Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day ...

Tree Peony blossom, brought to me by a friend, © Joan Z. Rough, 2008

Tomorrow is officially Earth Day, a celebration of and for the earth, the small blue planet we call home. We've been celebrating this day for many years now, preaching mostly to the choir ... people who already have a strong connection to the great outdoors and the beauty of wild places and the creatures that inhabit them.

Most anyone who gardens, hikes, kyaks, climbs mountains or participates in outdoor activities seems to know that in this time of planetary crisis, we must all work together to change our ways and begin to contain the damage we are doing as we go about our daily lives. Unfortunately many of our citizens and especially our current administration deny that the problem exists. Some who do recognize a problem refuse to believe that human beings are partly, if not mostly to blame.

Though the call to stop Global Warming has gone out far and wide, sea levels are rising at a rapid rate. It is not just the extreme northern and southern hemispheres of the globe that are feeling the pinch. There are reports that the Nile is being inundated with salt water, flooding areas where date palms are grown to supply Egypt and the rest of the world with these sweet confections. Soon this productive region will be destroyed. Here in Virginia we are in drought and on Canada's Vancouver Island there was snow on the ground this past weekend, causing damage to trees, shrubs and undoubtably the habitats of many wild creatures. Snow in April on Vancouver Island is unheard of.

It is going to take hard work on all of our parts to reverse the direction that we are now going in. There is more to it than turning our thermostats down a few degrees in winter or changing the light bulbs in our homes. It is going to take huge changes in lifestyles.

One of our major problems is the growth in the population of the world, which rises by 75 to 80 million people each day. We are on the way to a total world population of 9 billion people. As land masses shrink due to the rise in water levels, people will be crowded together in closer quarters than ever before. Mega droughts and storms will be the norm. Food prices will rise. Areas of hunger and poverty will grow by leaps and bounds, making the lives of many more people more than miserable.

I find it interestingthat the Catholic Church has now added to their list of sins, "pollution" of the planet. If someone spills gallons of crude oil into our oceans or pumps toxins into the air they are sinning because it effects the lives of people around the globe.

It's unfortunate that the church doesn't believe in birth control. It seems to me that if each of us simply replaced ourselves with a single child, much of the coming horror could be lessened. The greater the number of people in the world, the more harm we are doing to the planet and to each other.


Lucy said...

That is an extremely good point!

Becca said...

I have been a big advocate of population "control" (don't really like that word, but for want of another...)for many years, staring way back in the 70's when I was a student in Catholic school. You can bet my attitude wasn't very popular with the staff.

It seems to me that mindfulness about replacing just ourselves is a logical and painless way to control the multiplying drain on earth's resources.