Earth Day Thoughts

Earthrise over the lunar landscape

Earthrise over the lunar landscape

Today is Earth Day. I don’t usually do anything special for it, but I think it’s great that the occasion gets the press to cover environmental issues more than they usually do. Maybe that gets people thinking about their relationship to this planet, our home.

It got me thinking.

What makes someone think it’s “okay” to pollute or to gobble up natural resources faster than they can be renewed? What makes it “okay” for people from one continent to step in and claim the resources of another continent? First you decide that those other people aren’t really people, or at least not on the same level that you are. Then you give yourself permission to take, and take, and take.

But what is taken didn’t come from the people, the humans. It came from Earth. All the oil, gas, food, water, land; the sand that made the glass I’m drinking my wine out of and the grapes that made the wine, all that came from the Earth.

Earth is such a magnificent closed system: trash becomes compost becomes nourishment for new life. Nothing wasted, nothing lost. But we’re maxing her out. She can’t keep up with what we’re dumping on her. If I were the Earth, I would get myself out of this abusive relationship. A few more earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions should do it.

I said, “what is taken didn’t come from the people, the humans. It came from the earth.” But what are humans if not one of the animals of this planet? Yes, we seem to think and plan on a scale beyond that of other mammals. But babies still come out of wombs and we still need to include bathrooms in our houses, and the bottom line is we are born and we will die. We will be compost, and this may sound weird but I actually think that’s beautiful. I’d like to feed future gardens.

There is a slim chance that enough (not all) humans will realize that not only other humans but other species on this planet have rights, that the planet itself has rights. If we realize that soon enough, Earth may not need to shake us off like a failed experiment or a case of the flu.

I like to think she’s giving us a chance still, and that maybe I’m helping a little, or at least not hurting.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

P.S.-tomorrow’s foraging tour is rain or shine!

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