Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Our Planet

Happy Earth Day everyone.

I happened to catch most of Frontline on PBS (Public Broadcasting Station) last night and thought it was important to share with as many people as I can. I found it very informative and eye opening. Even though the program is centered around water issues in the US, it is applicable to people worldwide, as we all face the same environmental issues and are in this together regardless of borders, economies, beliefs, etc.
You can watch the whole episode online here:

I also watched a program on Nature (also on PBS) on Sunday night that was about the last of several of the most endangered species from around the world and scientist's efforts to bring them back from the brink of extinction. One animal, Lonesome George, or Solamente Jorge as they called him I was in the Galapagos many years ago, is the only Tortoise left of his kind. He resonates with me since I have actually seen him. To know that this tortoise sitting in front of you is the very last of it's kind really puts things in perspective.
You can watch the whole episode here:

While both of these shows are important in their own right, what struck me was that the prime issue highlighted in both is the conservation of undeveloped land and habitat. It seems that leaving the land alone and not developing it for commercial and residential use is the key to preserving our water, air and biodiversity.

I also thought the attitudes of some of the people on Frontline about being able to do "what we want" with "our land", regardless of the rest of the planet was very interesting and typical of human nature. It highlighted to me the selfishness that causes the vast issues we are facing today. It also means that if we start thinking of things other than ourselves, that perhaps we can make a difference before it's too late.

I will leave you all with these extremely appropriate quotes that I found on the Glacier National Park blog.

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
- Chief Seattle, 1854

And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell, and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.
- Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks

When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
- Cree Prophecy

I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.
- Sun Bear of the Chippewa Tribe

Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.
- Ancient Indian Proverb

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