Reflections on Earth Day

“It’s going to take all of us, gathering our voices and acting together. Saying, “Not on our watch” to create a future for humans, animals and the environment.”

― Eileen Anglin

Tomorrow is Earth Day. It should be a day of reflection for all of us.

We can laugh in amusement or derision at the “Greens”, the tree huggers, the “eco-” this or that product’s claims, environmentalists as a whole, because of their sometimes extremisms, but don’t we – shouldn’t we – give them credit for doing the right thing, drawing our attention to what ultimately matters – should matter to all of us – the health of the only planet that we have to live on?

My sisters (one East Coaster, the other Southwesterner) came here on vacation a week ago and we took them sightseeing (and a little wine tasting) around the state. I was thinking, as we sat in a cute little train traveling through the ancient coastal redwood trees in Santa Cruz, how they (the trees, not us) were saved from extinction, from the designs of commercial harvesters who would have cut them all down for the sake of money making.

And I was thinking about it while we were all walking on the beach in the rain at Morro Bay, how great it is that that piece of coastline, like so many more on both coasts, have been kept public and not left available for private or corporate development.

Shouldn’t we all be a little more “green” than most of us are, doing something more than merely separating recyclables from the trash we set out for pickup?

In the quote above, Eileen urges us to not only act but to use our voices to speak out against those practices or policies that are harmful to the very air we breath, the water we drink, the environment as a whole that sustains our lives and all other living things.

I think that was what I was unconsciously doing when I wrote “Let Coal Go the Way of the Horse and Buggy” and published it on this blog and allowed it to be republished on Writer Beat (writerbeat.com) at the request two weeks ago of that site’s administrator, who somehow became aware of my post here (and now has been viewed by over 150 of their readers, and has thirty very interesting comments so far, compared to only 8 views and no comments on Word Press.)

Or my membership in The Sierra Club, who endeavors to preserve our natural heritage against development or human degradation.

I think, maybe, these are instances where, in light of environmental actions taken so far by the Trump administration, I give voice to “Not on my watch.”

And as the entire West Coast branch of the family joined us for breakfast with the animals at our zoo, especially when the grandchildren fed the giraffes. It was in the news the other day that it’s they (the giraffes, not the children) that are now the latest animals threatened with extinction. I pray there’ll be giraffes their children can see, perhaps feed.

Maybe it’s in my membership to our zoo, that helps fund wildlife preservation worldwide against thoughtless or commercial killings, that is my voiced “Not on my watch”.

Maybe I’m more “green” than I’ve thought.

Maybe I’ll self-reflect on that more tomorrow, Earth Day, and see how else I can better our world with my voice.

Is there anything in your mind, with respect to what’s happening to other humans, animals or the environment, where you can act or say “Not on my watch”?

– Bill

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