Friday, November 16, 2007

uh oh

THIS is not good. All in favor of changing your own personal habits, making sacrifices and taking care of our planet... it's time to get active.

I was birding today at Greenbury Point. In a few months, our Navy will remove several fields, a mulching facility and some rather important natural space. In their place, two turf rugby fields (one impervious fake grass, the other simply environmentally unfriendly, fertilizer-craving, water-runoff loving grass), some bright lights (for safety at night) and some asphalt for parking cars (it's doubtful that they'll be a bike rack anywhere). Oh, super.

While I was hiking the point this morning, I noticed that the summer's green growth is dying off. The leaves are falling to ground. Revealled in their absence are a slew of empty plastic bottles, bags, wrappers, trash and refuse left behind by some idiot(s) who could care less about taking care of (what is left of) the wild spaces in our area. It's beyond frustrating. It's disturbing that all too often, some human beings are nothing more than destructive, careless, inconsiderate and lazy.

In some cases, it's someone who carelessly throws their used water bottle into the bushes. In other cases, it's a developer who thinks rugby fields and asphalt are more important than a nature trail and a wild meadow for Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Bluebirds, American Kestrel and Tree Swallows to breed. In too many instances, it's a developer who thinks what the world around here needs is another housing development, road, shopping center, business park, etc. At some point, our consumption will consume us, and we will be forced to alter our lifestyles.

Instead of a new highway, maybe we should be thinking about new ways to travel? Instead of a sprawling community of houses, maybe we could rebuild old, run-down neighborhoods? Instead of sprawling business parks, storage facilities and strip malls, maybe we could concentrate our developments? Wild ideas, I know.

Turn on the news and you'll hear a flow of reports about looming droughts, famine, floods, Global Warming, toxic waste, obesity, pollution, hurricanes, species extinction and other, even more alarming abuses of nature.

I'm sure the folks that left their empty gatorade bottles and doritos bags on the trails of Greenbury Point will pay little mind to those warnings. Or maybe these lazy polluters, as well as other folks like developers, government officials and even us consumers will wise up. With any luck, they'll care deeply about future generations and the planet they'll hopefully enjoy. Perhaps then, they'll wise up and realize the consequences of their action (and in some cases, inaction). This planet isn't ours to trash.

We're only renters. Our responsibility is much larger than merely taking care of ourselves.

The basic idea here is it's time to think differently about our consumption, the challenges that go along with population growth and the need to dramatically decrease the destruction of the world's natural resources.

Consume less, enjoy more. Sounds like a contradiction, but really it's common sense. I'm not throwing stones here (or empty water bottles). I am making changes in my own day-to-day life when it comes to consumption. It's not going to be easy, but it will surely be rewarding for both myself, my family and future generations.

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