Receiving email reminders today for what June 5 signifies around the world, I had a pit in my stomach thinking about it. Why? World Environment Day could aptly be called Toxic World Day. Environmental news across the U.S. and the world is not a pretty picture. Naturally, my prime focus is impact on health. Whether cumulative body burden or an outright assault, it is challenging to say the least. The impact on all living things is just as critical. My mind immediately raced with these thoughts:
- The open ocean ecosystem – is impacted by the abundant floating plastic pieces which attract species not normally found there. Some are insects laying eggs, bringing more creatures to eat them. This is altering and destroying native life that kept the open ocean healthy for milleniums.
- Concern for the Male Population – a news article I wrote after researching abnormal ratios of male to female birth rates in Canada’s Aamijiwnaang First Nation. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (xenoestrogens) are causing more female than male births, lower sperm counts, neurobehavioral disorders, hypospadias, feminizing of amphibians, etc.
- A conversation with an ASU graduate student in 1976 – He told me that his field of study, agriculture, looked pretty bleak for the future. He didn’t know if we could possibly go another ten years. It’s 37 years hence, and we’re dealing with Gmo’s, pesticides, colony collapse disorder, etc.
I cannot stay in the negative without balancing it with positive thoughts and solutions. My further reflections took me here:
- A conversation several years ago with M.C. Davis of Nokuse – We met to discuss the impact of organophosphate pesticides in the area. Educating the community provided the answer. (A good steward of the planet, M.C. Davis and Sam Shine developed and funded Nokuse Plantation–a private conservation initiative of about 48,000 acres in Florida’s Panhandle. M.C. also conceived and launched the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center in Freeport, FL. It’s a Leed certified, state-of-the-art educational facility where visitors come to observe and study native species. This is a huge effort to teach conservation, preservation and restoration.
- Visiting the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia – I was honored to share the elevator and converse briefly with Dr. Ruth Patrick, a preeminent Biologist and visionary ecologist who at that time was 101. Her pioneering research began in the 1940’s; her findings, “dubbed “The Patrick Principle,” became the fundamental principle on which all environmental science and management is based. She proved that the key to understanding environmental problems affecting an ecosystem is found in biological diversity. Her list of Honors, Awards and Degrees is truly amazing.
We are very thankful for those who passionately stay the course and work tirelessly to care for and preserve our planetary home. What will overcome the ignorance and criminality of ruining the earth? We can individually change to a lifestyle of health on every level, learning how to live in grateful harmony with planet earth. The rest is in our Creator’s hands, and I know He has a plan that will not fail.