Earth Day 2013-Be Part Of The Solution

Earth Day 2013 Challenges

The Three Rs Aren't Enough Any Longer by Kyle Leach

Earth Day/Earth Week isn't something to celebrate any longer. Forty years have passed since its inception and in most ways the Earth and humanity are in much worst shape environmentally than they were forty years ago. We have much work to do; there is little time left for play or celebration, when it comes to the environment. Don't get me wrong we have accomplished many things in those forty years, but careless attitudes with regard to the Earth still prevail in industry, in government, and in our private lives. These obstacles must not continue to distract us. Those of us in The West live very sheltered, privileged  lives and unfortunately we inflict tremendous damage to the Earth. Because of that, we must be the first to step forward to mend our wounded world and it must be done quickly.

Making smaller changes won't be enough any longer. We need to be bold and we need to be innovative, and above all else we must be resilient and not loose hope. It is also essential that we work together and that we help each other make these changes. Humanity has shown many times throughout history that we can overcome great, formidable obstacles. I won't lie to you, to do such great things in the past we had to make huge sacrifices and large portions of the populace were unhappy with the sacrifices. We had to make hard choices and some of us often had to alter our future paths. In the end we found the best in ourselves and in each other. We prevailed.

I'm not asking you to do this for yourselves, for those your know, or even for others in the world. Most of us will be elderly or will have passed through The Great Veil, by the time sweeping changes will overwhelm the Earth. I am asking you to do this for all life on our planet and for the future of our species. Most of the people inhabiting this planet have no idea how special life is. Most have no idea how rare it is in our universe. Most have no concept of how unique sentient life is or how important the Earth's diversity is. As the dominant sentient species on the planet, the mantle of  Earth's stewardship falls on our shoulders. We are all responsible for changing everything we have put into place in order to build a sustainable future.

Every day must be Earth Day. Every decision needs to be in the interest of preserving and restoring what is left of of our natural world. The steps toward change will seem outrageous at first, but we do not have time to bicker and keep the status quo, we do not have time to continue our selfishness. The question is no longer should we do something, when should we do it, or what will it cost all of us? Those modes of thinking are terribly outdated. We are hardly in any position to negotiate. If we continue to sit on our hands, or worse, pretend nothing needs to be done, the results will be catastrophic for our species. Suffering and destruction will continue to increase over our lifetime, until it is everywhere and until no one is immune. Is that the world you want? On our current path it is the world we will get.

Now is the time to make sweeping changes. Most of us need to change many things about our lives and governments and industry around the globe must do the same. The only things stopping us form reaching these goals quickly are our own selfish fears and the selfish fears of those with power and money. This is our world and we must do what is right for our world. The elite, top five percent of earners in the world have lived quite nicely off of the rest of us for as long as civilization has existed. It is time for them to pay the piper. The changes with be hardest for them to swallow, but swallow that jagged little pill they must, even if it has to happen by shoving it down their throats. We need to make them change, by changing ourselves and demanding our place and voice in the world. They will not help us otherwise.

I'm not going to spend time pointing to resources or outlining everything you need to do. Forty years of environmental discussion and the online world have made that completely unnecessary. Everyone reading this knows how to do a search and certainly knows how to make plans. Information and education about environmental issues hasn't been a problem for two decades. Most of it is common sense anyhow. The choices are up to you, your education is up to you, and  the work is up to you. 

I will tell you that from my experiences, the hard stuff and the most difficult decisions do get easier with time. Once some of the "things" and "stuff" and "fluff" are out of your ideology and out of your life, you don't miss them so much. The hardest part is peer pressure, but eventually you will learn not to give in so often.It is kind of like aging. The older you get, the more you know. Trivial things become less important. It gets easier to spot the jewels of life and avoid the pitfalls. Your fear probably won't disappear with time, mine hasn't, but you will find ways to cope with it. Stan and I will be right there with you making changes. You aren't alone.

I'm hoping for a future with us in it, but I would be remiss if I was not honest about the possibly we won't be a part of this world's future. We are on shaky ground and  we as a species are shaped by our evolutionary line. There are some things we can tolerate and other things that we can't adapt to quickly. Human beings and our civilizations are more fragile than you think. There is no way of knowing exactly what will happen and how soon each change will occur. There are simply too many variables to easily identify all the outcomes. That may seem fatalist, but from my view it really isn't. It is entirely possible that some species could survive, even if we did not. It is also possible some could become sentient and leave the planet before our sun goes dim. There is always hope when you look outside yourself.

We are going to make mistakes, we will have failures, and things may not turn out as we thought they would, but life is about the journey, not the destination. As Five for Fighting would say, history starts now, let's build a masterpiece.

 May this day bring many opportunities for growth, understanding, and action for us all.

Reduce- Reuse-Recycle-Rethink-Replenish-Restore-Renew

  1. Reduce what we use, what we waste, and how many children we have.
  2. Reuse as much as we can, as often as we can.
  3. Recycle everything we possibly can.
  4. Rethink our lives, our goals, and our future. What is really meaningful?
  5. Replenish that which man has plundered.
  6. Restore as much of the world to a natural state as we possibly can. 
  7. Renew our connection with all life and the planet itself.

 The Story Of Stuff

If you have never seen this, you should. Trust me.

Seven Things You Can Do For The Earth That Actually Matter And That Collectively Make A Huge Individual/Global Impact

  1. Don't Use Plastic.(This is one of the hardest things on the list believe it or not.)
  2. Add Alternative Energy Sources And Alternative Heating and Cooling Sources To Your Home/Business(This one is pretty easy, but it does take some cash. Better start saving.)
  3. Go Vegetarian Or Vegan(Start with just one day a week and then up number of days over time)
  4. Don't Use Planes(We really need these for transporting goods, not people. Use other forms of mass transit.)
  5. Don't Drive A Car(See above)
  6. Nix The Idea Of Having Children(I know this one is hard, but it can make the future much brighter. Less people for the world to support is a win-win situation.)
  7. Buy Local(Start with a few products and then expand)
Take a look at this Huffington Post article to find out why these all have such a huge eco-impact.

A Little Humor

What Kind Of World Do You Want?

One of my favorite videos of all time, Five Four Fighting's song, World. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. It hurts yet, empowers me. Could you ask more from a song?