iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
James Boyce

James Boyce

Posted: June 2, 2010 10:24 AM

What's Up With the Rainforest: A Day in the Life of a 14-Year-Old CEO

What's Your Reaction:

Each generation -- the Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y -- has developed a set of values and beliefs unique to the social environment of their time. Our actions become rooted in this social code, acting as the guideline for our behaviors and decisions. But what will come to define the newest generation? Being left to clean up our environmental messes, will this become a generation of "eco-warriors" who grow up making decisions based on what is best for not only themselves, but for others and for the Earth? What Gen X and Y call being "environmentally conscious" could simply become the norm, a value ingrained into the everyday decision making process. We, along with our partner Rainforest Alliance, ask you to image the power that instilling these values into our youngest members of society will have on our creating a better future for us and for our planet.

Instead of focusing on applying blame for the crisis that stands before us, there is a group of young people who are using their concern for the planet as motivation to actually do something about it. Charles Orgbon III, who at 14 years of age has done more for the planet than most of us will by the end of our lifetime, is a prime example of how a fresh set of eyes, a strong passion and a little bit of optimism can truly make an impact. Orgbon is the president and CEO of Recycling Education, an interactive website standing "at the forefront of environmental affairs and issues" by providing users with information on a wide range of environmental topics, as well as a place to ask questions, check out educational videos, and participate in a green forum. Wise beyond his years, Orgbon has already come to realize that "If we can instill values of community, harmony, peace, moderation and stewardship in our youth, the rewards to society are limitless and everything else will come easy".

With concerned citizens like this, we will start to hold each other accountable for how our actions affect the planet making it more difficult for decisions that destroy the Earth to be acceptable. This is demonstrated by the group of individuals at Purdue University who, through using the tool Google Earth, uncovered evidence of North Korea logging in the protected forest Mount Packtu Biosphere Reserve. While this forest reserve is being threatened, in Canada, an agreement between the country's largest forestry companies and environmental groups to "restrict logging in the country's vast northern forests" is doing quite the opposite. This deal signals both an end to the years of negotiations and battles and a start to making "environmental leadership a value-added advantage for Canadian forest protects."

Rainforest deforestation is not an issue we should view as "out of sight, out of mind". As seen in the latest report from a coalition of farm and timber groups that reveals how stopping the rapid deforestation taking place in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia could provide significant economic benefits to U.S. agriculture. The report, "Farms Here, Forests There," states "providing incentives to preserve rainforest could increase revenue for U.S. farmers and the forestry industry by $190 billion to $270 billion between 2012 and 2030."

Only time will tell what the future holds for the generations to come, however, we can start teaching the values and making the decisions that lead us on a sustainable path today. Join us on Facebook and learn how you can make a different for our rainforests and our Earth.

 

Follow James Boyce on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamesboyce