For the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Mother Earth brought air travel in Europe to a screeching halt. She rattled her tectonic plates furiously, wreaking havoc on large cities and remote villages from Haiti to Utah to Chile to Indonesia to Southern California to Tibet.
A cleric in Iran said that the rash of earthquakes is a result of women wearing pants. Mother Earth is clearly mad these days, but I suspect she’d hike up her trousers and give that man a good boot if she wasn’t otherwise busy plotting her next blizzard, tornado, tsunami, hurricane, drought or avalanche.
Earth Day 2010 finds this small planet immensely stressed out. We human inhabitants scurry about the surface in swarms of urgency or denial, chattering endlessly about how “green” we are becoming while tossing everything from beer cans to baby carriages to old tires and refrigerators into rivers and ravines and ditches along the roadsides. Our trash makes mountains in landfills that tower beside highways. Take a canoe or kayak along the banks of the Potomac and you will see the most amazing human dreck buried in the mud along the banks. Even deep in the wilderness the big, messy human footprints are everywhere: logging operations stripping the forests, acid rain poisoning the waters.
In some circles this Earth Day, it’s quite fashionable to proclaim doubts about the whole climate change thing, to dismiss the perils of pollution as some leftie fantasy aimed at destroying capitalism. Just look at those February blizzards, they say, surely proof that ‘global warming’ is not happening!
Get real. The evidence for global climate change is substantial, and human behavior is a large contributing factor. The impact of climate change on weather patterns is a source of real concern for nations around the world. Weather and other natural disasters present national security threats as well as emergency relief challenges. Far from being extraneous issues promoted by a lunatic fringe, the condition of the earth’s environment must be a central concern of all citizens of the global village and our governments as we try to learn more about the science behind natural disasters and what kinds of behavioral changes — some that must be forced by law and policy and some that will be voluntary — can diminish the threats to human life and society.
Mother Earth seems pretty mad on this Earth Day. Attention, attention must be paid to her wrath. Mother’s day is every day — we must give the Earth the attention she is demanding.
What can we do at Trinity to improve our environmental awareness? Please offer your ideas by clicking on the “comments” link below.