Stewards of our Planet; Responsibility for Everyone

stewards We’ve all been bombarded on environmental issues; some legitimate and some a matter of opinion. The one thing I find missing in a lot of the discussion is common sense. I personally don’t understand why there is so much emphasis on extinction of a bug (being facetious). There is the normal process of evolution in which things come and things go.

Back when the first national “clean up the planet day” was held, I was in middle school. My science teacher at the time put a lot of emphasis into his teaching/discussion of the topic. There did exist a big problem with industrial wastes that needed attention as well as the ongoing litter left everywhere by man. Being young and impressionable, we really took all of this to heart. We decided to do what we could in our own community, such as, set out on various field trips, cleaning up litter/trash.

Thinking back, I remember seeing signs on the highway for fines if caught littering. My parents/extended family always promoted being responsible and picking up after ourselves, as well as leaving the areas we were visiting, the way they were when we arrived. A few years later, the amount of litter on the highways/public areas appeared to be increasing, as if people didn’t care and I believe, related to the increase in paper/plastic products in the market. There was also emphasis at the time on the logging industry with stripping of the lands and waste clogging the normal streams/rivers.

The national awareness push to clean things up worked, in my opinion, secondary to the backing of the public or voice of the people. Within a fairly short period of time, issues that I had observed or was knowledgeable of, appeared to be turning around with positive solutions in place. In the logging industry alone, trees were being planted where they had been logged, streams/water ways were cleaned and litter appeared to be not as much an issue. Litter bags for autos came into being.

It wasn’t long after all the above had taken place when the issue of the “spotted owl near extinction” took place. I remember thinking it was really strange that such a to-do was occurring over what I had learned to be a part of natural evolution. This particular topic virtually closed down the lumber industry in the state of Oregon; displacing thousands of families. There’s a reason why dinosaurs or cavemen aren’t still running around.  Mother Nature’s natural processes pretty much rule as to what comes and goes, in my opinion. When man has intervened overtime, the natural processes are generally skewed until data comes in telling us to turn it back around. An example of this is the Montana gray wolves  marked as near extinction. Because of this, the wolves population over a short period of time has grown out of control with the near destruction of Elk/deer populations. Now because of man not being able to control what mother nature normally takes care of, hunters are now being encouraged to buy permits to hunt the wolves to try to bring the game populations back. Another example of man trying to re-invent the wheel!

I like to think that the wisdom of the elder generations carries more weight than that of the neophyte generations and their tunnel vision, dealing with the changes. Man has a tendency to want to fix everything, no matter what, when the best solution would have been to leave things alone other than focus spent on correcting any man-made exacerbation. I’m not saying that we, as humans, aren’t partially responsible for some of the problems, but if we are held to be more  ecologically aware and to take responsibility for what we do that affects others on a day-to-day basis, man provoked issues wouldn’t reach crises levels.

I believe that as parents or grandparents, we should be doing our best to make our own children aware of how their choices affect others. For example, turning off lights when leaving rooms, not leaving water running for no reason, picking up their generated trash/garbage, as well as using less and less plastics etc., all, with an explanation as to why. Planting the seed of awareness is huge and will make a life long impression in their lifestyle choices, with emphasis being placed to be responsible stewards of the planet. I know that  its unrealistic to think that the whole world will be on the same page but if we start with our own, eventually things will progress to others; another form of evolution ya’ll.

Teaching Kids to be Stewards Link


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