Hope. Hope is what I want to leave my child someday. Hope for humanity and hope that we will preserve our own habitat.
Even though it’s Earth Day, I’m struggling with hope lately. I’ve been reading too many books and watching too many documentaries about the state of our planet. I don’t just mean plastic pollution or climate change, either. I mean the sum total of all of the things we are doing to destroy our own habitat. We don’t need to save the planet, we need to save the living creatures on the planet – including the humans!
“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.” -David Attenborough
My latest research and upcoming article is Part 2 of What’s In Your Water? about all of the contaminants in our water, and the consequences on our health. That alone has left me feeling sad, as the water we use – already limited in many parts of our country and across the globe – is polluted. Yet we waste water, allow corporations to dump toxins into it, and have a general sense of apathy toward water.
Water is everything. We cannot survive without it.
I recently watched the new documentary, Fin, about shark finning and fishing. We are killing 1 million sharks per year for fins, food, and fun. At that rate, it will not take long to completely delete sharks from the ocean. Here’s the trailer:
Without sharks, the ocean will fall out of balance. They are apex predators and play an important role in maintaining the species below them in the food chain. They serve as an indicator of ocean health. Add to that the decimation of the coral reefs, and the ocean will completely change. The ocean covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, produces over 50% of the world’s oxygen, and absorbs a lot of carbon dioxide. The ocean regulates climate and weather patterns.
“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Dr. Sylvia Earle
We cannot continue the mass destruction of rainforests, which basically serve as the Earth’s lungs. We are depleting all of the fossil fuels that took millions of years to form. We have more waste than our globe has room to store. And we are causing the extinction of many species every single day.
“Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how is it we can destroy the only planet we have?” – Jane Goodall
We are poisoning our water, our food, our animals, our children! Chemicals, pollutants, and toxins enter our lives daily and we should not accept this as normal. We all need to be active in conservation on all fronts, not just today, and not just for a short time. This is something we must do going forward, every day. As the saying goes, there is no Planet B.
“Conservation is the preservation of life on earth, and that, above all else, is worth fighting for.” -Rob Stewart
I continue to try and share information with others, to inform, educate, and enlighten. Today, to celebrate Earth Day, I am participating in the clean-up of a local creek in an underserved neighborhood. I want it to make a difference. I would like it to inspire others to not give up. Most of all, I want it to show my child that we all have to hang on to hope – through action, not wishing. But first I’ve got to keep my own hope alive.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Earth Day!