensen’s “Forget Shorter Showers” and McKibben’s “Waste Not, Want Not” Essay

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Updated: Jun 23rd, 2022

Discussion of the environmental problems of the planet is one of the most pressing topics today. While some are looking for the cause of the issues globally, others reduce it to a person. The latter includes works from 2014 by Jensen and McKibben. Even though both authors address the same problems, their works highlight different causes of it.

Jensen argues in his writings that people should stop using shorter showers. These actions will not allow preserving nature since the actions of one person are not able to control the global waste of resources. Such problems require corresponding global solutions, which can only be achieved through the efforts of the entire society. However, since harmony in society is impossible without each person’s efforts, it is essential to direct these efforts towards truly significant socio-ecological actions.

In full measure, Jensen’s idea can be described as follows: each person is in a situation in which even if they undertake several actions, it will not make up for the total loss of resources. The author clearly reveals this thesis with an example: a person taking a shower is not responsible for the lack of water, since 90% of water is used by industry and agriculture, while only 10% is spent on domestic needs (Jensen). In other words, people are not even faced with a dilemma of choice. And a person got into such a situation through the fault of the whole society, and it is the society that needs to solve this problem.

Compared to Jensen, McKibben associates environmental issues with each individual. Even implicit actions, such as choosing another profession other than ecology, negatively affect the environment. However, both authors understand that humanity is wasting too many resources without replenishing them. Both writers agree that the problem requires attention, both from each person and society as a whole. Finally, both writers agree that each person is responsible for their actions concerning nature. Only further steps and approaches that lead to the same goal are different in the works.

Work Cited

Jensen, Derrick. Orion Magazine, 2009, Web.

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"Jensen’s “Forget Shorter Showers” and McKibben’s “Waste Not, Want Not”." IvyPanda, 23 June 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/jensens-forget-shorter-showers-and-mckibbens-waste-not-want-not/.

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IvyPanda. "Jensen’s “Forget Shorter Showers” and McKibben’s “Waste Not, Want Not”." June 23, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/jensens-forget-shorter-showers-and-mckibbens-waste-not-want-not/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Jensen’s “Forget Shorter Showers” and McKibben’s “Waste Not, Want Not”." June 23, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/jensens-forget-shorter-showers-and-mckibbens-waste-not-want-not/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Jensen’s “Forget Shorter Showers” and McKibben’s “Waste Not, Want Not”'. 23 June.

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