What Are You Doing for Earth Day This Year?
By Carolyn Chase
Raphael Sbarge is the Founder of Green Wish, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping local environmental organizations raise funds in their communities through barcoded donation cards situated in local retail shops.
This yearís Earth Day theme is ďItís Our Nature.Ē Itís our nature. That is to say, itís human nature to build and explore. Especially in the 20th century, itís our nature to transform massive areas on the earth for our own uses.
Itís our nature. That is to say, all life is dependent on the natural world: all ďfunctionsĒ of plants and animals that create and maintain the atmosphere, the flows of water and waste and food. Itís in our best interest to conserve and protect nature and the natural functions of earth.
But also, itís our nature to ignore the important in favor of the convenient. Rather than conservation being a valued and protected part of our culture, we need to have things like ďEarth DayĒ because we need to be reminded. We need to join together and spread the word.
And so, those of us who want to help create a clean, healthy environment will gather at the 23rd annual EarthFair in Balboa Park on Sunday, April 22 from 10am to 5pm. More than 350 organizations will be present to help spread the word in a way that makes a tangible difference.
Five entertainment venues, the Childrenís Earth Parade and activity area, an energy-efficient vehicle show and eco-friendly foods make for a great day in the park for the whole family.
If just attending the event isnít enough for you, step it up by volunteering. EarthFair is produced by volunteers, both at the event and before. Volunteer online at EarthDayWeb.org, or call (858) 272-7370 if you are interested in an advance job or special project.
If you can not volunteer for Earth Day on the 22nd, visit the San Diego EarthWorks website at EarthDayWeb.org and browse the EarthFair online exhibitorsí list where you can find a new volunteer niche online.
Human nature can also be our undoing. It is our nature.
Consider climate change. Everyone agrees the geography of the earth has changed greatly over time. Everyone agrees there have been ice ages and warmer ages in earthís past. Whether or not itís being caused by human industrial activities, or caused by an Almighty Being, shouldnít the discussions be about how to address the challenges?
But itís not. Itís decidedly not. Weíre still having to fight against massive new pipelines and dangerous oil-drilling schemes. The massive deepwater blowout in the Gulf of Mexico seems to have taught us little or nothing.
We take for granted most of the scientific progress we enjoy. Yet we tolerate a political culture that is actively turning away from science, cutting scientific research and education, and denying widely-held scientific truths about earthís natural systems.
The human response needs to be to rise to the challenge, rather than arguing over it, or making it actively worse. Weíre ill-prepared to overcome the influence of billions of dollars from global commercial interests.
But if you care about nature and America, you must surely see the only way to overcome that influence will be through the actions of millions ó yes millions ó of Americans using tools of democracy. We have seen how it is done around the world ó massive, persistent protests. We have only to organize them here.
This is an important election year; is it your time to get active in politics? The Sierra Club Political Committee evaluates candidates for their environmental views. Watch for their endorsements or join in the process. The environment is completely under-represented,
opposed by a new, unlimited flood of private interest money ó much of it from oil interests. (We donít really know who is buying the election, do we?)
Donít take the outcome for granted. Agitate, negotiate, litigate, educate, demonstrate, re-create: there is much work to be done. There are many, many ways that you can make a difference. Choose a new one for this Earth Day. Make it part of your nature.
For additional information about EarthFair call (858) 272-7370 or visit: EarthDayWeb.org