I was watching last night’s episode of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and while he was interviewing Sheryl Crow and “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Laurie David about their ‘Stop Global Warming’ college tour, he made a comment that absolutely, perfectly illustrated what the real problem with the planet is. And it went like this:

If people tomorrow were told, Americans were told, that you can solve global warming if you just don’t use the remote to your television, what do you think they would say if they had to go back to getting their ass off the couch? Do you think they would solve global warming by throwing the remote in the garbage or do you think they would go, Aw, fuck it?

Like everything else nowadays, the important issues only seem to remain important to the general public as long as it isn’t too, well, inconvenient. The crux of the issue is, as Maher stated, that ultimately we aren’t willing to give up our creature comforts.

And really, how more right could he have been? If we could end world hunger by not ever having another latté from Starbucks, how many people would be willing to do that? Hell, if it were something like that, even I would give pause.

When it really boils down to it, saving the world is going to rely on us sacrificing certain things. But how can we do any of it when we can’t even do the trivial stuff—let alone the monumental stuff?