The well-being of the Earth SHOULD be foremost on everyone’s list of concerns. It’s the only place we’ve got and if you get buried under an avalanche of dire news items about mass extinctions, global warming, and the supreme indifference bordering on malicious intent of companies and politicians, you can become convinced that it’s definitely irreversibly ruined. We humans have put an end to the world through hubris and greed. The end.
Not so! And before you have your umpteenth panic attack about the state of things, I would like you to consider these events I have heard about that allow me to be just a little hopeful — keeping in mind that I am neither an environmental scientist or anyone with any credentials whatsoever. But when has that ever stopped someone on the internet or, heck, even on the news! I’m looking at you, vaccine hoaxer, the guy who didn’t kill the world but will probably put a big dent in the human population!
Before I begin though, I would like to also say that while all of the catastrophic news can make you feel like giving up and not bothering to do your part, hearing these optimistic things should not cause you to relax and still not do your part because “it will all turn out okay in the end.” How about stop being lazy and do some self-improvement? Be better no matter the circumstances.
The Ozone Hole
Hey! Remember that terrifying hole in Earth’s protective atmosphere? The all-important layer above us that shields us from the deadly, horrifying Sun? The layer without which we would burn into little crisps of cancer and we would have to return to the protection of the sea lickety split and the beautiful planet we know would become dusty and lifeless?
In the 1980s, CFCs in stuff like aerosol sprays were outright banned, causing the merciful flattening of hairdos and, apparently, allowed for the earth to heal itself! I had thought that the hole had settled over Australia, dooming them, but no! Given the chance, Earth can heal. Great!
When the Industrial Revolution kicked into high gear and the capitalist greed accumulated wealth and not any cares about puny nature, they would clear cut forests, raze them to the ground. Forests have been under attack for ages, but this one little fact always makes me feel good:
Ohio used to be like 90% forestedmy totally dependable memory
In 1900, it only had 1% forest
Today, it’s back up to like 30-40% or something
That’s sure not 90%, but it’s recovering! That’s the important part! I never hear about Kansas-sized swathes of the rainforest being chopped down every single day anymore. Did that problem go the way of the Ozone Hole? I sure hope so! God why did I start thinking about the Amazon rainforest? This is supposed to be optimism only. Well, it’s still there, I think! So they must have at least slowed their cutting! Hooray!
Also there are SO MANY charities to give to that plant zillions of trees worldwide. You can even use a browser like ecosia instead of google and it does that for you, for us all!
The Dust Bowl
For decades, greedy farmers misused their lands, trying to make enough crops to satisfy the greedy companies who ordered them to meet an outrageously high demand that was probably exaggerated for money profit money money. Companies demanded a lot for a little, and once again, the want of money took its toll because it is an unhealthy mindset that ruins everything it touches. Improper farming techniques depleted the soil, erosion and droughts and winds turned the entire middle part of America, our BREAD BASKET fertile plains, into a desert. Then the government sent scientists to educate whoever was left about how to fix it, and then they did! And in just like ten years, everything was okay again! Good forever.
One lazy, sleepy afternoon, I watched a documentary about the dunes of northern Indiana and the general greedy ruin of the Great Lakes region over a span of one hundred years or more. The companies for making steel or something waltzed in and bulldozed this delicate, precious ecosystem and dumped their toxic wastes right into the rivers and lakes. Everything was a polluted mess, and the Lorax wailed to the heavens. So did I, while watching.
But then! Communities banded together and cleaned up areas responsibly. For some reason, I believe it was a combination of public pressure on the factory owners AND legislators, they agreed to clean up their acts and now what’s left of the dunes are nice, and those lakes are back to being pretty great if I do say so myself.
We Can Do It Again
These little history facts fill me with enough hope that I do not despair entirely. If the people of the gross 1970s could take it upon themselves to clean up, then I think we could, too! And we don’t NEED to wait until it seems like it’s actually to late! They probably weren’t constantly inundated with doomsday newsbites, but I think their earth was a lot worse than it is now!
I definitely don’t think that it is up to only us, the little guys, to take care of things. The big polluters and the rapacious capitalist monsters interested only in profit need to gtfo. And we need to shift our society’s priorities away from money and towards healthy whole-world thinking. People get so wound up in “but what about our jobs??” Whose jobs? What? We won’t have jobs if there’s no world to sustain the jobs! We don’t even NEED jobs but I guess I’ll save that revolutionary concept for my full manifesto (the ManiBESTo), due out by the end of summer, 2019.