July 4, 2010

Just How Independent Are We?

Happy Fourth of July! Time to celebrate our independence as a nation! But…

Photo: flickr.com | j.cliss

…while we’re independent as a nation–and that’s something to commemorate–as one of a gazillion species, we’re totally dependent on the earth.

Earth. A mere “pale blue dot” in the universe. The fact it can sustain such abundant life is nothing short of a miracle. Each one of us is a dot on the planet. Lots of dots can create lots of destruction (think of yourself as a carpenter ant or one cell in amongst a herd of staph bacteria) or join together to make something meaningful happen. Something with the potential of securing a peaceful, abundant future for our children.

So let’s take a stand today–sparkler in hand–to declare independence from dirty energy.

Photo: flickr.com | SkyTruth

Oil. Natural gas. Coal. All of it. Let’s continue to protect the values of our nation, but step up to the plate and protect our little gem of the universe. So we don’t have to witness more of the devastating, BP kind of fireworks.

Quit the whining about how hard it will be to cease consumption of oil and petroleum-based products.

We can’t just stop cold turkey. But we won’t make any progress if we just go about our lives as usual. Take it from Robert Redford–the BP oil ‘spill’ should be a wake up call.

I’ve witnessed some people take on an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” attitude.

There’s so much oil hemorrhaging into the very waters that sustain life–our life–so what difference will it make if little old me conserves energy? My efforts are a drop in the bucket.

WRONG ANSWER! BP said their oil spill was a drop in the bucket compared to the size of the ocean. Imagine if everyone had that attitude. And, I hate to break it to you, but BP’s disaster is not the only one. There are many other oil spills that we don’t hear a lot about because they’re not in our own backyard slapping us in the face.

It won’t happen overnight. But it has to start somewhere. With us. Demand clean energy.

Wherever you live on this wonderful planet, declare this day a starting point. Take action, conserve and celebrate life–without damaging it.

Declaration of Independence

Source: David Suzuki Foundation, written for the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

This we know

We are the earth, through the plants and animals that nourish us.
We are the rains and the oceans that flow through our veins.
We are the breath of the forests of the land, and the plants of the sea.
We are human animals, related to all other life as descendants of the firstborn cell.
We share with these kin a common history, written in our genes.
We share a common present, filled with uncertainty.
And we share a common future, as yet untold.
We humans are but one of thirty million species weaving the thin layer of life enveloping the world.
The stability of communities of living things depends upon this diversity.
Linked in that web, we are interconnected—using, cleansing, sharing and replenishing the fundamental elements of life.
Our home, planet Earth, is finite; all life shares its resources and the energy from the sun, and therefore has limits to growth.
For the first time, we have touched those limits.
When we compromise the air, the water, the soil and the variety of life, we steal from the endless future to serve the fleeting present.

This we believe

Humans have become so numerous and our tools so powerful that we have driven fellow creatures to extinction, dammed the great rivers, torn down ancient forests, poisoned the earth, rain and wind, and ripped holes in the sky.
Our science has brought pain as well as joy; our comfort is paid for by the suffering of millions.
We are learning from our mistakes, we are mourning our vanished kin, and we now build a new politics of hope.
We respect and uphold the absolute need for clean air, water and soil.
We see that economic activities that benefit the few while shrinking the inheritance of many are wrong.
And since environmental degradation erodes biological capital forever, full ecological and social cost must enter all equations of development.
We are one brief generation in the long march of time; the future is not ours to erase.
So where knowledge is limited, we will remember all those who will walk after us, and err on the side of caution.

This we resolve

All this that we know and believe must now become the foundation of the way we live.
At this turning point in our relationship with Earth, we work for an evolution: from dominance to partnership; from fragmentation to connection; from insecurity, to interdependence.

Side note about fireworks: fun to watch, unhealthy for the earth and us.

Fireworks pollution litters the ground, contaminates water supplies, and rains down chemicals and heavy metals that contribute to a wide range of serious health problems. Perchlorate, which can interfere with thyroid function and metabolism, and may be detrimental to mental development in fetuses and young children, is one of the chemicals produced by the rockets’ red glare. Read more at About.com…

Happy Independence Day!

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