It would probably have to do with not noticing it until it was directly affecting us. People have a lot of disconnect with the environment (most things actually) and don’t realize how they can effect it until it is right in their own backyard.
Also, I would stand to argue that our effect on the environment really has escalated to an issue of grave concern within the last 100 years. Before that, our consumption of non-renewable resources was nothing to really worry about and we weren’t globalized in the same sense. We respected boundaries for consumerism and resources and now anything is possible. I would argue as well that there is not enough fear for the environment and enough still isn’t being done. Poor, low-lying countries will get hit first but not until it’s in ‘our backyard’ as stated above will real change occur.
Human beings have a tendency not to worry about a crisis until it’s in the late stages. For the most part environmental problems haven’t become visibly evident until very recently. Once the problem became tangible, people began worrying enough to do something about it.
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