EARTH DAY 2017: We Need to Do Better
“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.” Wendell Berry
“The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge, for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.” Marya Mannes
But today demands a special celebration because it is the 47th anniversary of the first Earth Day.
Today’s Earth Day Celebrations champion not just the beauty and variety of our natural world, but the role humans should play in preserving our Earth for future generations. As stewards, we need to protect the natural world not plunder it for easy profits. Part of this stewardship means we need to develop alternative energies, protect spiritual lands as well as national parks, work on local as well as global conservation efforts, and make strides to counter the problems of climate change.
Not everyone accepts this responsibility to protect our world. Current government actions are even undermining protections that have long been in place to preserve the environment and not exploit its treasures and undercutting funding for the science needed to help make things better. If you want to get more informed and more involved on some efforts to keep preserving the Earth for the future, consider joining the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy or the Natural Resources Defense Council in their efforts.
I’m sharing some of my favorite photos to show some of the wonders of Nature that inspire me with awe and reverence, that generate contemplation and reflection, that make me see the need for interdependence with all of nature. It is easy to see God at work out in Nature! How can we not take care of the Earth? Maybe these photos will help suggest some of what is at stake if responsibility for protecting the Earth continues to be ignored or—worse–abrogated.
Get involved today! If you need a reminder about the importance of Nature and all its wonders, go for a drive or take a hike! Maybe you will find some ancient voices carved in the hills. Happy Earth Day 2017. How are you celebrating the day?
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Some Quotes about the Need to Protect Our Earth
“We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.” Kurt Vonnegut
“The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren’t any space aliens. We can’t be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we’re not all there is. If so, we’re in big trouble.” Ellen DeGeneres
“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.” Jacques-Yves Cousteau
“Every day is Earth Day, and I vote we start investing in a secure climate future right now.” Jackie Speier
“My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.” Abraham Lincoln
“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“Earth as an ecosystem stands out in all of the universe. There’s no place that we know about that can support life as we know it, not even out sister planet, Mars, where we might set up housekeeping someday, but at great effort and trouble we have to recreate the things we take for granted here.” Sylvia Earle
“If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either.” Joseph Wood Krutch
“We have a moral responsibility to protect the earth and ensure that our children and grandchildren have a healthy and sustainable environment in which to live.” Jim Clyburn
“Life on earth is more like a verb. It repairs, maintains, re-creates, and outdoes itself.” Lynn Margulis
“But when I wasn’t working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth. . . . The view of Earth is spectacular.” Sally Rider
“I see a lot of damage to Mother Earth. I see water being taken from creeks where water belongs to animals, not to oil companies.” Winona LaDuke
“Sell a country? Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them for the use of his children?” Tecumseh
“Life is abundant, and life is beautiful. And it’s a good place that we’re all in, you know, on this earth, if we take care of it.” Alice Walker