Earth Day came and went with barely a mention on “Great” Thoughts. That was largely a question of fatigue, as I’ve been recovering from tax season. The fact is, I can think of no more serious a global issue than environment and climate change. (Yes, climate change/global warming is happening. Yes, human beings are contributing to those changes in ways that can and should be reversed.) There are many, many issues encompassed in what we call “environmentalism”: climate change and greenhouse gases, deforestation and desertification, security and stability in food and water supplies, renewable energy and fossil fuels. Because we live in the environment, the damage we are doing to the environment is damage we are doing to ourselves. From air and water pollution increasing cancer rates to the very real economic costs of rising demand for energy in a market with dwindling supplies of our primary fuels, from water wars to competing claims for summer water ways in a melting arctic, the problems that humans have created in the environment are inescapable.
They are not irreversable, however. If we can make better choices on both the individual and societal levels, we can start to mitigate the damage and possibly head off the worst impacts. The problem is that we have to do it. We have to move away from fossil fuels toward renewables. We need to engage in sustainable forestry, agriculture and aquaculture. We need to manage our natural resources. And folks, the United States has to lead on this.
We need to change our ways. We need to realize that protecting the environment needs does not take away freedom. It addresses a need while keeping that need from becoming so acute that the solution is forced on us by nature. We also need to think about what we, as individuals can do regardless of government policy. How do we get around? What kind of food to we put in our bodies? How do we power our homes and care for our yards? We can all step up and make cha nges on the individual and local levels.
Alissa and I are planning to make some changes to the way we do things. We’re going to try to get organic foods and use transit more. In the long run, we’re talking about moving to more fuel efficient vehicles. We’re trying to use natural cleaning products. These are little steps, but we can all take them. I would encourage you to look around and see what you can change in your own life as well.