Treating the planet better than we do


I often worry that I give off some sort of impression that I don’t believe in the dangers of climate change or the concept of global warming. Which is, to be blunt, crap.

Instead, I am simply being me… in the way I observe the world and the process I often give my thoughts. I have always believed in approaching things with a bit of a naïve, innocent, believe the best and prepare for the worst kind of way. If you called your impression of it a kind of devil’s advocate method, so be it. And to that end, I am learning it may be far more worrisome what I find in my immediate surroundings as far as environmental concerns.

Take a look up and down the street you call home. I’d be willing to bet that all around your community there is trash strewn along the roadside. Bags and wrappers and coffee cups and more. Cans and bottles and assorted whatever. Trash.

I find a few pieces along the edges of my yard each week. It is amazing how blindly inconsiderate people are as a whole.

The other day I drove into a parking lot. I got out of my car, walked a few steps toward the store, and on the ground… near the line indicating the side of a space and just about where a driver’s door would be if a car had been parked there… a pile of cigarette butts.

We are talking the very bottom branch for low hanging fruit here… the easiest of things any of us could do as “the least we could do” for improving our corner of the world. Most businesses—stores to restaurants to gas stations—have trash cans literally right there for general use. (In some cases, the bins are accessible without even leaving your car!)

And then we have the experts. Yeah… well… the experts dumped tires in the ocean off the coast of Fort Lauderdale decades ago. (Because the fish were going to love that.) With those results in mind, maybe you can tell me why I might be hesitant about trusting proposals for actions and solutions such as the underground storage of carbon dioxide. Today’s good intentions are tomorrow’s lessons in caution more often than we care to believe.

I can be skeptical, annoying, ignorant, and a bit of a wiseass on the subject of climate change. I readily admit, I think it’s awfully egotistical of us to believe the planet won’t figure out a new way of moving on without us when evidence demonstrates that volcanoes and meteors and other disasters have taken place… literally and figuratively floods have previously reset the game, so to speak.

The trick is, none of it changes the most fundamental of ideas.

We treat the planet horrifically.

No jokes about the latest deep freeze cold snap. No videos of melting glaciers. No before and after shots of rising waters and widening wastelands. No meteorological statements about strengthening storms. The simplest of observations will do. We don’t need gargantuan studies or arguments about what is really causing what.

We need to do better.

And anyone that believes otherwise does not need to look far. The trash and waste and stupidity in our own neighborhoods provides more than enough evidence. We need to do better.

I am far from perfect. (Laughably far. So much for leading by example.)

I believe we do have a need for advance teams, beating the drums far beyond anything we are currently engaged in, to keep our focus on the future. Someone needs to at least mark the path, even if the ultimate road shifts a bit along the way. But for most of us, attention offered to the low hanging efforts, the simple things, could make for a wonderful beginning.

The reality is simple… all of us can make an improvement, especially when most of us realize where we can make a difference.


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