“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
to work it and take care of it.”
Ahh! The Earth. Our beautiful planet which, if observed with pure eyes, is truly a remarkably diversified beautiful garden which we, its attendants, have only begun to conceive of the remarkable ways in which it war created. The rolling hills, the luscious forests and jungles, the majestic mountains and the bottomless oceans are the home of the remarkable creatures we all know and love of the mammals, birds and reptiles, including ourselves. Why then, with all this beauty surrounding us on a daily basis must we be reminded that it is our responsibility, our duty to take care of this planet? Yet, until recently with the advent of a few people starting what we call Earth Day, we seemed to think that what this scripture meant was that we could do with this planet whatever we wanted which has lead us to causing the extinction of many species of both plants and animals and, if not gotten under control, could lead to our own extinction as well. So what do we do?
Well, first we must recognize the fact that we are to find our place as part of this creation, and not masters of it, as many of the American Indians have believed and taught. While we are ultimately responsible to feed the billions of people on this planet, we must not place that responsibility above the care of the planet itself. To do so would simply mean to fast run out of or destroy the very source which we need to care for the humans we want to care for.
We must use a different type of logic than that which has been prevalent in the past where if something exists and the human governments gives me the right to claim it, or I am strong enough to take that right, then I can do whatever I want with it. To do so may be the very human way of existence as it has been for thousands of years, but it ignores the rights of other creatures, including other people, on being able to have access to those same elements. It further ignores the fact that we were placed on this planet to “work it and take care of it,” not to take all that is valuable from it and then leave it as useless and ugly.
I am not going to belabor the negative, uh, stupidity of mankind’s activity of creating oil wells in areas which have undermined the land to the point that it is now causing major earthquakes under vast territories like in Oklahoma. Yet, as intelligent as man thinks we are, we are still debating rather to do the same thing in land set aside as a national park in Alaska. Where is the logic in that? While there is much research and evidence concerning the fact that there is more than enough energy available through wind, solar and thermal resources it remains essentially untapped because the ones who have become rich with oil and other more potentially dangerous and destructive sources of energy refuse to invest in these alternative energy systems.
The same is true with numerous other topics which concern the Earth’s health. Things like air pollution, over-farming with chemical substitution of fertilizers and never allowing the ground to rest, and rampant deforestation in areas like Brazil where once lush jungles which had numerous medicinal plants are being replaced by deforested fields for farmers to produce “human needs” crops. A wealth of possible biochemical cures lost to mankind and a much needed source of clean oxygen lost to the planet.
Sadly enough, we have in the past, as a species given the assignment to tend this beautiful garden we call Earth, failed; but it is not yet too late to change the error of our ways and to try to heal the wounds we have caused our “Mother Earth.” The one person in the United States political past which I think did more toward bringing the issue of American disrespect for the planet was not actually a politician at all. She was the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Lady Bird Johnson took on as her cause to get Americans to stop using this country’s landscape as a trash can, and to quite hiding the view of our beautiful country with billboards. Her ideas caught on and from that time on we have started to understand better, and to try to do something about our personal and our planet’s environment.
There is much that needs to be done, there is much which can be done, to turn the tide of planetary destruction which has been so prevalent for the past several centuries. Take action against those who disrespect the land by joining environmental groups. Use environmentally friendly products and services whenever possible, like solar or wind energy. And speak up for the Earth whenever possible. That way, by tending the Earth as we were asked to do, she will be able to take care of us.
Happy Earth Day.