Random Thoughts

Earth Day, 2007

... did you miss Earth Day on April 22nd?

by Ann Robbins Talbot

There was a time when people didn't care too much about the future of the Earth. It could take care of itself. We wasted everything. We polluted everything. We were selfish about everything.

Then came a wake-up call. As inhabitants of Earth, we had to take care of our home. Earth Day was established on the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, to make us aware of our bad habits. But the exact date of Earth Day roamed around in the middle of March. So in 1970 Earth Day was designated all over the world for April 22.

We began to conserve. We began to recycle. We began to get cranky about pollution. We memorized a new phrase global warming. We began to put our time, our money and our efforts where only our words had been.

This year Al Gore has our attention with his Academy-Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." I have seen it on tv. It's good. We also read advertisements  full of conservation items from expensive insulation projects to little curly light bulbs. Each of us can do something. And now.

But one scene caught my attention last week like nothing had caught it before. On a Friday night as the Red Sox in leprechaun green were battling the Yankees, I happened to catch the "20/20" news show. Diane Sawyer reported "on climate change and ways environmental challenges are being faced around the world." If it is repeated, tune in!

One scene brought tears running down my cheeks. She showed an exotic bird from the rain forest that mimics what it hears. The lovely bird imitated the sounds of a quiet rain forest with the gentle songs of its fellow birds. The bird then gave a terrific imitation of a car alarm like the sound you hear when you push the wrong button by mistake. (This is not a trained bird.) Finally the gorgeous bird made the exact sound of a chain saw  cutting down its habitat and displacing thousands of its kind. It was my wake-up call a beautiful, primitive bird opening its beak and having the sound of a chain saw come out. How amazingly sad.

Let's smarten up. Earth Day is every day. Choose your own wake-up call and let's get going. We have work to do.

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