Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009 and A Few Thoughts Turns 3!

(Google commemorates Earth Day, 2009)

If you have to share a birthday (as today is A Few Thoughts 3rd birthday, not mine), it might as well be with something like Earth Day.

I'll be honest, I never really gave much of a thought to Earth Day. When I worked for American Cyanamid, they did a big Earth Day thing every year and one of my responsibilities was handling the ordering of promotional items. One year we got a stress ball that looked like the planet. One year we had nightlights that only went on when the light level dropped to a certain point. It was fun, I liked dealing with the rep who handled the stuff - and that was that.

I recycle - but more because I had to than because I wanted to - and there were times when I just tossed stuff in the trash because I was lazy and didn't want to wash it, or maybe the collection of stuff to go out to the recycling bin was overflowing and I didn't want to add to it. It doesn't matter, really. What matters is I didn't think twice about it.

Then I watched Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel. If you haven't seen this series, you have no idea of what you're missing. Really. It covers the entire planet - deserts, mountains, rain forests, icelands, tundras, shallow seas, deep oceans, great plaines, rivers - you name it, there was an episode on it. The photography is stunning (sometimes very violent - because it's nature and nature's brutal to begin with) and absolutely breathtaking. See for yourself.

I bought the DVD set from Discovery a few weeks ago (if you do buy it, or even watch it if Discovery replays it - which I'm sure they will eventually, be sure to watch the behind-the-scenes extras on how they got a lot of those amazing shots) and I'm re-watching it because it's that good (Blue Planet:Seas of Life is next on my to buy list, since I've seen some of it, but not all.)

Aside from the stunning visuals, though, it got me to thinking about global warming and Earth Day and all that, and I have to confess, I came to the conclusion that doing a little something more couldn't possibly hurt (even though I also have to confess, I'm not entirely sure global warming is a man-made problem, since the planet's undergone climate change before - Ice Ages, the warming during some of the dinosaur eras. I also think it's a bit arrogant of man to assume that he has the power to fix it, and he alone has this power. But that's neither here nor there.)

So, it got me to thinking about polar bears and melting ice caps and disappearing rain forests and all that. It's not so difficult to be green - or at least try to be green. I was already thinking that my next car would probably be a hybrid, I use reusable canvas bags at the grocery store, I shut the water off while brushing my teeth. It's all those little things that can and will add up to one big thing when all is said and done and, if we all did those little things, just imagine how big that big thing would be...

So Happy Earth Day - and shut off those lights when you leave the room, please.

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