Happy Earth Day!
Each year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. As the Earth Day organization website notes, “Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.”It’s great that we have this day to acknowledge our challenges.
But as I and that organization always say, Earth Day needs to be every day.
We are in near peril now. If you really look at the worldwide problems coming from climate change, everything is changing and causing drastic consequences to humans and wildlife. The Earth Day website acknowledges the frustration of many:
“As the awareness of our climate crisis grows, so does civil society mobilization, which is reaching a fever pitch across the globe today. Disillusioned by the low level of ambition following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and frustrated with international environmental lethargy, citizens of the world are rising up to demand far greater action for our planet and its people.”
If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it’s that people are reactive to the problems in their direct line of sight and apathetic to the problems in their periphery. But we have to do better. We can’t stay oblivious to these problems, because we will perish.
We need to do more, every day.
‘Save the Planet’ and ‘Protect the Earth’ are wonderful slogans, but we are way past slogans. We need action. We need to change our daily behaviors. And we have a limited amount of time to make changes before it’s too late.
We are destroying our own habitat.
We are not just destroying the habitats of at-risk species half a world away, we are destroying the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we farm. We are destroying our own habitat! The Earth is our home but if we don’t take drastic action the irreversible results of our destructive behavior will lead to our extinction. Nature will heal itself and the Earth will go on without us.
Earth Day is Now an Emergency
“One study estimates it would take 5 Earths to support the human population if everyone’s consumption patterns were similar to the average American.”
We have a limited amount of time to turn it around. I encourage you to read up on the issues, watch documentaries and follow or join organizations dedicated to changing human actions so that you can learn all you can.
Make changes in your own life and reduce overconsumption where you can. If you’re able to install solar panels, new windows in your home, or purchase an electric car, I encourage you! Many of those larger changes are sometimes cost-prohibitive, so do what you can. We need to pressure companies and the government to normalize renewable energy items. This will make them more accessible and attainable. If we can greatly reduce our overall consumption levels, that will have a huge effect and positively alter the future. And maybe we can save ourselves.
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“Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.” -Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, United Nations
- Page, “The History of Earth Day,” earthday.org, accessed April 17, 2021
- Fact Sheet, “U.S. Environmental Footprint Factsheet,” Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan, accessed April 19, 2021.
- Two I watched in recent months are David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet and Before The Flood from National Geographic