letter to the editor

Every day should be Earth Day

Posted:  Monday, April 15, 2019 - 7:30pm

Dear Editor:

Happy early Earth Day because every day should be Earth Day.

It is remarkable how blind a lot of Western societies are to the global crisis of climate change. Impoverished countries of the periphery are marginalized and forced to cope with and adapt to the detrimental impacts of climate change.

The most horrific fact is that the U.S. population is only 4% of the global population, yet we throw away 30% of the planets total waste. It is estimated that the average American citizen throws out seven pounds of materials daily --- 2,555 pounds per person annually. Also:

80% of all products in the U.S. are used once before discarded.

90% of plastic bottles thrown away are never recycled.
In 1960 the U.S. threw out 88.1 million tons of trash, jumping to 208.3 million tons wasted in 1990 and by 2015, 262.4 million tons of waste were produced.

This is an overarching and intimidating problem but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything! Just by picking up that one piece of trash on the road, eating a little less meat than usual, trying to carpool sometimes, or just turning off the lights when leaving the house for the day, is where it all starts. Just being conscious of how much is being thrown away and where that bag of trash is going is a huge first step.

Here is a poem I wrote last semester in my human dimensions of climate change class.

Time to Look in the Mirror

The troubling reality
Global temperatures are going up
We’ve got to reduce emissions by 45%
But all we do is consume



Production is consumption

Consumption is production

Drowning in mounds of materialistic objects

Obtained out of want
Not need

Then the finger is pointed away
Away from the high-class, affluent capitalists
And towards those of low-income and high birth rates

Do these accusers not understand low-income

Fertility may be high
But paychecks are low
Funds are fictitious
Consumerism is unknown

A dominant culprit of blame
Don the con.

Latest IPCC report-ignored
Paris agreement-ditched
Humanities crisis-exacerbated

What is his end goal?
To make America great again?

Emma Leonard