Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Tribute to Our Endangered Earth

With Earth Day coming up I wanted to take this opportunity to write about our endangered Earth. Earth is the body that holds us all and without a healthy Earth our health will be limited too. So here is my tribute.

In 1992 the world nations met at an "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro to discuss Earth's environmental problems. The largest gathering of head of state in the history of the world was called because of the danger of losing our planet. Most of the world came, but the United States, one of the largest polluters, didn't even participate. It was obvious that the political administration felt that money, jobs and the economy were more important than whether the Earth survived.

Five months later, on November 18, 1992, a document titled "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" was released. More than 1600 senior scientists from 71 countries including over half of all living Nobel Prize winners, signed this document. It was the most alarming warning the world has ever received from such a powerful body of researchers. You would think that this document would hold great credibility and that the world would carefully listen. It began: "Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about."

The warning document then began to list the crises: polluted water, oceans, soil, atmosphere, diminishing plant and animal species and human overpopulation. The words became stern: "No more than one or a few decades remain before the change to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished. We the undersigned, senior members of the world's scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the Earth and life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated."

Yet most of the world rejected this statement even though it was created by one of the most respected scientific bodies ever assembled on Earth. You would think we would pause and say, "If this is true, what can we do? Let's drop everything and do whatever is necessary." But the governments know that if we are to avert this crisis, we must change the way we live and that would not be politically comfortable.

The New York Times and the Washington Post, two of our most respected leaders in reporting the news, rejected this document as not newsworthy, This gives you a good idea of the importance we place on the planet itself. A good book to read more about this is The Sacred Balance, Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki.

We can't live without our oceans but NYC's sewer pipes go twenty miles out and dump all their human feces into the oceans. It was probably figured that the oceans can take care of it but for the last 70 years or so it has been building up. There is now a mountain of crap out in the ocean moving towards NYC. It would take more money than NYC has to fix it.

The red tide is the first deadly sign of the pollution of oceans. It is an algae that destroys everything that lives underneath it, it kills everything. And these red tides are beginning to sweep all over, especially around Japan. We've made a lot of mistakes all over the Earth because we don't have the consciousness to know how to live in harmony with our larger body, the planet.

So what do we do? How do we turn back the clock? We can't. All I ask is that you do your part in recycling, not wasting and supporting Mother Earth, because we only have one planet.