Monday, April 22, 2019

A Global Perspective

Somehow, Earth Day always makes me think of our little "blue marble" from the outside looking in --
how can something so vast and diverse from ground-level look so small and fragile? In the grand scheme, it is
(image provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center and ORBIMAGE)

As Earth Day approaches its 50th birthday (49 years today), a good number of people look at the modern environmental movement and think "it's a treehugger thing," or it is one day out of each 365 to "think green." Fore mainstream America, my fear is that it has become a day to contribute a few dollars to a tree planting or to peruse plans for building a bird box; to dust off the bike for a single day's commute or to opt for paper, not plastic.

None of these, of course, bad things . . . but are they enough?

The marshes that surround Bay View on Sandusky Bay
(located more or less at the red arrow) looking east,
as photographed from 204 miles above the earth
20 years ago this May
(photo made available by NASA)
Even the very word "environment" -- and perhaps even more "environmental" -- now carry certain baggage. Like so many things, they have become polarized and politicized.

So for many, expressing strong support for an environmental cause -- much less the ultimate environmental cause (the well-being of the planet) -- is just too risky. There are just too many strings attached.

But my simple hope is that these words, like Earth Day itself, can continue to evolve to elicit an open-minded, introspective, and lasting response not just from Americans but from the entire planet's population. The premise has almost become cliche, but ultimately we really do only get one chance (fortunately spread over many generations) to take care of our surroundings. And whether our immediate surroundings are the deck of a high-rise in one of our biggest cities, a suburban lawn, or an expansive rural homestead, all of us make decisions that impact everyone else.

Standing Rush is just one tiny pin point on an immensely rich and diverse global tapestry. But it's our hope that our efforts can help inspire others to "think big" and, at the same time, take the time to steward their own special, little corner of the planet. When you step back and take a fresh look, it is one magnificent place.