365 Days of Writing – Day 112

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day everyone!

I heard an interview with Sandra Steingraber – author of Raising Elijah. I’d heard of the book but didn’t know much about it. However, now that I’ve heard her speak, I’m eager to purchase and read it. Her very calm, matter-of-fact way of speaking about issues which have other people marching on Washington impressed me.

She spoke about how immense the issue of global warming is and that faced with such an overwhelming threat people can react in a variety of ways. They can feel defeated before they’ve even begun – those people simply abdicate responsibility. They can become radicalized – reacting in a manner commensurate with the size of the issue. They can become empowered – make what changes they can, writer letters, talk to people, take steps no matter how trivial because each of those steps equals a journey.

I have to admit to being one of those in the first group. I would like to be in the third group but my steps are too baby to count. I drive a Hybrid, I turn off lights in empty rooms, I reuse plastic water bottles, I take public transit when possible. But I’ve done these things as much for my own convenience as to save humanity from the effects of global warming.

Sandra said that each parent is responsible for looking after their child. We make sure they are fed, educated, loved. We make sure they have their immunizations (don’t get me started on people who don’t immunize their kids!), that they understand the risks of smoking, drugs, unprotected sex. But what do we do for their long term future? The planet, our planet, is their future. If we sit back and let things continue as they have been we will end up destroying their planet. Our kids will need pollinators, they’ll need the ice cap, they’ll need the species which are going extinct because their habitats are changing as a result of global warming. It’s just as much our job to care for the planet which will sustain our kids as it is our job to care directly for our kids.

What about those who don’t have children? Are they really so callus that they don’t care about the next generation? I think not. I think we all want to take care of Mother Earth we just don’t know how. Well folks, there is such a thing as the internet and it contains all sorts of ideas. For example you can go to – http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/steps-mankind-can-take-to-save-the-environment.htm – to learn some simple things you can do such as adjusting the thermostat in your home. I think we can all manage that. Too little you think? Not if we ALL do it! If you’re old enough you’ll know the “High Hopes” song and what that little ant was able to do.

So in honor of Earth Day – commit to making at least ten small changes in your home & life. Your ten changes may lead to something larger. At least you’d be setting a good example and that’s one of the greatest things anyone can do for their children.

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