Earth Day 2018

Reflections of Nature / Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Today is Earth Day. I’ve always wondered why we have only one day where we “celebrate” the earth. It’s something we should do every single day. Yes, I know it sounds cliche, Earth Day Everyday, but it’s one of those cliches that is true. I believe our most pressing problems are the damage we are doing to the environment. Global warming, habitat destruction, mass extinction, over population, pollution and the list goes on.

My training is in environmental science and my research centers around the preservation of native songbirds. I have been doing this work for over 30 years. I have seen the decline in number of a species and the diversity of species. If it’s happening to birds, it’s happening to other species as well. Many scientists believe we are in the middle of a 6th Mass Extinction-all caused by human activity.

Every ecosystem is in a balance. A balance of the populations that live there, the available niches, the climate, predator-prey relationships, available space and any other particular factors unique to each system (e.g. tide pool animals have to adjust to the changing water levels). As we expand our activities and destroy habitat, we change the balance of life. We have killed of large portions of coral reefs, which took millions of years to evolve, in a short period of time. We have deforested enormous portions of the rain forests. These 2 areas are the richest in species diversity. We can be causing the extinction of animals before we even discover them.

We are part of this world. Each and every one of us relies on every other species for our survival. Everything is interconnected. We cannot remove a species from an ecosystem and not expect to have ramifications. Most are negative given the delicate balance of each system. Will nature come back to balance? Of course. But it will not be the same. And the big question is-can we survive this balance?

We are not caretakers of the earth. We do not have dominion over the earth. We are part of each ecosystem that we live in. And we need to start figuring out how we can fit into our niche and stop the destruction. Nature is a much stronger force than we are.

We need to start cleaning up the Earth. We keep our homes clean. Why can we not clean up our big home? We tons of plastic floating in the ocean. That’s disgusting. Our reliance on wasteful plastic has to stop. When I go into a store and see cases and cases of bottled water, I get so angry. It’s so wasteful. All that plastic winds up as waste and there is no need for it. Unless you live in an area with contaminated water, chances are you do not need bottled water. If you are concerned, get a faucet filter and reusable bottle. Frankly, I wish they would ban those plastic bottles and bottled water.  And let’s throw in those horrible plastic grocery bags.

On Earth Day I always reflect and see what we have accomplished. I’m not sure we have accomplished much. I still see our reliance on fossil fuels and the tremendous amount of plastic waste. It would be nice to see us further our research and availability of renewable energy. While we have made strides, it’s still not enough for all, and solar power is still too expensive for the average household. I know I will continue to fight and educate to help people understand the importance of saving what he have, and making it better.

Let’s take care of our home. She is the only one we have.

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