Earth Day 2020. The Green New Deal. The Future.
It’s Earth Day 2020! What does that mean? Is it a day to change our actions, thoughts and attitudes toward our relationship with the earth? Is it that day every year that we try to conserve a little more? Or make sure we recycle? Or walk when we would normally drive? Maybe, but it’s also a little more than that. At least it should be more than that.
For decades upon decades we have failed to appreciate and have taken advantage of our planet, our air, our water and the amazing and diverse collection of life that surrounds us. Yes, there have been people who have been fighting for these issues a long time, but, as a whole, we have neglected our home and all it provides us. Earth Day is supposed to be a day where we reflect on our day-to-day actions and question whether we are doing enough on every day of the year.
Sure, taking the steps we should all be practicing (like recycling, conserving, weighing cleaner alternatives, etc) can be an inconvenience. I get it. It would be easier to not do the dishes when I used them, or not put away my clothes when they get washed, or not clean whenever there is a mess. It’s always easier to take the path of least resistance, to push off til tomorrow what could or should be done today, make any type of excuse as to why it is someone else’s problem, or say, “I am only one person. What difference can I make?”
The time for excuses has long since passed. Our time for action is here. Changing our norms is no easy task, but it can’t be something we shy away from. Upcoming generations deserves the change that we talk about. The Green New Deal has gotten a lot of criticism and kickback from people, but I would guess that most of those people have not read it. It’s a relatively quick and easy read so I encourage everyone to give it a look. When you do, I think you’ll see that it isn’t that scary after all. Not only would supporting the GND or any updated version of it be the right thing to do, but it is what the younger generation wants now and what future generations will need.
It is important for us to understand that while we may live on the planet today, it is future generations that will inhabit it tomorrow. Perhaps not everyone feels that obligation to protect the planet for future generations. Thinking only of your needs or wants or the things that touch your life is absolutely your prerogative, but I encourage everyone to fight that line of thinking. Thinking outside that relatively small circle of self is, or can be, difficult. There are generations that will follow us; perhaps your children, grandchildren, great-niece or nephew, or maybe no relation at all. Regardless of who they are, they will follow and they will be forced to live in the world we make for them. Do we want them to be cleaning up the mess we left, or to improve on what we accomplished? I will always believe in a better world, that we can improve as people, and that we should create an example to be followed.
This is the world that I am fighting for. This is the world that I want to be a part of. This is the world that future generations deserve, and the world we should be working to create.