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