Today is Blog Action Day. A day in which more than 12,000 blogs around the Internet have elected to make posts focused on the environment and raising awareness about the top environmental issues we’re facing today.
Considering the nature of my blog, I of course wanted to make a contribution to the cause. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about. Obviously there are so many topics to choose from. Global warming, deforestation, pollution, endangered species, and so on. I love the outdoors, and the environment is something that I take seriously, and want to see protected.
Throughout the day, as I read some of the other posts in blogs that I read, I saw plenty of thoughts on these topics and a whole lot more. But as I began to think about all these topics, one thing kept coming to mind. Just exactly when did the environment become a partisan issue?
Allow me to explain what I mean. Sure, in the past there were disagreements over approaches to environmental issues, but pretty much everyone agreed that our natural resources needed to be protected. At times, there was heated discussion over those resources, but at the end of the day, everyone were still friends, and a good compromise was reached with the interest of the environment met in one way or another. But somehow, that’s all changed in the last ten years or so, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly when or why.
The easiest example of this is on the issue of global warming. I’ve never seen an environmental issue that is so split between the left and the right. On the left you have a group that has recognized global warming as the most challenging environmental issue of our time. Former Vice President Al Gore, a Democrat of course, even made an Oscar winning film on the topic, and then followed it up by winning the Nobel Peace Prize last week. But this side of the political spectrum also seems to go to extremes in their doom and gloom predictions. Sometimes making big leaps as to what the consequences of global warming will be, and even going against scientific findings. For this side of the argument, it’s all about what we’re doing to the planet, and rarely do they take into account possible natural explanations of what could be causing the warm up.
The other side of the spectrum has the right tending to stick their head in the sand, with some denying that there even is such a thing as global warming . They speak out against the Kyoto Treaty because it could hamper economic growth or that not every country, namely China, are involved, never mind that we should be more concerned with our own house first. Those on this side of the discussion say that we’re just going through a natural process, and point to scientific studies of their own that say the process could easily reverse itself. These are the same people who can’t, for the life of them, figure out why Al Gore won an Oscar, let alone a Nobel Peace Prize.
Of course all sides of a debate have a line drawn down the middle with people falling on both sides depending on their view. But in this case, I’ve never seen an environmental issue that could be so clearly defined by Left and Right. Republican and Democrat. When it comes to the environment however, we’re all the same. We’re all human. And these issues effect all of us the same in the end.
It’s important that we put aside these petty differences and work to become better stewards of the environment as a whole. You’ll hear people saying that if we don’t we’ll destroy the planet. But those people are wrong. The planet has been through a lot worse things than what we’re doing to it. What we’re doing is not destroying the planet. Instead we’re destroying ourselves. Because if there is one thing that I’m certain of, the Earth will go on. It’ll heal itself. The question is, will we, the human race, be around to see it?
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