Thoughts on Earth Day: Our children’s inheritance
The earth, through the eyes of a child: it’s a beautiful place, not to be spoiled.
How will we leave it for today’s children? Will they enjoy the inheritance of a clean earth, or will they struggle with the consequences of problems too long ignored?
This Tuesday, April 22, we celebrate Earth Day, the observance established in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, long before today’s children were born. Alas, while the nation has made many strides toward preserving the environment and resources, the earth remains light years away from what it could be.
Triumphs of recent decades include recovery of the eagle, bluebird, hawk, owl and osprey populations, their own descendants protected after the banning of DDT. Also of note in our waters is the regenerated oyster industry, still a shadow of its former self but apparently no longer threatened by extinction. Rockfish populations have rebounded, crabs are better. These are good signs.
Each challenge has to be met individually, and many, many challenges remain.
We are concerned about global warming, whether natural, as some insist, or manmade, as others contend. Why, in an age where technology makes anything possible, is there not more development of renewable, clean energy resources? If it’s true carbon dioxide is indeed causing our world to heat up and the glaciers to melt, and the ocean level to rise—and we believe the odds are pretty strong this is happening—why take a chance on making the situation worse? Why not turn to the wind and the sun?
Clean, organic, natural and energy-efficient products and services are working their way into the marketplace because people want them. Perhaps, as we contemplate the state of our world 100 years from now, the demand for a better existence of man with nature will become so great that old methods will fade away naturally.
We ask our readers to look at school students’ thoughts about a clean earth and society’s needs on this page and in Section C; and then we hope they will ask themselves: what can I do from today forward to make it happen?