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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Nov 4, 2009

The environment: Our responsibility

As the most intelligent species on this planet we need to assume the responsibility of managing our environment and to safeguard it to ensure not only our survival, but the survival of all the other species  with whom we share this world.   

Last year I was observing a blue heron that had visited a local city park.  I saw the beautiful bird leave the pond to eliminate bodily waste, before returning to the pond to resume its hunt for food.  I was very surprised by this, as it does not seem as though birds are capable of such intelligent and responsible action, but it made a lot of sense to me. If the bird were to eliminate waste in the pond his food source would surely die and the pond now polluted would produce no more. Witnessing the bird's action got me thinking, and thinking turned to caring and awareness. My interest in birds and nature became directly linked to caring about the environment, in that I began to notice just how much garbage was left in the pond by visiting families to the park. My research on specific bird types led to associations that voiced concerns about bird habitats and the effects of global warming on the different species of birds. From there issues of environment, wildlife habitat and our global environment snow balled for me. 

I have recently learned that due to global warming many species of birds are declining in numbers. http://www.naturecanada.ca/climate_change_birds.asp I have heard of an oil spill by an oil rig in Australia that has still not been dealt with after many weeks and is now burning, adding more damage to the environment in the form of pollution to the air we breathe. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/11/10-week-old-oil-spills-rig-now-on-fire.php  How much wildlife is affected by this type of disaster I wonder?  I have also learned that the tiger is becoming extinct.

WWF: Tiger experts call for urgent action to save species

I am saddened and angry, as I am one who enjoys nature whenever and as often as I can, and I know that most people do so unconsciously in one way or another whether its through gardening, hiking, camping, visiting a lake, or simply setting up a bird feeder and keeping a pet. Yet we are not as close to nature as we once were, having somehow disconnected over time and so many things are forgotten. The heron's actions represented  a reminder of the kind of mentality that we need to embrace.  If we think of the earth as our pond and the wild life around us as our younger cousins, this would make more sense to us and perhaps make it easier to adopt an attitude of caring and responsibility.

We are as much dependent on this world and all it offers as the rest of the different species that surround us, from fish and birds, to insects, reptiles and other mammals.  Granted we have only just begun to realize what damages we are inflicting on this world; our pond.   We are so busy with our daily lives that thoughts of our home, the earth, are far away.  However, there are things that we all can do to lessen the impact of our growing presence.

Make your house environmentally friendly:  Install energy saving devices such as fridges and stoves, and energy saving light bulbs.  This has the added bonus of saving you money.  Weather proofing your home with weather stripping to keep the heat in in winter and your thermostat down, is another example of what you can do, for more info go here:  http://www.househunting.ca/Green-Homes/index.html

Join an association, organization or group:  WWF and Green Peace have need of volunteers and/or have job postings on their site, as do many other organizations dedicated to saving wildlife and the world.   Do you have the ability, drive, motivation and fighting spirit to work within any of the above to help save the planet? Do you have time to be a volunteer? Do you have money to donate to ensure that an organization or association has the power to lobby politicians and governments at home, or worldwide, to implement changes that will save the planet as well as the wildlife? If so do it.  Don't hesitate.

Live environmentally friendly:  Buy environmentally friendly products and foods, there are many more available now than there used to be from toilet paper to herbicides and pesticides. Recycle everything that you can, there are recycling stations just about everywhere now.  If you are not sure if something is recyclable  check on the internet, or at the very least don't purchase the item until you know for sure. Walk or ride a bike whenever you can. If you have a picnic at the local park be sure to clean up after yourself.  The same holds true when camping, hiking or visiting the lake.  Take public transit or car pool.  These are just some examples.  There is more information for you at these sites : http://www.environment.alberta.ca/

Teach your children: Keep up on environmental issues and as you implement an environmentally friendly lifestyle, teach your children to do the same. Teach them about wildlife or animals by taking them to a petting zoo, camping or hiking.  Many children take great delight in seeing wildlife, exploring and learning about nature, especially if you make it a positive experience. What children learn early in life stays with them usually for the rest of their lives to be taught to their children in turn. In this case the more people know about this issue, how to correct the damage, and keep it from recurring the better. We all need to work together and reconnect with nature in a consciously caring and responsible way.

Through my reading and interactions with people I have learned that the number of people who are developing asthma, environmental allergies and cancer are on the rise.  I also know that more and more children are born with the same, and many are born with unhealthy immune systems.  So we are already reaping the consequences of our actions. What more proof do we need to see in order to realize that what we do to negatively impact the environment of the different wildlife species around the world  also affects us sooner or later.

Also consider this:  A long time ago I read a book wherein the heroin's home world only had one species of wildlife remaining that was few in numbers and her world had become barren of vegetation.  The only pets to be had were robotic and programed to "dump on the carpet" once in a while, and food was grown in space stations that no one was allowed to visit to prevent contamination of the food.  I cannot imaging such a world; living without being able to walk along a forest trail listening to squirrels and birdsong , or to see birds wheeling in the sky.  Can you?


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