ECOWATCH: Welcome to the New Year, but let’s remember the past
âThere are winds of fate that blow when you least expect it.
Sometimes they blow with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan their cheeks.
But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore. ”
– Nickolas Sparks, American novelist
The Christmas party has its three ghosts: the past, the present and the future, and there is no doubt that we are dragging the problems of the past and present into the future.
It was George Santayana, a philosopher, poet and novelist who said in 1905: âThose who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. People who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past will make the same mistakes.
Santayana also had to be a clairvoyant. Today, history, philosophy and ethics are no longer real subjects at school. This is especially true with regard to the history of the environment. For example, when Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring was published, it was a warning to the present and future health of the country. The book made it clear that the use of artificial pesticides, especially DDT, risked disaster, and if the government did not pass laws to protect the environment, humans would soon experience an uninterrupted “silent spring.” by the songs of birds and the rustling of other animals.
According to information sources, there are now over 300,000 miles of rivers and streams and over 5 million acres of lakes that are polluted. More than 218 million Americans live within ten miles of a polluted body of water.
In Florida, reports show that agricultural runoff and sewage is polluting the world’s largest network of freshwater sources. The sources have been in trouble for decades. In addition, the withdrawal of water for use by more than 90 percent of Florida residents has caused risks to human and marine life.
Manatees are now dying in large numbers. More than 1,000 were lost in 2021 due to famine caused by the destruction of seagrass beds by pollution, leaving manatees without their main source of food.
Santayana was right. We haven’t learned from the warnings of Carson and other scientists over the years, and now our waterways are polluted with toxic algal blooms, pesticides, other harmful chemicals and water runoff. ‘fertilizer. The warnings of the past have been ignored for too long and the damage to our environment has accelerated.
Some of the most pressing issues facing Florida habitats include plastic spills, oil spills, industrial waste, climate change, overcrowding and deforestation due to the development of new homes and businesses for serve the growing population of the state. All of these activities are allowed for profit, while guidelines for a healthy environment are dropped.
Right now the writing is on the wall. In the words of poet Eva Morales, âSooner or later we will have to recognize that the earth too has the right to live pollution-free. What humanity needs to know is that humans cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.
What can we do in this coming year to ensure a safe and healthy future for humans and animals? Here are some suggestions:
Â· Grow your own organic herbs and vegetables. It may be related to a healthier diet. If you grow your own herbs and vegetables, you don’t have to worry about chemicals sprayed on them, you know what you’re getting, and you can’t ask for fresher produce.
Â· Be more aware of your water intake. Just deciding to be more aware will likely help you reduce your water intake. Many areas are under water or will be in the near future.
Â· Use natural cleaning products instead of chemicals to clean your home. Natural cleaners are better for you, your home, and the environment. They are a smart all-around solution.
Â· To plant a tree. President Franklin Roosevelt said: âA nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our planet, purifying the air and giving new strength to our people. Our animals and plants also benefit. Birds need shelter and tree nesting sites. Other animals need it for protection, and all wild animals need the oxygen trees generate.
At present, there are many populations of birds which are declining in numbers. Manatees, panthers, whales, fish, waffle turtles and many other creatures are in decline, mainly due to habitat loss. If we were to study the cause of the decline of each of these species, we would see that humans have ignored their own warnings in the pursuit of comfort and profit rather than for the benefit of this planet and its other inhabitants, past and present.
The question is, will the New Year see those who care make a difference to protect this planet for all of its future inhabitants?
Wishing everyone a happy new year.