Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Its Earth Day Today

Today is Earth Day!

It is a day for us to reflect on our world. Today is a day for thinking about how we can continue to live on this planet in a sustainable way. Earth Day is an opportunity for us to evaluate what we want for the earth. Are we prepared to remove our blinkered view to provide a world where our children, their children and their children’s children will be able to live?

The Earth is facing ever increasing threats to its continued existence. Rapid industrialisation and every increasing energy needs have led us to ravage the planet’s resources. The stock of oil, coal and natural gas are finite. Some of will run out during our lifetimes. Burning these fuels has changed the planet’s environment in more ways than we can imagine.

We know about pollution. We know about greenhouse gases. We know about the ozone layer. We know about climate change. How much more remains in the realms of the unknown to plague future generations?

Many are in denial.

There are many that are prepared to sacrifice our future in pursuit of the quick buck. Those that came before us saw fit to plant and provide for us. Has that attitude been lost? One of the world’s most prominent politicians has taken the quick buck view. Who cares about tomorrow? I’m only here to get what I can today.

Many of the new industrial powers are taking a similar view. Many parts of China are filled with air that is unfit to breathe. Why bother when the world’s leading power is not concerned? Developing countries take a similar view.

South Africa, facing a massive energy crisis is spending the vast majority of its resources on more fossil fuel facilities. Diesel burning generators are selling like hot cakes. In a climate where solar power is a viable alternative, no one seems to be taking much notice. The technology has been proven in Israel – solar power generators are viable and cost effective.

Some leaders have heeded the call and must be commended. They have recognised that the threats are serious, perhaps irreversible. Urgent action must be taken to turn the tide, and to begin the long task of restoring the world to what it could be and should be.

Are we, as the inhabitants and caretakers of the earth, prepared to take the steps that will create a future for our children?

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