I thought a lot about what I would write today in celebration of Earth Day. I was going to post an Earth Day poem or some inspirational quotes about saving the planet, but as I searched for some on the internet they all sounded so ridiculous to me. Many of the poems focused on the idea of “mother nature” and how the earth is a living breathing soul that we must save. The earth is not a living breathing emotional soul. It is a piece of rock. It does not care if the temperatures rise and the ice caps melt and all its natural resources dry up and all plants and animals die. It does not care because it is a rock. Want to know who does care? Me. And you should. Because lets suspend or disbelief for a second and pretend the earth does have feelings, it is adaptable and can and will survive whatever humankind does to change it, it’s not going anywhere. It is us, humans, who are being affected by the way we are changing the earth. We selfishly are carving into our planet plundering all we need and thinking nothing of consequences. I hate all these cartoons you see on Earth Day of a sad crying earth. The earth is not crying- our future generations are. The one quote I will throw your way is the old saying, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, instead we borrow it from our children.” We are creating an earth in which our children will be much less fortunate than we are. They will not have fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, or nature to play in. They also won’t have resources like gas to travel or coltan to make cell phones. We are irresponsibly obtaining and plundering through resources that we will run out of. We must find ways to change the current trend of abusing our planet not for the altruistic reason of saving the cartoon smiley face earth. We must keep being selfish and change our ways so we can keep enjoying the earth and our future generations can too.
Our planet is made up of a delicate balance of living things- trees, flowers, bears, birds, humans, dolphins, coral, puppies- just to name a few of my favorites. When these things start to disappear it is not mother earth that will be crying, it will be me, it will be your grandchild who visits a polar bear in the zoo and wonders why they only exist in enclosures or her grandchild who looks at pictures of gorillas and wonders why they only exist in the photographs. Humans are pretty amazing at adapting. We have evolved these amazing large brains which allow us to make complex decisions and change the world around us for our own benefit. We all learn about moderation in our lives- too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. Well right now we as a species have just about too much everything, too much excess and not enough conservation. The earth will not weep because there is no more panda bear, but your kids sure will.
We can all make little changes like using energy efficient light bulbs, buying local food, carpooling to work or buying organic clothing. I promise it’s easy to make these small changes. To read more about ways you can help out check out some of my favorite charities: NRDC, WWF, IUCN, and The Nature Conservancy.
And now please enjoy some pictures of animals that I love and will selfishly miss if we keep making earth an inhospitable environment.
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