Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Environment is in Our Hands

As I walk outside in my personal garden environment, I hope that the changes I have wrought are a benefit to my yard, and in a small way promote a healthy ecology. I try to fend off fungus & plant bugs with Neem oil, and fertilize with fish emulsion and compost. I use rain barrels as a primary water source and I incorporate Missouri native plants into the garden. I attempt to feed bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to promote and preserve valuable threatened native pollinators.

Even within my home I conscientiously stick to the motto, "reduce, reuse and recycle." I use LED lightbulbs, recycle trash, bags and batteries, keep my AC (when I use it) at 74F, I eat more veg than meat, and shop at thrift stores all in an effort to limit my carbon footprint. While I am far from a shining example, I try to be a responsible human with respect to my influence on the environment.

Humanity's overall impact on the environment is in my opinion, the driving factor behind climate change. Waste, and fossil fuel use have taken a toll on the air, water and land resources of the Earth. For too long, humanity has placed itself at the top of the hierarchy of Earth's creatures, not living in symbiosis with the environment but arrogantly trying to bend the environment and its resources to our will. As a result of centuries of this narcissistic mindset, the June 3rd I experienced today, was hot, nearly 90F/32.2C! Certainly not like the pleasant early Junes of my past, where temperatures were comfortable, roses bloomed and evenings were cool.

President Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, is not only an international debacle, but a revocation of the United States' role as a leader and steward for the environment. I am embarrassed to be an American, given the short-sighted and potentially catastrophic policies coming out of Washington, D.C. Energy conservation, clean energy and energy innovation are where the United States should be focusing, not in resurrecting the polluting coal industry. I am sorry coal miners are losing jobs, but everyone is dealing with losing or changing jobs because the world is changing. Instead of trying to control or dictate that change, perhaps we should listen to the scientists who are working to help us through these different and challenging times. 

Here are some powerful resources that started me on my small journey to help the planet. Perhaps if we all did a little something, it would matter more to solving our environmental problem than the politics of our homelands.

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