As a teenager, my mother would constantly get me out of the house and threaten to call animal control if I did not put on sunscreen each and every day. At first I tried to excuse myself by saying that I was only getting ready for summer vacation. After a while my excuses became just lame enough to make me wish that they were an actual sunscreen. And this is the main point: You cannot separate sun protection from being fashionable. Sure, they go hand in hand, but they are two different things altogether.
Yes, my mother was correct in a lot of ways, but there are many more ways that she was wrong. First of all, she is a very organized person. So when it came time to apply sunscreen, I simply took the sunscreen out of my bag and applied it to my face as instructed. Of course, the sunscreen did not do anything for my skin condition. In fact, it made it much worse!
Secondly, I completely understood the concept of global warming and what scientists were telling us that the problem really was. The only thing I did not understand was how to stop it or keep it from happening. Unfortunately, the solution to the problem, at least in the northern hemisphere, is simply not possible because it will require a major overhaul of our power system. But even in the southern hemisphere, where most of the problems are, you can easily stave off the heat by using solar panels and windmills to create green energy.
What does all this have to do with my argument about the importance of sunscreen? Consider this: If we want to save the planet, we must solve two problems. The first problem is the fact that we are destroying it at an alarming rate, and the second problem is that there is little we can do to reverse the damage we have already done. This makes finding a green solution to coral reef destruction.
Fortunately, the solutions to these two problems are relatively simple. For instance, if we stop cutting down trees and start planting more trees, we will soon see a difference in the environment. However, we cannot stop ourselves from using fossil fuels, because doing so would mean that we continue to pollute the air, while at the same time, we are creating more pollution. Therefore, the solution on the environmental front cannot be only planting more trees. It must also involve a major overhaul of our energy system, which means giving up coal and turning to alternative forms of energy such as natural gas and nuclear power.