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On Earth April 22, 2010

Posted by jdoetkott in Lifestyle.
Tags: , ,

Today is Earth Day. That one day out of the year where we all plant trees and maybe somebody busts out a Maypole or two. And as much as I love our planet, I find the concept of global environmental rejuvenation to be somewhat far-fetched.

I do not deny global warming. I do not deny that we as humans are contributing to global warming. And I do no deny that continued global warming will lead to our downfall.

But I do deny that we have control over the environment, which most “Go Green!” and other such campaigns seem to assert. Think about it. We are being told that by using a tote bag at the grocery store and not buying plastic water bottles that we can save the planet from its own destruction. And while this would certainly slow human impact on the environment, the simple fact is this: nature doesn’t really care what we do.

The Earth has been transforming for billions of years. It once had a toxic atmosphere, and it was once covered in ice. For the time being it is a temperate place that is indeed growing warmer. But why do we think we can stop that? Why, as a human race, do we think we have conquered the Earth and now have the power to simply stop its natural processes?

Once again, I do not deny global warming, and I agree with the Go-Greeners in saying that we need to live in a more responsible way. But the fact is the Earth is going to change no matter what we do.

And here’s the scary part: yes, that might ultimately mean the end of our species. If we cannot adapt to our changing environment then we will not survive. Or on the optimistic side, maybe there will just be very few of us left. This has happened to countless species throughout Earth’s history. Why do we think we are any different?

So while I don’t want to ruin the progressive and productive spirit of Earth Day, I think it is important that we see ourselves as part of this planet, and not in control of this planet.

But here is the positive part. While we can’t control the planet, we can adapt to it. And I think that is what Earth Day should be about. Forget about your carbon footprint for a second or trying to understand what that truly means, and just try to imagine a way in which we can all live on a planet that looks different than it does now. Imagine a global society that has responded to new environmental challenges and has succeeded in continuing life. Think big-picture, or the biggest of pictures. Simply put, think about how we can live on a planet as volatile and dynamic as Earth.

Although I believe that we can slow the planet’s change, we cannot stop it. So the goal now is to adapt, just like everything else on Earth.



1. Joe Anderson - April 28, 2010

Interesting point. Have you considered the possibility of space travel or terraforming this and other planets in the future?

2. James Cotching - April 28, 2010

Our planet was made by God and we should fear him! The earth was made for man and we should exploit every resource god has given us. Scientists are using “global warming” to further their liberal political agenda.

3. Merfbe - May 3, 2010

When I hug trees… they bloom flowers that make the squirrels twitter in pure glee.

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