Friday, April 22, 2005

An Earth Day Note

Yes, today is the bain of the anti-environmentalists. Today is Earth Day. It is a day to remind ourselves of the stewardship we have been granted for the planet. Over the last 3 decades, the environmental movement has made a lot of progress in cleaning up the water, the air, the sea, etc. It is a movement that has not been without faults and failing of its own, but has overall had a positive impact on the United States and the world as a whole. Long past are the days when rivers caught fire and entire neighborhoods were condemned because of toxic contamination. The Clean Air Act has made the nations air more breathable, and lessened the suffering of thousands of children and elderly. The water coming from our taps is cleaner than it was and corporations are being held accountable to the chemicals they dumped into rivers and streams for decades.

When you think about the environmental movement, it is not all about hugging trees and saving obscure snails from extinction. It is also about being pro-human. Pollution disproportionately affects those who are most vulnerable. The children, the elderly, the poor. As we look back at 30 years of protecting our world, we should be proud of what we have achieved, but at the same time not stop because there is much more to be done. There are sections of the US that have never met the minimum air quality standards. There are sections of the US where ground water is still undrinkable. There are sections of the US where cancer rates are 4 to 5 times higher due to chemical releases.

A flourishing economy is important to maintain and improve the quality of our lives, but the quality of our lives is also dependant on out health and ability to enjoy what we have. Environmental concerns and business do not have to be at odds with one another. America was able to put a man on the moon in less then a decade. We can also developed ways of protecting our health while also protecting out jobs.

Whether you are an environmentalist or not, take this day to celebrate what God has given us and re-dedicate yourselves to doing even the small things that make a difference. Recycle that can, buy the product with less packaging, walk to the neighbors instead of driving. In the end, it makes not only environmental sense, but economic sense.

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