Earth Day or Urgent Day?

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Today, April 22 is Earth Day.

It’s also the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day which started in 1970.

A million people gathered in Central Park on the first Earth Day. It was the largest gathering ever for the park at that time. It woke a lot of people up to what was happening to our ecosystem.

In 1970 Earth Day was about stopping pollution and exposing polluters. After a few years, Earth Day began to be recognized in other countries. Now Earth Day is recognized internationally.

I can remember a public service announcement that played over and over on television at the time. It was of a Native American dressed in buckskins sporting a feathered head-dress looking at garbage along the side of river. I remember seeing a used tire and all sorts of papers and bottles and cans embedded in the sandy shore in this commercial. After surveying the polluted riverbank the Indian turned to look at the camera and there was huge tear rolling down his cheek. It broke my heart and I never forgot it. Click here to watch.

Today, Earth Day is more critical than ever. The pollution we became aware of back then has impacted our climate to such a degree that it’s changed weather patterns around the globe. Water levels are rising as glaciers melt. Droughts are hitting areas that normally receive rain and parts of the world where the climate had always been mild are now pummeled by ferocious storms of rain and snow. And, this is by no means a complete list of the damage that climate change has and is doing.

We have to get a handle on this. NOW.

Scientists say that if we can’t slow down the rate of climate change by 2012 it may be irreversible.

And then what? Where are we to go? Earth is my home. Earth is your home.

A few days ago I wrote a post about the Mystical Experience and then another about how we perceive our reality as being separate from one another which is an illusion. The theme of both posts was that when we awaken spiritually we rise above the illusion of seeing ourselves as separate and see that we are all one and connected. The truth is we can’t harm others without also harming ourselves, and we can’t continue to harm the Earth because we are all just harming each other in the long run, or maybe the short run.

It’s more than obvious now that we are all connected. What goes on in one region or country or continent ecologically affects everyone everywhere eventually.

Today please take 5 minutes of quiet time and focus on the Earth. Send love. Tsunamis of love and gratitude to our Mother Earth.

Let’s each do whatever we can in our corners of the Earth. Recycle, walk more, take mass transit, keep the air conditioner off, buy used consumer goods, repair and reuse things instead of buying new, etc.

Pray that we all wake up and take the time and make the effort to respect, love and honor our collective home – and turn climate change around before it’s too late.

Please pass this on to everyone you know. Tweet it, and/or Facebook it, etc.

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14 Responses to “Earth Day or Urgent Day?”

  1. Jean Sarauer says:

    One thing I’ve been doing, slowly but surely, is taking steps towards a more minimalist lifestyle. This means less driving, using more of what I have, and consuming less. It’s better for the earth and it’s definitely better for my health, budget, and peace-of-mind.

  2. angelaa says:

    Hi Jean, Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment. I think that’s great. Less driving has many benefits as you say, both health-wise and ecologically. After I heard about the floating plastic garbage dump in the ocean, I purchased cloth grocery bags last year. Every little bit helps like replacing plastic bags with cloth, but consuming less is really huge.

  3. Manal says:

    I agree Angela. It is more urgent now than it has been 40 years ago.
    Since we can’t change everyone, we can start with ourselves.

    The first step is less consumption and a movement towards a simpler life. Over the years I have been driving less, traveling less and using less packaging and plastic.

    I am hopeful that more of us are becoming more aware of how important it is to take care of our plant, our home.

  4. Rosemarie says:

    As a result of the efforts in the late 60s and early 70s to become aware of the levels of pollution that were hurting this planet, things did change. We started to recycle, reverse toxic land fills. Emission standards were set. Companies such as Dupont and GE were forced to be more responsible and to clean up the messes they had made. Laws were poassed to protect the environment. But then something happened. The Bush administration for one, lifted many of the requirements for car companies and other big businesses. Greed overcame sensibility. And we let it happen.

    I for one join Angela in a cause to send our love to the Earth. Noting is more powerful than our minds. Let’s also use them to speak to our governments and demand action.

  5. angelaa says:

    Manal, thank you. I agree with you. Everyone needs to do their part. Consumption is key as you say. The less we consume the less we’ll throw out into landfills, or the ocean! When I see the photos of marine life encased in plastic bags I just want to cry. What have we done? We do need to wake up, and fast.

  6. angelaa says:

    Rosemarie, Thank you so much for your comment. You’re right in pointing out all the progress that we made since the 70s. It’s shame that our collective greed for unbridled growth allowed for the reversals of the prior administration to take a turn backward. We do need to all take advantage of the freedoms we have in our democracy to voice our opinions and tell our legislators what we want.

  7. Georgia says:

    I remember the first Earth Day well. It was a beautiful day and the beginning not only of awareness, but of action. Personal responsibility is great, but collectively we worked to get the Clean Air Bill and a lot of other important legislation passed. If alternative energy testing begun in the 1970’s had continued we would be in a much different place now. But funding was cut off for the most promising sources (wind, solar etc.) and continued for enthanol only (thanks to the lobbying of Archer Daniels Midland and the like.) The current Administation is allowing off-shore drilling and is in favor of nuclear power, and shale oil drilling (good-bye clean water) is expanding. We still have no nationwide system of Mass transit.
    So this Earth Day, while I will continue recycle, and try not to waste, and love and respect the Earth for the 40th year, I know more is necessary and am open to ideas.

  8. angelaa says:

    Hi Georgia, thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your thoughtful comment. You’re right and make many valid points. Recycling isn’t going to cut it we continue with offshore drilling and the like. We need to put our efforts behind alternative energy – big time. I’m horrified by the recent oil rig explosion that killed so many and now pollutes the waters surrounding it. We do we need more of that? Tapping the energy of the sun is free and the way to go. Tapping gases from land fills is another way we could utilize something that exists already and is free. The more oil we tap into the longer we delay developing other sources.

  9. Angela, This is an important and thoughtful post. I was appalled to find when my BF and I moved from Seattle to southern Maryland that our town had no recycling at all. Everything–recyclable containers and paper, food wastes, shreded paper, and anything else–goes into plastic bags which go into a dumpster. I presume that it all goes to a landfill for final disposal after that.

    Seattle required recycling of many items and composted food wastes, yard wastes, and shredded paper. Anything else–and there wasn’t much else–went to a landfill. I feel guilty throwing so much stuff away, but I don’t see a really good alternative.

    The good news is that we have made a lot of progress in terms of clean air, clean water, management of hazardous waste, and clean-up of contminated land. We’ve also brought back the bald eagle and other species. I never saw eagles when I was growing up in Seattle; now they’re plentiful.

    Yet, as you say, we have new challenges, especially energy production and use and the associated global warming. Very well done!

  10. angelaa says:

    Hi Madeleine, thanks so much for visiting and leaving your insightful comment. Wow, I’m shocked to learn that there are any towns in the US where recycling isn’t mandatory. I wonder if you could check with the Dept. of Sanitation in your town, or call the town clerk and inquire as to why there is no recycling program?

    I’m so happy to hear that the bald eagles are back in Seattle and in other areas of the US. Here in the NY area the Hudson River is quite clean compared to many years ago when GE contaminated it with PCBs from upstate. I hope large corporations and small companies alike will continue to uphold their end and find ways to produce their products in ways that are less damaging to the Earth.But, like Rosemarie mentioned in her comment we have to keep up the pressure on our legislators to uphold laws that keep our ecosystem functioning.

    Thank you for kind comments about this post Madeleine. I’m looking forward to reading your next post on your blog: Age Myths.

  11. Baker says:

    Great post. This reminds me of how much we should really start appreciating the earth. Simply stepping outside to a park or something in nature is an amazing feeling when we stay present with the trees and grass etc. I enjoyed this post. Have a really amazing rest of the week in nature!

  12. angelaa says:

    Hi Baker, so nice to see you here again, and thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I think most of the time we all just take our home here on Earth for granted. If we focused on our gratitude for the Earth for a few minutes a day- it might just spread around the world to awaken more to caring for our home.

  13. Farouk says:

    yes one day is not enough for the earth, after all its the place we live on. its a great move from your side that you wrote such a post, thank u:)

  14. angelaa says:

    Hi Farouk, thank you for your comment and welcome to my blog. What a great statement you make that one day to focus on the Earth is not enough. How right you are! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. What kinds of things are you doing to help the Earth?