Never before in the history of the world has taking care of the earth been more important. Climate change is upon us, but we, the inhabitants of the earth, have ignored these changes. Are we hoping they’ll go away, like a mother who ignores all the signs that her child is using drugs, hoping that it isn’t true? Are the statistics just too frightening to face?
And, of course, climate change isn’t the only environmental disaster we’re dealing with here on earth. Rain forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate, endangered species are dying off due to lack of habitat and poisons in the air and water, polluted air is giving our children asthma, the world’s coral reefs are dying, oceans are filled with plastic, etc., etc.
The earth is our home. The earth is our mother, and she is sick. It is up to us to take care of her because, if we don’t, then nothing else we do here on earth really matters. If we don’t take care of her, she will still survive. It is us, humans and animals, who won’t make it. We need to do this for ourselves! The earth can go on without us, but it won’t be the same earth. Instead of the amazingly rich biodiversity we now experience, the only inhabitants left will be the ones that can exist in the extreme heat that we are now creating.
“This is terrible,” you say, “but what can I do about it? I’m just an ordinary person.”
That’s what this blog series is about – what you can do to take care of your ailing home, the earth.
United States astronaut Loren Acton, upon returning from space, had this to say about his trip:
“Looking outward to the blackness of space, sprinkled with the glory of a universe of lights, I saw majesty – but no welcome. Below was a welcoming planet. There, contained in the thin, moving, incredibly fragile shell of the biosphere,is everything that is dear to you, all the human drama and comedy. That’s where life is; that’s where all the good stuff is.”
Poet Gary Snyder wrote about his love for the earth in the poem “For All,” explaining that “Turtle Island” is the name that early Native Americans gave to the earth. Here are the last lines of that poem:
I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island
and to the beings who thereon dwell.
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.
This is the only home we have. Let’s take care of it!