Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Give a little back so we don't have to leave

Dick Cheney refuses to call it a day

Hands up, how many of you watched Life After People on the History Channel Sunday evening?

What an ideal precursor to Earth Day was this intriguing and beautifully produced offering. Basic premise was, if the planet is messed up, then we are responsible. Added to which, should we all go away, then literally within days, the place would start rebuilding itself, and within centuries, and assuredly millennia all vestiges of us would be forever gone. See, all we have to do is, like Elvis, leave the building. This was all manfested via advanced computer technology that showed our cities and towns deteriorating as nature took its own back.

It has been said before that if humanity were wiped off the face of the earth, the planet would just keep moving along. But, if bees or earthworms left, the place would be doomed. Puts it all in perspective.

None of this is intended to suggest that the attainments of humanity have all been amiss. I generally like the trappings of civilization, just as much as I revere nature in its fundament. But, I would find it difficult to live on a planet that did not have a London, Paris, Florence, or the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome. One glimpse of Michelangelo’s David may not prove there is a God, but it goes a goodly stretch in that direction. Hamlet’s soliloquy answers some pertinent questions and the New Testament raises some other ones.

So, no, I would rather we had sufficient wisdom to both keep us from leaving and to also do a much better job of maintaining what we have – for the benefit of all creatures and assorted bits of shrubbery.

One of that statements made on Life After People pertained to the oceans of the planet. It noted that within mere decades vast quantities of marine life would be well on their way to returning to their status of centuries past, before we exploited them so horribly that within my own lifespan I have witnessed ghastly changes. But, what else? The program pointed out that we have come to treat our oceans in two ways: As food sources for our gaping and greedy maws, or as toilets. That about sums it up.

Yet, the oceans are so vast, surely we can’t have damaged them so. I have flown across the breadth of the Pacific. I have stood on the other side. At more than 500 mph for 10 hours we still hadn’t reached our destination. How can something that big be so vulnerable? But it is. Horribly vulnerable.

So, as a coastal person, my Earth Day concern is of a soggier sort than plain old dirt, not that the dirt isn’t vital, too. But, my primary concern is the oceans and waterways that are the source of original life on the planet.

I recall a time in early adulthood when I lived on the beach in this area and I could ask my wife if she fancied barbecued salmon for dinner. If she replied that she did, I would take the boat out and within a half hour return with a fish. They were that plentiful. Abundant enough they were that I would regularly watch them finning the surface of the water. Long, long gone are such days, and this within an expanse of time that is frighteningly short.

Personally, I’d like to see the following transgressors summarily deleted from our seas:
- Deep net fishing fleets
- Whalers
- Industries that spew their crud into our rivers and oceans
- Cities that dump raw sewage into oceans, lakes and rivers
- Absolutely anybody who would dare to throw a plastic bag into the ocean
- Dirty marine engines that spread oil and other fuels into the seawater
- Logging operations that ignore the vital roll of spawning beds in coastal streams to the well-being of the seas.
- Negligent fish farm operators.

Oh, I could go on and on with this rant.

Whatever the case, do whatever little thing you can on Earth Day to make the terra firma and the waterways a bit healthier.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see all those banned, too.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

And I.

Although I often think the only way to save the earth is to disappear from it once and for all.

I'm a pessimist like that.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Get Off My Lawn! said...

I actually think that humans are a bit more indispensible than that. After all, we're part of it too. And what computer can accurately predict what the effects would be in a hundred years, let alone a thousand? If only. But it was beautifully rendered.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Big Brother said...

Amen to that...

6:27 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

You know how much I agree with you on this!

9:55 PM  
Blogger geewits said...

Being originally from North Carolina, I had no idea that there were dirty beaches until I moved to Texas. The Texas gulf coast is dotted with oil rigs and every hotel and beach house has signs with rules about removing the "tar" from your feet before entering. This is the oil sludge that washes up. The last time I was there the beach was one big mess of dead jellyfish and giant wads of dead seaweed. It was disgusting. I'm one of those people that always leaves the beach or park cleaner than I found it. I always pick up trash. I love the ocean.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

Well said Ian. Happy Earth Day!

12:49 AM  
Blogger Leesa said...

The problem, as I see it, is that we have hundreds of different governments (and their citizens) who must decide to not throw stuff into the ocean. How can we do that?

3:38 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

It's such a delicate ecosystem, and to think if bees left us our world would soon deteriorate. I did watch that documentary and it was fascinating to see or even fathom how fast the earth would "heal" itself from the damage we've done to it.

Funny you mentioned the salmon and your wife's response... On the news they were explaining how fish farms were getting a bad rap due to the unbalanced ecosystem... Also, there was this fish eating snake nearby where I live, that was potentially a threat to fishermen. They decided to wipe them out clean, and now that they have, the entire food chain has been flopped and there is an overabundance of one species and a lack of another. So they had to breed these fish eating snakes to equal it out.

How delicate, huh?

I have so much to learn, but I am so glad you acknowledged Earth Day!


Off to plant some seeds in the garden! (Even if, it's a very small garden out on my deck!) lol

12:27 PM  
Blogger Los Angelista said...

Feel free to go on about that rant. You've heard about the giant, Texas-sized floating trash thing in the Pacific? Every time I go to the beach and see trash float by me in the water, I think about how clean the water must have been back before Los Angeles' official beginnings in 1781 -- before we came here and dropped cigarette butts and plastic bottle caps all over the place.

1:01 PM  
Blogger SSQuo said...

Can you see my finger? I saw very little!

Its time to wake up, but basically to wake MORE people up.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Cricket said...

Great post!

Al Gore spoke of this issue in his award winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and David Suzuki has written and lectured about this for years. Suzuki has been particularly concerned about the loss of salmon and the effect that loss has on the forests, and on the flora and fauna in the forests. Everything is connected.

On March 10, 2008 Ian Lidster wrote:

”Whoopee, we’re all gonna die: Of course we are. But I don’t necessarily have to accept the premise cherished by so many as “the truth” that we’re all going to die as a result of global warming and therefore international economies should be compromised for the sake of one ‘theory’. I’m sorry, and I know this may be heresy, but I don’t necessarily accept the fact that Al Gore or David Suzuki know any more about this stuff than I do, and I know damn little.”You're an intelligent man, and I am so very glad you have changed your mind. ;-)

6:28 PM  
Blogger meggie said...

My second son takes the weight of man's foolishness on his shoulders- to his detriment, of course. He seems unable to filter the rotten from the good.
I look at our sewerage disposal systems, & despair.
Jazz perhaps, has the answer, to the planet's woes!!

1:07 AM  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Well said. There is so much we can all do.

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