APFwebs: Santa Fe, NM

Earth Day 2015: poor us

by ✍ April 18th, 2015

Every morning I give up two tissues full to overflowing with mucus. Snot. Maybe I’m allergic to waking or too much daylight too quick. Or maybe it’s a sign of caffeine addiction. After sixteen ounces or so, all is well.

This morning we opened the blinds to a display of snow. It’s still snowing as I type (and occasionally grab a tissue or slug down some coffee). Made me think.

Maybe it’s my imagination. Has the weather been more extreme during the recent past? More extreme drought in California, stifling higher summer heat in the east, wild storm seasons in the midwest? No, maybe not.

Maybe folks thought like this during, say, Dust Bowl years, too. When so many poor Okies packed up trucks and moved. “We’re off to see the Wizard!” A new generation of cheap Valley farm labor. Grapes of Wrath.

Our morning pablum is the news. Announced was Albuquerque’s hosting of the annual Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. Native Americans from all over come together to share culture. Also announced was the beginning of Climate Education Week which coincides with Earth Day on this coming Wednesday, April 22.

Earth Day is about environmental issues. This year’s focuses (foci? No) are poverty and climate change. (Did I say that?)

A United Nations Research Council Study concluded, …there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. Calls to mind the farming practices that contributed to the Dust Bowl.

So Earth Day pushes green actions such as recycling. (Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Folks may forget the first two words.) Other green actions involve water conservation. Very important here in the desert southwest—always has been, and doesn’t take a wizard to see. Now, more important for folks in, say, dusty California, where, say, the Colorado River is running dry, neighborhood covenants requiring green lawns may no longer be appropriate, and the great American Foodbasket is threatened.

The Environmental Protection Agency has provided ample evidence on climate change. Evidence that it’s happening. Grueling ideas about its potential effects. Suggestions on what we can do to mitigate it. Actions in which natives of all nations should gather and share. That’s what Earth Day’s about—but not just the day—year-round.

Earth: “there’s no place like home.” Right, Dorothy?

Still, a study by published by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the human influence on climate change is largely irreversible. Scares the snot out of me.