Messing it up!

My son Michael entered first grade about the time this country began to be aware of the environment. The word “ecology” had just entered the lexicon.

Michael came home from school one day with an assignment to make a poster about the environment, and I left him to his own devices. The finished poster had drawings of a few stars, the moon, the sun surround by rays, a fish, a bird in flight, a cat and a banana. All this resulted in a colorful work of art, but it was the words of a six-year-old, meticulously printed, which hit home:

“God created Heaven and Earth. Don’t you mess it up.”

Massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dying honeybees.

More and more animals on the endangered species list.

Depleted rain forests.

Natural habitats destroyed.

Global warming.

A glut of medical waste, nuclear waste and unrecycled garbage.

Deadly chemicals in our lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers.

Acid rain.

And now this:

“Water gushing into the Pacific Ocean from Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has radiation levels millions of times above the regulatory limit.”

In 1976, my biology professor was comparing our environmental challenges to a stack of cans at the grocery. One by one, he said, the cans would be removed until the whole stack crumbled.

I raised my hand and asked, “When will the last can be removed?”

“Fifty years ago,” he answered.

Earth isn’t going away. Our hermitage was here eons ago and will be here eons more.

How long before Homo sapiens are added to the endangered species list?

Now, it’s time for some smart ass Republican to call me a “tree hugger.”

PHOTO: NASA's "Blue Marble Earth"


Earth Day is coming on April 22. This year's theme is "A Billion Acts of Green." Go HERE to find out how YOU can help.


Tiny said...

Apparently the Tea Baggers are doing their damndest to prove the uber rich-elite are the only Homo Sapiens on the endangered list. To them, the rest of us are dispensable.

Ahab said...

Between powerful corporations with economic incentives to pollute, and head-in-the-sand folks who deny climate change, environmental activism often feels like an uphill battle. Fortunately, people are more conscious of environmental harms than they were 30 years ago, and that gives me hope.

B.J. said...

“A Billion Acts of Green” can’t hurt, and if we took such action day-to-day, it would have an impact. The climate-change deniers fail to differentiate between “climate” and “weather.” So, everyone on Fox News jokes and laughs about “global warming” when it snows.

It’s a good idea to share these definitions from The Progress Report, Center for American Progress, 15 February 2007:

“Climate is the ‘composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years.’ LINK In other words, climate refers to recorded history.

“Weather, on the hand, is current events; it refers to the ‘state of the atmosphere at a given time and place.’ LINK Weather is a snapshot of the climate at any one instant. Although the two are related, their relationship is indirect. ‘The chaotic nature of weather means that no conclusion about climate can ever be drawn from a single data point, hot or cold. The temperature of one place at one time ... says nothing about climate, much less climate change, much less global climate change.’”