2006 Oct 12, 11:13pm

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A Call for Environmental Solidarity

Numbers matter. All of the scientific data, and an overwhelming number of internationally respected scientists support that the threat of global warming is a real and present danger. Certain politicians and corporate magnates would deny reality for the sake of personal power and wealth. It is time to send a clear message that we, the people of this world, will no longer stand at idle and allow reality to be twisted. We will not allow our future to be sold out from beneath us.

All of the places in which I played as a child – the empty fields with their summer breezes; the cooling woods dappled with sunlight and adventure; the standing vernal pools and ponds, all a-chirp with the music of toads, birds, and insects; and the small whispering brooks, and trickling wetlands – every last one of these places has been usurped by roads and parking lots, and planted over with houses, office buildings, and businesses. These things bring vehicles, require energy, and create pollution.

Kalamazoo Nature Center, Pond Frog

The same is happening around the world to our last remaining forests and wildernesses, and to our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Greed travels arm in arm with consequence, and the two can never be separated. The consequence of our greed is shrinking glaciers and the disappearance of snow-capped mountains, and the flooding and drought that will follow. Avarice asks of us a toll of warmer ocean waters that bring dying coral reefs, diminishing fisheries, and melting polar ice; it gives us killing heat waves and emboldens hurricanes. What cost are we willing to shoulder? What cost are we willing to pass on to future generations?

Kalamazoo River from the Kalamazoo Nature Center

Removing nature from our lives, and polluting the Earth in favor of this kind of “progress” will always come at a price; a hefty bill is about to come due in the form of global warming. It is time to change the way we do everything, and every single one of us can make small, green changes in our lives that will make a difference. We can also demand that our elected leaders help us with those changes that are too big for just one person to affect. Together, we will make a difference.

Numbers matter. The numbers concerning global warming matter, and even if some of our leaders in Washington do not care much for these numbers, there is one set of numbers that will matter in Washington – the number of people who hold environmental issues as an important political issue. Each of us is a powerful, potential vote. Make it known that you will cast your vote at the polls on behalf of the environment, and for the future of all life on this tiny, blue globe. Make it known that any politician who does not actively support a greener, cooler future will not be elected to office.

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