Monday, July 26, 2010

I Like Clean Air


I try to keep from ranting here, but sometimes, I just have to. I hope you can forgive my rant if it offends you, but it's how I feel.

I grew up with country music, so I don't not like it. I just have immensely expanded my music library, and I don't listen to country all that much anymore. Maybe this is why:
Both ends of the ozone burnin
Funny how the world keeps turnin
These lines are from Toby Keith's song "American Ride." Now, my Ma she loves Toby. I like a few of his way older songs when he didn't sing about hot topics in the political arena.

But I don't like the way he blatantly blows off a big part of the environment. Whether or not you believe or do not believe in global warming, I think we should all be concerned that what humans are doing to the planet, and consequently to ourselves, isn't healthy.

It isn't healthy to breath the black crap that comes out of your tailpipe. It isn't healthy to dump tons of waste (trash, run-off that is full of pesticides and fertilizers, other chemicals) into rivers and aquifers. It isn't good for copious amounts of oil to spill into the oceans. It isn't smart to burn off excess natural gas at an oil refinery plant.

In case you can't tell, I care about the environment. I love trees and blue skies and sunshine and fresh air and animals. It hurts me to see the lack of respect that we as human beings have for the world around us.

God made this planet, and He chose to put us here. He gave us "dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." The Earth and every living thing, every rock, each sand grain, they're all beautiful gifts from God.

So what do we humans do with God's gifts? We either destroy them or trash them. A beach littered with trash, a forest stripped bare, the last of a species in a cage at the zoo, open-pit mines that are not reclaimed, so much artificial light at night that you can't see the stars.

We need to acknowledge that there is something awry about our attitude and actions toward the planet. America is very well off compared to other countries in the world. For example, we have access to clean, safe water. Billions of people around the world don't have access to clean, safe water. We import a good chunk of minerals and ores because, for certain things, we don't have enough to mine economically in our country or for what we do have, it isn't economically feasible to mine them. Because of this, we import minerals and ores from other countries where environmental standards are lax. Citizens of those countries suffer the consequences of no protection for their rights as workers and laborers, and their health also suffers because their governments and mining industries don't care to clean up after themselves.

As my professor said, "We’re a major consumer of everything. That shouldn’t surprise you." It doesn't surprise me. What I am surprised about is that we don't account for our actions more often and take responsibility. We don't protect what we have.

Call me a tree hugger, an environmentalist, a Democrat, what have you.

I like to be called a human being, a child of God who only wants to keep His gifts around instead of losing them.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is my favorite place to hike, is the most polluted national park in the country. It has the highest levels of ozone. That is an epic fail.

Yes, the ozone is burning. Yes Mr. Keith, the world is still turning, but do you want to drink dirty water and breath sooty air because it is easier to simply just avoid dealing with issues like clean air and clean water? I don't.

It isn't healthy for us (not to mention not nice) to ruin what God has given us.

1 comment:

Sr. Ann Marie said...

Great post! Thank you.