Invest in our planet

Happy Earth Day!

Should this be a celebration for the Earth or should this be a wake for all species of plants and animals lost due to harmful activities of man (“The Crazy Ape”) as Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel laureate for Medicine said in 1970?

In 1969, the year before Earth Day’s first observation, a few tragic events occurred which outraged many to act and do something that was considered “profoundly radical.”

In January 1969, a major oil spill happened off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, killing thousands of sea birds (including many loons, one symbol of wilderness, that many of us in the Northwoods cherish). The spill also killed many other marine animals, like sea lions, elephant seals and dolphins.

Another troubling event that occurred in the years prior to our first Earth Day, fire continued to ignite on a river that ran through Cleveland, Ohio, due to industrial pollution that clogged the waterway for years. Yes, the Cuyahoga River has been cleaned up and now that u-shaped river is designated as an American Heritage River. A large portion was named an Ohio State Scenic River.

The use of insecticides and their harmful effects on bird life and other creatures incited outrage in the years before and after the first Earth Day. DDT, a chemical manufactured by Monsanto Corporation starting in the mid-1940s, motivated Rachel Carson to write a landmark book entitled “Silent Spring,” published in 1962. That book made ecology a household word, whether or not everyone fully understood what it meant. The book launched the environmental movement as we know it today.

Now in 2023, the terms global warming and climate change have sparked controversy and many still can’t define what those concepts mean in relationship to their lives. The American culture is killing the planet. Capitalism is killing the planet. Scientists say we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. An estimated 200 species of animals are driven to extinction every day. Ninety-seven percent of native forests have been destroyed. The tragic list of environmental destruction goes on.

Everyone, including myself, is partly responsible for killing the planet especially greedy careless Americans. Bury your car or truck. Ride a bicycle or walk if you can, maybe a golf cart. Help to restore the woodlands of this country. Experiment with a plant-based diet. Do something positive for the Earth.

The Earth should always come first. Life should come first. All forms of life are equal. Power, profits and domination should come last.

Happy Earth Night!

Stephen Lesjak



Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today