Filed under: J500 Week 5, Society + Media | Tags: clean air, environmentalism, Mother Earth, quality of life, renewable energy, sustainability
In grade school we sang a song called, “Love Your Mother Earth.” In my mind, I was singing about an ethereal woman who soared through the skies on the wings of eagles. She spoke the language of the ocean and her hair was made of ferns.
We also sang about Santa Claus and the Headless Horseman.*
Over time these childhood characters fade away, only resurfacing as nostalgia or a great Halloween costume. Such was the fate of Mother Earth. Sure she is one of my favorite childhood memories, but Mother Earth, like the Headless Horseman, is kind of a weirdo. I mean come on, she’s made of plants.
It really is too bad because these images can make people see environmentalism as strange and inhuman. People generally aren’t comfortable with a woman who has the whole world in her womb and they are afraid that environmentalism will force them to honor an ideal akin to this weird plant lady.
I am here to clear the air.** I want to assure you that taking care of the earth does not turn you into one of “those people” who look, and smell, like compost. You will still be allowed to bathe, and you don’t have to weave your own clothes out of last night’s leftovers. It’s going to be okay. In fact, it’s going to be better.
Environmentalism speaks directly to what we need as people. It gives us healthy food, clean water, and breathable air. Adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle won’t ruin our lives. It will make our lives better. It can strengthen our communities, power our homes, and restore balance to our backyards.
Environmentalism is all about quality of life and reconnecting to what really sustains us. It starts with acknowledging the intrinsic connection between us and the earth. I realize that sounds dramatic, but it’s just true. Everything we need to survive is provided by the earth. We grow our food in it, we drink its water, and we build our homes on it from materials that come out of it.
Being an environmentalist means you acknowledge this connection between us and the earth, and you’re willing to respect it. It means you are committed to improving our quality of life. You want healthier food, clearer air, and cleaner water. You understand that your actions today can ensure that the earth will be able to provide for us tomorrow.
And there is nothing weird and inhuman about that.
*In retrospect, I realize it’s odd that we sang about the Headless Horseman.
**environmental pun intended.
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