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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Image Source: Bangor Daily News

…or maybe its Earth Week for you. Or perhaps, for you, it Earth Every Day! Whichever way you prefer to celebrate our beautiful blue planet, thank you. I hope you join me in taking the time to remember that we only have one planet we call home—at least until we master space travel. Unfortunately, we may not make it until then, nor is the a guarantee we would find a suitable new world or that we won't destroy that one, as well.

WOW! Depressing. Sorry. Anyways, moving on!

As I searched the internet for a fitting image for this post, I came across the one above and felt that I should share it. I particularly like this image because it adds a new layer to the quintessential "Three Rs"( Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) that we've lived with for so long.

Adding "Respect" to the mix reminds us that the "Three Rs" must be done with respect and forethought. Also, it reminds us, that everything else we do should respect the environment. Our laws and policies, for example, should bear the world in mind. As the Iroquois proverbs insist, our decisions should take into consideration the affects on the next seven generations (about 140 years). Unfortunately, in most case, governments and private decisions do not reflect this.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for example, recently finished their work on the effects of and our ability to combat global climate change, and it isn't pretty. (Here [1][2][3] are some great Mashable articles that explain those findings.)

Earth Day is a great way to stop and think about our relationship with our planet. It is a time to remember our planet and to (re-)educate ourselves about our impact and about the ways we can reduce our footprint. For our part, Brooke and I have been recycling what we can and reducing elsewhere for years now. Where we use to have an overflowing trash bin days before trash pickup day, we are now lucky to have half of that volume every other week. This year, we've seen other reductions in our consumption, as well. Since I started classes at Georgia State University, the wife and I have been carpooling together into the city from the suburbs. Not only that, we are getting twice the gas mileage in our new Prius, which we park in a well-shaded parking deck at my wife's work helping to reduce gasoline evaporation from the sun and heat. I then take the train the rest of the way into Downtown Atlanta. If you haven't guessed, I'm pretty proud about of our effort—although, admittedly, we could definitely do better.

Well, that's it for now. I hope you all enjoy your Earth Day. Here are some excellent, thought-provoking videos and infographics I found on Upworthy [4][5][6][7][8]. But don't watch them right now, silly! Turn off your computer, go outside. Plant a tree or pick up some trash. Come back tomorrow! I could use the traffic anyways.