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Protect The Environment
And what, you ask, is World Environment Day? It is celebrated each year on June 5th to make people more aware of the need to take care of our environment and it is sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme. It was first established in 1973 and the United Nations Conference is held each year in a different world city.
Each year there is a new theme and this year the theme is “Green Economy: Does it include you?”
A green economy is defined as one that helps to improve human well-being while reducing environmental risks.
Does it include you? Are you living in a green economy and what are you doing to be a part of that process? Those are the questions raised this year on World Environment Day and those are the questions I pose to you.
Yes, it is our environment! We are the caretakers, each and every one of us, and as such it is our job to protect it and by extension to protect ourselves. I have said many times that I have very little faith in the politicians of the world. Money dictates political policy and special interest groups lobbying for big business can outspend lobbyists for the environment each and every day. Thus it becomes our responsibility to lobby on behalf of the environment.
So what is the environment?
According to our old friend Webster the environment is “the physical and biological factors along with their chemical interactions that affect an organism.”
To put it a simpler way, the environment is….well…walk outside and you are in the environment. It’s really that simple. It is the air you breathe, the water you drink, the ground you stand on…and a whole lot more.
Are You Living in a Green Environment?
Only you can answer that question? What is your community doing to help the environment? Are there community programs in place? Is your state environmentally friendly? Are the politicians even aware that there is an environment?
Last year the online newspaper 24/7 Wall Street compiled data about energy consumption,pollution problems and state energy policies for all fifty states. From that data they determined the Top Ten Greenest States:
3. New Hampshire
6. South Dakota
The results are probably no surprise considering that the states listed have very little in the way of major industries or manufacturing. The only surprise for this author was that my state of Washington wasn’t on the list.
- The Impact of Earth Day
April 22 marks Earth Day worldwide, an event now 42 years old and observed in 175 countries.
So What Are You Doing to Help Your Environment?
"If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos."
E. O. Wilson
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? What can you do to lessen your footprint on this Earth?
According to top environmental leaders the most valuable actions that can be taken areas follows.
1. Have fewer children. Within the next two decades it is estimated that nine billion people will inhabit the Earth. Not good news for the planet since it is a closed system meaning it has limited resources. There is only so much clean water and clean air to go around. There is only so much land for growing food and only so much forest to provide oxygen. When will we reach the point where people outnumber resources? Leading experts believe we have already reached that point.
2. Use less water and keep it clean. Studies show that nearly a third of the people on this planet lack access to clean water. In addition 95% of the cities in the world still pump raw sewage into the water supply. Yes, 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, but very little of that is fresh water that can be used by humans. There is no new water! The same water that mastodons bathed in is still being bathed in today.
3. Eat responsibly. Buy locally grown produce so that there are less shipments which use fossil fuels. Eat only organic to lessen the use of pesticides. Eat less meat and produce; livestock currently occupy 30% of the land surface of the Earth.
4. Conserve energy. Walk, bike, carpool, do whatever you need to do to lessen the dependence on energy resources. Turn off lights, unplug appliances and weather strip doors and windows. Every little bit helps.
5. Reduce your carbon footprint. Cut down on activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions.
National America Recycles Day
Every November 15th since 1997, Americans have been working to increase recycling efforts and decrease garbage. The results are encouraging and recycling has increased nationwide every single year since 1997.
If you community does not have a recycling effort then you need to start one. Teach your children the importance of recycling. Do your part now so that the damage to our environment will be negligible for your children.
When Is the Time to Act?
How about now? The damage to the environment has been done, is being done and will continue to be done. When do we as citizens of the world act? Is this a legacy we leave for our children? Are we waiting for another generation to wake up and smell the roses?
Teach your children to be environmentally responsible. Children emulate their parents; that is an indisputable fact that will continue and if it is fact then let’s give our children good actions to emulate. Teach them about proper energy use. Teach them about fossil fuels and proper recycling practices. Teach them to be the next stewards of the Earth.
At some point someone has to do it! Why not now?
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)