Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Earth Day

It's Earth Day today.

Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has been a rallying call for environmental stewards around the world to actively promote and educate their fellow citizens on the environment. The Earth Day network coordinates a number of world wide programs including in-school educational events, clean-up sessions, engaging businesses and governments on how to transition from a traditional, fossil fuel-based economy to one based on renewable energy, hosting seminars, encouraging "greening" projects (this year's theme is "green cities"), and plenty of other initiatives.

What are you doing this year to celebrate the earth on which we live? I had a conversation with my daughter a few weeks ago in which I was shocked to hear how negative she felt about the future of the world (that's her own future she was talking about).  This year, my aim is to simply turn that attitude around (wherever I find it, but especially at home).  I follow the exceptional blog of George Monbiot who talks about the 4 Ds of climate change inaction - Deny, then defer, then delay, then despair. Optimism always trumps despair.  Even if it is already be too late, it's far better to do something than give up or feel bad. Here's a little poem from the poetry collection Carolyn Howard-Johnson and I wrote titled Sublime Planet.  A poet friend of mine, Rob Walker, set the poem to music, and you can hear our collaboration here:

All proceeds from Sublime Planet are being donated to the World Wildlife Fund

Alien World

And what of water?

Simple old H2O
clear liquid stuff

you drink every day
most abundant compound

on the earth’s surface
sea water
water vapour
70% of the human body
you know all that
yet, licking moist lips
you also know
the habitable zone
depends on liquid water
just enough warmth
down here of course
we take it for granted
slurp with abandon
drip down the chin
spray the car
without second thought.

Drink now
with knowledge
that throughout the universe
aliens everywhere
your distant stardust relations

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