Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nomadic Meditations on Earth Day 2017

  by Nomad

You are Here Earth

Today, April 22, 2017, is Earth Day, which marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
In the 47 years that have passed, there have been triumphs and failures. It seems as though the spread of environmental awareness might not be a potent enough force against the tide of greed and ignorance and the pressures of mindless exploitation.

I would like to hope that that is wrong but at the moment, with the current president diligently attempting to overturn every bit of progress made by past administrations, it is hard to be especially positive. As Michael Greshko for the National Geographic explains:
The Trump administration’s tumultuous first months have brought a flurry of changes—both realized and anticipated—to U.S. environmental policy. Many of the actions roll back Obama-era policies that aimed to curb climate change and limit environmental pollution, while others threaten to limit federal funding for science and the environment.
Certainly, it is not all bad news. The defenders of the world, faced deep-pocketed adversaries, are moving on without us. The group, Environmental Progress, provides us with a list of accomplishments from last year.

Yet, the United States, the richest and most developed nation, is no longer a force for progress on environmental issues as it once was.
And to save this world, we will need all hands on deck because it only takes one person to sink the ship.

With the looming threat of climate change- which is likely to soon make the planet uninhabitable for much of life. 
That's a pity too. Even though I am likely to be slightly biased,  I think it is such a beautiful place to live.

We should all be furious. Spitting angry.
What right, we ought to be asking, do these people have for destroying this planet that we must share? Not just for our time, but for all the generations to come.

I know it's all been said before but think of it this way. 
Suppose a band of hoodlums suddenly confiscated your home, began auctioning off all of the nice things you'd acquired over the decades, irreplaceable things, slaughtered all your pets and threatened to burn down whatever was left, wouldn't you be a wee bit upset?
We should be fighting tooth and nail to get these people out on the street.

Again, the question is: What gives these people the right?
The answer is, of course, that we do. We give the permission when we stop caring.  

And yet, when faced with these threats, a majority of us seem strangely apathetic. If it's some kind of programmed death wish, then what about the rest of the life?

As a species, does this minority have the right to destroy everything? Does merely having the ability to completely vandalize things give them the mandate to do it?  

The scientist and philosopher Carl Sagan once said:
Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
And yet, for this moment, here we are. 
It is nothing short of a miracle that we exist at all. A million coin-flips brought us to this point. We got extremely lucky. 

It is something we should not, cannot take for granted. We should not need an Earth Day to remember how cosmically fortunate we are. Every day is an Earth day.

Enough of my preaching. No matter what the weather might be like where you are, it's a wonderful day.
I hope you will go grab your piece of it and savor it.